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10 - LA PORTA DEL MORTO -  (The Door of the Dead)

 

 

You are in front of one of the many “porte del morto” in Trevi. Situated next to the main door, it was always walled up and did not reach the street level. It was opened just on the occasion of the egression of the coffin. There are two explanations for this mediaeval tradition. According to an old popular belief, if the coffin doesn’t leave the house through the main door, the spirit of the dead will remain in the house.
The other explanation is more practical. The mediaeval houses used to have the stables or the shops on the ground floor; immediately after the entrance there were two very  steep flights of stairs in which the coffin was not able to turn and therefore it needed to pass through this other door.
The door you are watching has been transformed into main entrance. Other “porte del morto” are now windows, or still walled up.


 

 

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Alberto Barbini 1989-2008 - Translated by Bill Thayer ©2010


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