Door knobs and knockers in Italy

Door knobs in Italy


One of the things we like about strolling through the narrow, cobbled streets in Italy are the magnificent door knobs and knockers you come across.

There are a lot of Medieval and Renaissance buildings in Italy, most of which are adorned with these intricately patterned door knobs.

door knob Venice
Old knob made of brass with a portrait of a frightened man screaming. The door is at a house at St. Mark´s Square in Venice. Photo by GinStarlove.

At times the door and its door knobs are the only testimony to the origins of ancient, restored buildings, where successive restoration works through the epochs have added their own touch, often leaving only the doors and their knobs in their original states.

These art relics of the Italian Middle Ages and Renaissance, usually made of steel, brass or copper, were the work of master craftsmen. Some of them were made of gold, but most antique door knobs found these days are either made of a less noble metal or of wood.

wooden door knoker in italy
Door knocker in the medieval part of Monteprandone, Marche. Photo by pizzodisevo.

Even those that were made in recent times show detailed designs showcasing a unique art form that involve design and meticulous attention to detail.

antique door knocker Tuscany
Antique doorknocker with bronze mask of Bacchus in Montalcino, Chianti region,Tuscany. Photo by Lisa-Blue

Door knobs are usually round, but can also have recognizable designs of animals, people, divinities, mythological characters, or objects on them. Odd Shaped, hexagonal, curvaceous, rectangular, or oval forms also occur, though less frequently.

Door knob in Italy. Photo by Ilaria Caterina.

Door knob designs are either symmetric or asymmetric, i.e. with a single overall design on the surface. Patterns can repeat twice, three, four, five, six or eight times. Radial designs emanate from the center outward to the edge of the knob, while concentric patterns form concentric circles from the center to the edge of the knob. Patterns can also be in the form of a spiral or swirl.

door knob patterns

Collage photos by or based on photos by b.sights

Slow Italy

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