Thursday Doors: All Doors Lead to Rome

Completing this post for Thursday Doors has been nothing short of a miracle.  When my technology goes rogue, I tend to fall apart without grace or dignity and I’ve been fighting this battle for much too long.

My laptop is now in the Geek Hospital for emergency surgery, and my external hard drive is holding all my photos hostage.  It resolutely refuses to talk to my old – very, very old – backup computer, which takes an inordinate amount of time to *think* about whether or not it can, or will, respond to my increasingly agitated requests.

The miracle part comes from the fact I was able to forceably extract, with cunning and persistence, some door photos.

In 2013, Gilles and I went to Rome to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  This was my first visit to the iconic Italian city and I wished I had had a better camera to capture even a little of its beauty.

Rome is full of magnificent old architecture, interesting door, and intriguing hardware.

These scowling gargoyles as door handles didn’t exactly scream “Welcome” to me.  I had assumed the sign meant No Trespassing and so was surprised to discover it actually means Driveway.

Now I’m left wondering whether the sign implies this ISN’T a driveway, or whether it means don’t park here because it IS a driveway.  Anyone have any clues?


Visiting the Vatican is just something that must be done when in Rome.


I was completely overwhelmed by its size and magnificence.  There was just simply TOO MUCH!  … and I’m not just talking about the crowds of loud and pushy people.


I was particularly fascinated by the Vatican Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica which is opened only once every 25 years.  Surrounded by smooth marble, the door was stunning.

Jubilee years were first introduced in the 1300s and represent a special time for universal forgiveness of sins.  The last Jubilee Year coincided with the new millennium.


Apparently I’m a very poor Catholic because I didn’t know this until I actually went to the Vatican.  I’m left wondering what other interesting things I might have missed while I was constantly hunting for Gilles who tended to wander off away from our guide.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.


  1. I Googled the phrase passo carrabile which means access by car, with the no symbol, I take it to mean you can’t enter the drive with your car, that you must walk in. I saw the later respons eabout blocking the drive and somehow that didn’t make sense. But she seemed to know more about Italy than I so who am I to judge.

    Happy belated birthday. I hope you had a wonderful day! You are as young as you feel and I see you getting younger and younger with each year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Vatican Doors and thoughts with facts about the Jubilee Years were fascinating. I liked the most intricate last door, spotted the Cross scene and resurrecton. I am left puzzled about the first one, Joanne! I know Spanish but uncertain of the sign’s intent!? 🙂


  3. I’m recalling our last visit when I had the privilege of meeting your little friend Ms. GPS and getting an up-close glance at your conversations with her. You seem to have a habit of back-and-forth relationships with your technologies, yes? From the sounds of this post, “….My laptop is now in the Geek Hospital for emergency surgery…” I’m wondering if the laptop was put in the hospital with internal injuries or by external ones perhaps gained through being tossed into a wall or some other such event…..LOL.

    Lovely pix as always, Joanne and I appreciate them even more knowing you had to use Special Forces’ tactics to retrieve them just for us. Also, you’re just a few years ahead of us, our 30th is this year! Does make me feel old, but I also keep thinking I really haven’t even started yet!


    • hahaha! More than a few times I seriously considered tossing that hunk of junk into the pool … but no, I’m innocent 🙂
      … on the other hand, a lot of very bad language might have been used …

      Congrats on #30 this year!! I’m always reminded that longevity in marriage is something that deserves to be celebrated.
      I know what you mean about the feeling old part. Today I turn 60. SIXTY!!! How the hell did that happen?!! I’ve been in a pout about it all year, but so far it’s not so bad 😉


      • Oh! Happy b-day, my dear friend! I think you will probably be the one to put a new spin on that number of 60! Isn’t it amazing though….did you ever think back in the day that in your 60th year you’d be biking Thailand!?


        • Good grief, no! Even 4 years ago, it seemed out of the question … yet here I am, training in earnest to do just that.

