Watch Your Steps: Fascinating Italian Floors and Roads

Traveling through Italy, I have had a hard time paying attention to all the details; there is just too much to take in (and I do not know whether that is just the richness of Italy or whether I have learned to notice more details on my travels over the last few months). As if it was not enough to have fascinating ceilings (see previous post), or small details such as enticing doorways and small decorative details (see another previous post),  or street art that one could overlook (see still another previous post), Italy also has amazing floors and roads. That may sound absurd and you may wonder how a road can be that amazing – especially when considering American roads. However, the roads and floors are fascinating – partially because of their age and significance and partially because of their beauty.  It is difficult to figure out how to pay attention to ceilings above, art at eye level, and floors under your feet often at the same place.

DSCN0045

Interior of Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence

One way is to spend plenty of time and to pause to take in all elements; another way is to acknowledge all but focus on one element. I have to admit for example that I remember the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel but have no clue anymore what the floor looks like (I looked it up online and it is actually a very pretty, mostly black-and-white mosaic floor).

Over the last few months, plenty of floors and roads have stood out to me – some because of their beauty, some because of their historical significance or age, and some even for all reasons.

Some roads are not pretty or very artistic but they make an impact because of their age. Imagine who has already wandered these roadways; think about how many people have walked on these paving stones over the centuries!

Path Forum

Road in the Roman Forum

 

Section

A Section of Original Brick in the Colosseum

Some pathways include details that might be overlooked at first glance:

Pompeii

A “Road Sign” Carved in the Paving Stones in Pompeii Points in the Direction of the Brothel

Mosaic Pompeii

Small Pieces of Original Mosaic Floor in Pompeii

Many of the surfaces are beautiful and already well-known:

Cave Canem

The Famous Cave Canem Mosaic Floor in Pompeii

 

Others fascinate with their intricate details:

Floor Vatican

Mosaic Floor in the Vatican

 

Marble Floor Milan

Marble Floor in the Cathedral in Milan

 

Many of the surfaces also serve additional functions such as displaying astrological signs on a sort of calendar or support a superstition:

Astrology Detail

Astrology Detail in the Marble Floor in the Cathedral in Milan

Coat of Arms Milan

Coat of Arms of Turin in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan – Legend has it brings good luck to put your right heel in the hole and turn three times around your axis.

And even ordinary streets become beautiful because of their surroundings:

Palazzo Vecchio

A Reflection of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence

I know I have overlooked plenty of gorgeous floors and important roads in Italy while I was looking at or taking pictures of other elements, but at least that gives me a reason to visit again. Are there any additional floors and/or roads that you think are memorable and noteworthy?

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