Obsessed by Archways

Porta Perugina Paciano Umbria

I have to come clean about my being obsessed by archways. Since I was a teenager I have been a great fan of the work of Pieter Saenredam a Dutch Baroque artist. The lines and arches of his church interiors had me seriously hooked and I guess it has carried on from there.

Obsessed by Archways

Archway Leading from Main Square Cetona

Archways in Cetona

I have a number of images in my portfolio involving archways from various parts of central Italy. This includes Cetona in Tuscany and Paciano in Umbria. Now, I live in Paciano but it is only a half hour drive to Cetona.

Taken on a very hot day in Italy, ‘Archway Leading from Main Square Cetona’ shows a beautiful archway. I have to say with the sun bouncing off the painted walls of the buildings and the coolness of the alleyway underneath, the arch was very inviting.

This picture is evocative of all the things I find attractive about archways. The arch itself of course, but also the often confusing lines (sometimes trying to find a straight line in these old hill towns can be a challenge). I like the structures of the surrounding area and the buildings or items underneath, the hidden bit if you like. These all are what really grab my attention. It was lucky to catch this shot without any tourists given the square was full of them at the time! I have more archways and other street shots to upload to my Cetona gallery over the next few days.

Browse my collection of Tuscany images on RedBubble and Pictorem.

Archways in Pacinao

Today I spent a morning in my home town of Paciano, having coffee with my best friend. Of course I combined that with some photography as the light was perfect for it.

Porta Rastrella

Porta Rastrella Paciano Umbria

In my blog about Paciano I talk about the history of Paciano. But I have to say as you step through one of the medieval gates (there are three) to enter the walls, the narrow alleyways and old buildings transport you back in time. It is not difficult to imagine how it was centuries ago. One of the medieval gates is Porta Rastrella.

Porta Perugina

Porta Perugina Paciano Umbria

The gateway at the top end of Paciano is called Porta Perugina. This is the entrance you would come to from the scenic road from Panicale. It is also the main entrance to Paciano for traffic. A largely one way system exists inside the walls owing to how narrow the streets are. I have only driven there once – never again! How I came out without losing the wing mirrors on the car I will never know! The main traffic of course is locals and the occasional delivery vehicle. There is parking outside each of the three gates, so that visitors to Paciano enter on foot.

Porta Fiorentina

Porta Fiorentina Paciano Umbria

The third and final archway is the Porta Fiorentina which is at the lower end of Paciano. If you go into the town this way there is a steep climb up to get to the main square. You often see people (myself included) pausing for breath half way up! Luckily there is a cafe in the square where you can sit and recover.

Anyway, I think I have proved that I am indeed obsessed by archways but aren’t they so captivating? Each one is different and has its own charm.

Check out my images from Paciano and other towns and villages in Umbria at my ArtHeroes (Europe),  Pictorem (USA and Canada) and RedBubble (International) stores. I also have a beautiful calendar available at Calvendo.

Before you go

Mid-week Reflections
Dorothy and Barnet Boy

My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.

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Thank you for reading!

About Dorothy Berry-Lound 449 Articles
I am having fun living half way up a mountain in Central Italy with my husband Barnet Boy, Stevie Mouse and the rest of my fur family. I am enjoying creating art that people will love having on their walls. I also love storytelling through my blog and short stories.


  1. A very nice article about the arches of Paciano and you took some beautiful photo’s of them. Your blog really captures the spirit of the town. I can just imagine driving those streets.

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