For something a little bit closer to home, here is my favorite “grotta” door of Ancona:
Down 195 steps from il monumento ai Caduti, looping around to the left, past the rocky grooves and up a little slope, is the long stretch of seaside ‘houses’. Originally used by fishermen as shelter for their boats, these caves (around 700 of them in the four kilometers of rocky beaches) now serve as summer nooks and winter storage. Almost like maritime garages, these caves are carved into the cliffs and vary in interior design. During the summer, the doors are opened up and the beach is filled with families lounging in the sun, using makeshift kitchens inside, lugging out fishing equipment, and opening up bottles of white wine. During the winter, all of the doors are closed; the best time for admiring all of the colorful doors.
Each door is painted a different color to distinguish it from the others. From the viewpoint of fishermen out in sea, it is said that the strand of colorful doors resembles a row of bright flags calling out to those out in the waters. The coast of Ancona beckoning travelers home 🙂
Not meant to promote my other project, but if you are interested in a few more facts and a couple more pictures, check out my entry about the Passetto on Little Ancona. I love this corner of the world.