OK, not those kinds of knockers – and yes I have already heard all of the possible jokes since I first became intrigued by “Italian Knockers”. When we first started wandering the old parts of Italian cities and the hill towns of Tuscany, you cannot miss the variety, intricacy, and imagination of the door decorations.
Soon I will have a door to decorate, so naturally I would like to find the perfect accent. Thus begins the next odyssey. Our most recent trip to Italy took us to the medieval town of Arezzo, southeast of Firenze. In Arezzo, on the first weekend of every month, one of the largest antique markets is held. One might think that it would be a simple matter to find a variety of doorknockers. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be widely available.
The initial challenge was figuring out what they are called in Italian. Sure we can make knocking motions while clucking our tongues. We chanced upon a sympathetic antique dealer with enough English who explained there are a variety of terms that are used:
Picchiotto – Battaglio – Batacchio – Battente or Battuto Portone
Whatever they are called, I hope to find the perfect addition to our flat. Here are a few pictures to give you a flavor of the variety.