I adore the colors of Italy: the myriad shades of terra cotta and ochre (from pale pastel yellow to intense rich coral), the greens (from mint to olive). It’s as though the crumbling architecture is enhanced by the colors.
I’ve been back for a few weeks from a recent trip to Italy. While editing my photos, I noticed a recurring theme – the wonderful colors of the buildings. In fact, if I had to use one word to describe this trip, I’d say: colorful!
Ever wonder about those colors? Where they came from? And how is it that today, even the newer buildings are painted in the same or similar colors? The answer is pretty simple – mineral oxides and plant pigments. I am not suggesting that exterior paint is still made from mineral oxides, but in Italy, the tradition of painting exteriors in earth-based colors has remained.
One night a friend took me for a drive in the wine country, the Oltrepo Pavese, and we pulled over so I could photograph this electric coral house. Many modern homes and public buildings are painted in more vivid versions of the original mineral oxide-based colors. Even though it’s a bit surreal, I think it’s fantastic. Color makes me happy.
These photos were taken in some of the small cities I visited, and in the countryside, in Lombardia, a region in northwest Italy. Most buildings also have balconies filled with flower pots, drawing your eyes upward and adding to the kaleidoscope of colors.
Maybe those colors were inspired by gelato?