          In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded several times that each year is another trip around the sun.
          That trip is an adventure. It’s not the number of times we’ve made the trip that matters .. it’s what we do on that trip that becomes memorable ❤


  4. What a wonderful place to visit. It’s on my Bucket List. I had no idea there was a door which is only opened once ever 25 years! The last door is just lovely.

    I hope you have your image library backed up and your laptop troubles are resolved soon.

    I’ve got so much of my daily life, and business on the computer I’m frantic when it has issues or problems, and I couldn’t tease anything out it. You’re ahead of me there.


    • I can get quite creative when faced with something I want to do, but a problem stands in the way. I can’t say I’m always successful, but sometimes I get lucky!!

      Hope you make it to Rome someday. I highly recommend it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry to hear about your laptop, Joanne. That stinks. I haven’t been to Italy since the 70’s and I’d love to go back. It’s so much fun to visit through all the blogs. Medicinal alcohol, eh? Sounds good to me.



    • I’m starting to get used to working on my old dinosaur and don’t miss that hunk of junk that’s been tormenting me. This computer might be reeeeeeallllly slooooow, but at least it’s dependable.

      Like you, I love travelling via other people’s blogs. I’ve learned so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t know that they only open the Vatican Holy door once every 25 year. Then again, I’ve never been to the Vatican and I’m not currently practicing Catholicism. I would love to visit Rome one day and see the gorgeous architecture. It must have been amazing.


  7. Ahh you have me reminiscing about our week in Italy in 2013. We did Milan for a show at La Scala and then spent the rest of it in Tuscany about 35 kms outside of Florence. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
    Some wonderful doors in this post and some interesting stuff I didn’t know too.
    Good luck with your technology, it’s fun when it works though.
    I’ll email you on the weekend about that post we were discussing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems we were both drawn to Italy in 2013 🙂
      I would go back in a heartbeat too! Although the next time I would like to spend a lot of time in the south – Calabria, where my father’s family comes from, and Sicily.
      … hopefully in the foreseeable future!!

      “Talk” to you on the weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just got my computer back from the geek hospital so I feel your pain. I’ve never been to Rome but the golden door on the cathedral in Florence was definitely way over the top in elegance! We couldn’t get close enough to it to take a picture!


    • I’m discovering ways to cope with the disruption in my technology …. as I sit here with both my geriatric former computer on one side and my iPad on the other.
      Multi tasking on 2 devices seems to help me deal with the frustration of the snail’s pace of this computer!

      I’ve only been to Florence once – almost 20 years ago. If I remember correctly, the entire cathedral was encased in scaffolding at the time. I don’t remember a door at all! It sounds like it was my loss.


  9. Part of why I love Thursday Doors is for the opportunity to learn about thinks in far away lands, whether in Europe or the American south. I look at these doors and I see the history that is just on display, waiting to be shared. The world is full of such places and doors. We need to spend more time learning.


  10. Very nice pictures. Never been to Rome, but I’d love to go.

    I hear you, loud and clear about the computer misery. Imagine me, who didn’t know that external hard drives couldn’t be just moved from Windows to Mac. It had to be formatted first. Now I know, this was a few years ago, but I think I lost a great deal during that procedure.


    • uh-oh. Thanks for the heads-up.
      I will eventually move to a Mac. This current laptop has been the last straw and I’ve vowed to never buy another PC.

      Having said that, I live in fear of losing the massive photo library I’ve been developing 😦


      • There are ways to do it. They told me how in the then FutureShop, now BestBuy. I’ve forgotten all about it now, but it was a bit complicated. I could never go back to Windows now.


  11. I’ve been to – and fell in love with – Italy, but didn’t get to Rome. It’s definitely on my list! So sorry to read about your computer! I am terrified of my computer crashing and taking all of my pictures with it. I have an external back-up but what if that crashes too? Yikes!


    • Rome was actually my 3rd trip to Italy and it was on this trip I fell hopelessly in love with the country. I hadn’t even left yet, and I was already yearning to go back.

