Thursday Doors – June 11, 2020

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). 

Porta Alchemica/The Alchemical Door – Rome

I haven’t had a chance to get out so this week I’m going with another nostalgic look at our last visit to Rome.

Also called the Porta Magica or the Magic Gate, this is the only remaining of 5 ‘special’ doors built into the 1700 century villa Palombara owned by an esoteric Italian nobleman. The once luxurious villa in a now sketchy part of Rome is now in ruins and fenced off from the public, though I have read online that private visits can be arranged with advance notice.

A walk-around of the site allows the visitor to imagine what this place must have been like 350 years ago, with multiple levels and arched entranceways, and grand decorative columns and statues.

Today the crumbling site is left for Rome’s stray cats to enjoy.

How many cats do you see in this shot? Hint: It’s more than you think…

I know a few other door lovers, including Manja, have done posts on this place in the past so instead of repeating the descriptions written elsewhere online I’ll leave you these links here  and here  in case you want to delve into this more deeply.

The general gist is that if the visitor could decipher the alchemists formulas carved into the doorway surround they’d unlock the secret to making gold and also be able to pass through the magic door and gain access to another world.

A nice ghost door also helped to set the esoteric mood during this visit.

This was as close as we could get but you can see that the place must have been quite special in its time.

Reinforcement scaffolding to keep fragile old walls from crumbling

More cats – meow!

And my best shot of the main attraction:

As always, thanks for looking 🙂

Don’t forget to share the link to your Thursday Doors post in the comments section below.

You have until noon eastern North American time on Saturday to add your link.

While you’re here please take a few minutes to visit some of the other Thursday Doors posts shared by our contributors. Just click on a few (or all) of the links you’ll find in the comments below.

Thanks for looking and please stay safe 🙂 

About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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78 Responses to Thursday Doors – June 11, 2020

  1. cool door and cool ghost door.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tgeriatrix says:

    Very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If one falls back, Rome is a good place to go. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I love this. Especially the part about a magic door. I’ll definitely look more into this. I really enjoyed your shots of the ruins. I hope you have a nice peaceful weekend, Norm!

    Here’s my final post (for now) from Venice. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sherry Felix says:

    Fascinating bit of history. The special doorway looks like it should lead to a fairytale universe.
    My little bit of history:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, what a cheerful sight, your Porta Alchemica, Norm. Your last photo is probably the best I’ve seen of this door. When I was there I thought it was closed because it was the day after Christmas. Still have to return to Rome after all this. It seems I’ll reach Slovenia before I do Rome.

    Today it’s part 5 of my Vitorchiano series. It will end next week. Thank you for your patience. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks for the kind words about my last shot. Though I hate to carry it around because of the extra bulk and weight, a decent telephoto lens can come in handy sometimes 😉
      Hopefully if you plan it in advance for your next visit to Rome maybe you can try visiting the site when the guided tour is available.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember seeing this when I was there some years ago. You got a great shot of the Magic Gate, Norm. Rome is so full of ancient history you would need at least a week to see all of it. We only had a few days but we crammed in as much as possible. Here’s my old buildings this week, thanks, not quite as old as yours, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a fantastic post! I’ve never heard of the Magic Gate, but your pictures make me want to visit the area. As always, I appreciate your commentary of the places you visit. Thursday Doors is a treat!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Flavia Vinci says:

    I know very well the places that you’ve posted this week, Norm and I will join you with some other doors, always from the Eternal City >

    Liked by 2 people

  10. dennyho says:

    Five cats? I’m stretching this but think I see one hiding in the grass. This structure is still beautiful and I’m going to Google right now to read more about it. Fascinated by the bit of history you’ve shared here. Happy Thursday!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been to Rome so these bring back memories. Here’s my entry

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for the Roman tour, Norm. I still haven’t been to that city and would like to do so after seeing your beautiful doorscurion photos. I hope the COVID-19 pandemic does not alter the landscape in all of these countries and cities but I fear we may not see what was once before.

