Living in a world of Home Depot and Ace Hardware aisles stacked with mass-produced gates and grates, it's easy to forget that hardware can make up the character and history of a place. On a trip to Italy last year, we were reminded that something as functional as a window screen can be a work of art.
Used to protect homes from theft and break-ins, iron window screens are a common feature in Italian cities. They're often very old and very beautiful, and each town has it's own specific style.
In Venice, the city of artist-made glass, window screens tend to be ornate. In Bologna, where every street is lined with porticos, window screens are large and arched. In sunny Rome, you see a lot of simple grids and painted shutters covering the city's rectangular windows.
• 1-6) Venice, Italy
• 7) Bologna, Italy
• 8-10) Rome, Italy
Photos: Sarah Coffey