Staircases in Italy

Italy is basically a country with hills and there are only a few places where it is relatively flat. So it is no wonder that after walking around for three months this past spring all over Italy that I experienced the painful plantar fasciitis, which took about five months to go away. Still it was worth it but next time I would wear athletic shoes, and not care about fashion sense so much.

Many of Italy’s villages and towns have wonderful staircases to traverse the varying levels of elevation in these places. Here are a few photos of those remarkable staircases.

Staircase in Varenna, Italy
Steep staircase in Varenna, Italy
Varenna, Italy Staircase
Another Staircase in Varenna in Lake Como

Imagine that the locals who live here have to go up and down these steep staircases every day with groceries and anything else they may need to take with them including luggage if they are traveling. This is one of the reasons that I say life in Italy is harder than in America.

Waiter carrying a tray up a staircase in Bellagio, Italy
Staircase on the trail along the Cinque Terre
Staircase in Taormina, Sicily
Famous Staircase in Caltagirone, Sicily, Italy

This is the famous staircase in Caltagirone, Sicily decorated with flowers. The staircase is known in Italy as Scala di Santa Maria del Monte, an exceptional staircase of 142 steps, connecting the old city at the top to the new at the bottom. The risers of each step are uniquely painted majolica tiles, and no two have the same design.

2 Responses

  1. It would seem ‘harder” to live in Italy to most who, by way of modern creature comforts, drive one block to get to the pharmacy, or put on their gear in order to go jogging or power walking for 2-3 miles in order to keep in shape. That’s OK for America, because this is what we are used to. However, Italians (and most Europeans) have been used to walking as a normal way to get to point A to point B. Although they own vehicles, they do not categorize “walking” as a form of exercise (for which some people in the States actually purchase a book ( i.e. “Walking for Dummies”). Humans were built for walking, a normal motion that should be consistently done for miles any one given day; on top of which physical work in the house and yard, plus bicycling to the market on a daily basis is the norm. Let’s face it, we, in a modern society have become ” soft and lazy”. There are pros and cons to everything. However, it’s the old timers in Italy and other European countries whose muscles at 70-80 are hard as a rock; who have no need for knee or hip replacement surgery (unless they fall off a tree or a ladder when climbing a tree -Italians like to clim trees in their 60’s 70’s and 80’s). I wish I were more like my Italian born and bred mamma.

  2. Never thought too much about staircases but I do see the pull. I remember in the Source that a big discussion revolved around steps down to a well and how wet and slippery they had become over the years. I cannot imagine traversing some of those straight up and down staircases with a drizzle falling. In short, I have become a stairway enthusiast! Thank you Ms. Margie.

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