    Here is the landscape from my recent visit before the COVID-19 pandemic:

    Liked by 1 person

  13. DrJunieper says:

    These ruins are a beautiful reminder of a different time. Love your captures. The one I like most is the whole view, looking up, from behind the fence. Love the grass beginning to grow on the stone. The arched screen door must have been unusual in its time. The last seems to be catered to the size of the people in those days. Thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ally Bean says:

    What an interesting place to visit. Your photos suggest just the right amount of decay to make for cat comfort. In answer to your question I see three cats, btw. There are more though, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. susurrus says:

    What a great door! In the ancient parts of Rome you get a strong sense that the years have not changed us as much as we imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Librarylady says:

    Rome never ceases to amaze me. Being in the midst of those ancient buildings was a life-changing travel experience. Thanks for sharing a part of the area that I missed. Here’s my latest doors!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Photographias says:

    I’d love to go to Rome. Maybe someday…
    Here is mine:

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The old ruins remind us that we are here only for a blip of time, so many before us and many will be after us. That is an interesting place

    Liked by 1 person

  19. slfinnell says:

    To step back in time just for a look-see would be pretty great!
    My link:

    Liked by 1 person

  20. KFBuchsbaum says:

    Cats and doors – both hard to ignore!
    Here is a look back at some of my favs by Gaudi:

    Liked by 1 person

  21. lulu says:

    Rome, in fact all of Italy, has some pretty wonderful doors. I’m especially drawn to those with door knockers cast in a multitude of designs. It’s always fun to share our doors: with

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks. Yes Rome is a treasure trove of gorgeous old doors.
      By the way, your link takes me to a previous post that was already shared back in April. Is this an error? Do you have a new post to share?


  22. marianallen says:

    That place is fantastic, in every good sense of the word! Thanks for the virtual tour. 🙂 My post today is the second of three featuring one of my ancestral spots.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Love the black kitty. OK I know, I’m supposed to be looking at the doors!

    Sharing with you this week another adventure from the ‘Doors Open Denver’ program, at the Old Telephone company building, which still houses electronic equipment for the current phone company:

    Liked by 1 person

  24. That special door IS quite special. Just another little home, right? 🙂 I’m heading back to Philadelphia (virtually) this week. As always, thanks for opening the door to all this fun each week.


    Liked by 1 person

  25. scooj says:

    Ah – those ruins, the cats, the doors, Rome! Bravo!

    More street art doors this week:

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Teresa says:

    Loving that small arched door the best. Of course with the cat. Here is mine

    Liked by 1 person

  27. China Dream says:

    Norm ! 2nd and last picture.. Love love love..!! here is mine for today

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Joanne Sisco says:

    Oh my! This is quite the place. It does make me want to go inside and explore.

    Interesting how you mentioned the magic door to another world. That is exactly the gist of a book I’m currently reading called The Ten Thousand Doors of January. They are doorways in the world that lead to ‘elsewhere’. I’m still in the early stages of the story and I’m completely hooked. To think that I missed seeing one of these magic doors in Rome kinda makes me sad 😏 What a great find!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Joanne. As usual it was Louise who did the scouting and research that found this place using one of her websites for interesting/uncommon places to visit. If we ever go back I’d try to plan it to take the guided tour.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. That’s one thing I remember from my visit to Rome many years ago was the number of stray cats hanging around the Colosseum. Here’s mine for this week: 2 doors that are integral parts of a vibrant mural on the side wall of the Bucks Head pub in Camden, London –

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Dan Antion says:

    This is both beautiful and sad, Norm. You captured the spirit of what once must have been a remarkable place. And, in these restricted times, who wouldn’t want the chance to go through a magic door. I hope the reinforcement means that someone is interested in preserving this structure. Makes you wish you were a cat.

    Thanks again for hosting Thursday Doors. My contribution is from Hartford, CT (but only from 120 years ago) –

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you Dan. What made it sadder was that it’s in a really run down neighborhood that I wouldn’t be too comfortable hanging around in after dark. At it’s peak though, it must have been a spectacular place to see.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Magic Doors, Norm? Interesting post. I am still at the seaside, taking pictures of beach huts.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Fascinating. I enjoyed this.
    I have gone to Northern Portugal this week…

    Liked by 1 person

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