Italian windows and balconies…the legend behind the beauty

 A typical Italian balcony in Lecce.

A typical Italian balcony in Lecce.

Photographing balconies and windows in Italy is one of my favorite things to do.  And it’s not hard to see why.  They are so beautifully maintained and manicured with plants and a multitude of flowers in pots or large ornate planters.  Much pride goes into the outward appearance of most Italian homes.  It is thought to be a reflection of the people within.  This is a nationwide phenomenon, even in the larger, more metropolitan areas.

But did you know that there is a legend behind the custom of these works of botanical art?  It is said that back in the day, a woman would use the tending of her balcony or window garden as an excuse to be able to be outdoors unsupervised, where she could communicate with potential lovers.  Very sneaky, huh?  And pretty smart if you ask me!

Whatever the reason, modern day Italian women need no such excuses as they can flirt un-chaperoned to their heart’s content.  And the window and balcony gardens continue to flourish and provide a focus for many a tourist camera.  So next time you’re in Italy, take the opportunity to photograph your own collection of these wonderfully colorful and whimsical subjects.