Italian windows are quite different from the ones we are used to in the U.S. They are actually open at all times, weather permitting, and they serve multiple purposes.
Perhaps because of the rather universal lack of air conditioning, windows in Italy are almost always open (fig. 1) to allow aria fresca to enter homes, as well as to allow the lady of the house to hang the freshly washed laundry (fig. 2) out to dry, taking advantage of a sunny day. Having an apartment on an upper floor of a building will allow the homeowners a perfect vantage point to watch all sorts of town activities comfortably, such as the Cherries Sagra near Rome (fig. 3). Other windows allow residents to watch the paesani down the street (fig. 4) or better yet, to spend a few hours chatting with a girlfriend (fig. 5).
Floral decorations will usually abound outside and around many windows once spring arrives (fig. 6). Unusual decorations have also been seen, such as a series of satirical masks (fig. 7) depicting four U.S. presidents.
The famous Ponte Vecchio (fig. 8) in Florence is dotted with colorful little windows, as seen from a distance, which certainly adds to its charm.
Windows around the square in Siena (fig. 9) become a wonderful way to increment the family income during the Palio, a traditional horse race which occurs twice a year, as families will happily host friends and visitors eager to watch comfortably...at a significant price indeed!
One the most famous windows in the world is the one located on the building next to St. Peter’s Cathedral (fig. 10) from which the Pope will appear on Sundays at noon for the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing. Sadly, this weekly tradition has been paused over the last 18 months to avoid crowding in the square.
A local salumeria keeps its windows open in the evening to allow its products to better dry (fig. 11), with plenty of security to keep the hungry cats at bay. Ultimately, those glorious salamini and salsiccie will arrive to the town osteria (fig. 12) for one more perfect al fresco dinner, in good company with the local red.
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