In one of my Genovan posts I casually mentioned the city’s name being derived from Janus. This is far from certain as there are other theories about the origins of the name (including the Italian word for knee!), but the presence of the great statue in the Palazzo Bianco was enough to convince me of the Roman God’s influence. Still, as we’ll see below, it’s possible that if the Genoese aren’t completely bought into claiming him he may have headed for the warmer climes of Sicily.
Janus is famously the two-faced deity who is god of transitions, which of course is why we have January named after him as one year moves into the next, but his patronage also extends to doorways, the transition between in and out.
A recent post by fellow blogger Staci di Anna Pollard reminded me just how many doorways I’d photographed on my trip to Sicily at Easter and prompted me to gather a selection together for this post. (Believe me there are more!).
Doorways in Italy always make for good photographs; whether for design, colour, texture or for the hidden scenes beyond and in Sicily I found another reason to be drawn to them; their size, or more precisely their lack of size. Yes, the churches, opera houses, museums and public buildings have rather grand entrances as you’d expect, but up in the hill towns the homes of ordinary folk seemed to feature doorways that would require anyone of even above average height to bend or risk injury.
And so despite my attendance at two of Christianity’s most engaging festivals during my visit it seemed fitting in these days when journalistic balance is a hot topic that my trip should be influenced by this pagan god too. Or am I just being two-faced?