      Unfortunately I’ve already discovered I’ve lost a few time chunks of photos. I’m learning some lessons the hard way 😦


  12. You’ve renewed my desire to get to Italy and spend as much time there as possible. Despite being a horribly lapsed Catholic, I find the history fascinating and particularly all the mystery and intrigue and majesty that surrounds the church. And I never knew that about the jubilee doors either!


    • You can easily go into church overload in Italy. There is just SOOO MUCH to see.
      I want to go back so badly … and this time spend all my time in the south – Calabria and Sicily. Maybe next year!


  13. Unfortunately, my first experience of Rome was not a good one (you probably don’t want to hear the litany of horrors) and as I was only 12 at the time, it had a lasting impact. Needless to say, it is not my favourite city. They do have lovely doors, though.

    And props to you for managing to get the post out against all odds.

    Sorry to hear about your technology woes. That sucks. I am having tech dramas of my own (and hence the reason I am sitting here at 3am) but mine have been induced by the Youngest Son and his inability to self-regulate his own access to technology. As a consequence, I am searching for every restriction/password-protection/parental control available. Hope your troubles heal quicker than I suspect mine will. (How many more years before he moves out?)


    • Sorry to hear your experience in Rome wasn’t a happy one. That’s kind of how I feel about Florence … not that I had a bad experience, but I just wasn’t in a happy place. I hear people gush over Florence and I just feel ‘meh’.

      Good luck with finding a solution to your technology challenge. I can just imagine your frame of mind right now :/
      One of my proudest achievements as a parent is that my sons made it to responsible adulthood alive 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Oh crap, that sucks. Hope your computer comes back sooner & is righter than rain!

    Rome is indeed a great city, so rich in its history. I have been a couple of times but I must admit, I much prefer to be outside the city exploring the gorgeous countryside.

    Great pics Jo!


    • Since our trips normally involve some kind of race, or training camp, or other physically demanding activity, our daily pace is usually pretty frenetic.
      I suspect one of the reasons why I loved Rome so much was because it was at a relaxed pace … something we hadn’t done since our honeymoon.
      Now I’m smitten.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for showing me some doors I probably wouldn’t see otherwise. Not a frequent visitor to Vatican. 🙂 The last one is amazing! I can answer your query regarding the first door: you should NOT park in front of it because a car could exit through it, and even though Italy this is obeyed.


  16. I’m sorry about your recent technological difficulty. I am experiencing the transition myself.
    I think the sign is about how the doors are wide enough to accommodate small cars, but that they don’t want you to drive or park there anymore, like they’re not used that way now.

    Gorgeous doors, incredible detail on those panels. I’m glad you were able to retrieve them 🙂


    • ahhh – so you have experience with Italian drivers?! They completely ignore signs – any and all signs.

      I hope your computer woes aren’t too dramatic. Sometimes I miss the ‘good old days’ before computers …

      Liked by 1 person

      • No lol I do not ignore signs 🙂 — My spoken Italian is pretty bad, but I think that’s what it means.
        I got a new computer and now I have to get the old stuff into the new one. *sigh* There are worse problems to have, but it’s time I don’t want to spend, ya know? *repeated sigh*


  17. Beautiful pictures! I think the sign implies that somewhere in the door there is actually a driveway for very tiny cars! Ha, ha! Good luck with your technology. It can be very frustrating when those things go awry!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautiful photos! As far as I can tell (with absolutely no Italian) the sign indicates that no blue is allowed. 😉 One assumes other colors are acceptable, however. Fingers crossed for your technological recovery…


  19. Sorry about your computer. Computers are our cognitive prostheses these days, so expect to experience a bit of dementia until it returns from the Geek hospital. As for the sign, I understand there are many motorcycles in Italy. So it could actually mean, this door is not a damn driveway. Great photos!


    • Thanks Bridget ❤
      In spite of the computer from hell, I'm having a pretty decent week. I'm facing tomorrow with a *stiff upper lip* … with a healthy dash of *medicinal* alcohol 😉


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