Thursday Doors 20/5/21: Janua Coeli Monastery

And so, by happenstance and without any hardship, I find Heaven’s Gate.









Just one door today but it comes with a story.

If anybody asks, Heaven’s Gate – or Janua Coeli in Latin – is situated just outside Sorano in the very south of Tuscany.

As I was studying Google Maps to plan my Sunday birthday trip, this little monastery not far from the main road caught my eye. I clicked on its fully unfamiliar name, not knowing what it meant since my Latin is non-existent, and one glimpse at its door convinced me that we must indeed make it one of our stops.

As we parked and got out of the car, I spotted a nun in front of the door with the back to us. At the same time we could hear a high-pitched mechanical whirring sound which bestia didn’t agree with at all. That’s when I saw the UFO hovering just inside the monastery. The nun soon followed it inside and I was brave enough to approach. Amore laughed at my apprehension and said that nuns were just the same as us, no need to be afraid.

The same? I have yet to see a drone from up close.

As I was clicking at the half-opened door and reading its claim that it was indeed a door, the young nun returned and apologized that they needed to close it. How exceptional, I thought. Just my wish.

I clicked some more at the beautiful, now fully closed door but nobody came out and we didn’t even think of going in. I’m still too young.

In other news, this coming Sunday is an open-door day and a number of villas and castles all over Italy open their doors to the public for free. I have three garden tours booked near Siena. Hurrah!

And if you ask amore, who is a HUGE fan of the San Remo winners who compete for Italy, it might just be that the nation will celebrate their Eurovision Song Contest victory on Saturday night. But every year the buzz is similar and then – the last time Italy was second… As for Slovenia, it’s out already so no pressure.

Another thing is that today I start a new tradition: at look at my blogging history. Seeing that all my previous blogs are still up intact, at the end of each post I will link to one or more posts that appeared on the same day in one of my seven years of blogging on one of my five blogs. I started with this habit during the poetry month. I like it and hope you will too.

And now finally Heaven’s Gate awaits. Here you have it, nine minutes of my birthday, between lunch in Pitigliano and the Sorano fortress as showed in previous posts. And what a glorious birthday it was.

For Thursday Doors challenge hosted by Dan at No Facilities

This day in my blogging history

55 thoughts on “Thursday Doors 20/5/21: Janua Coeli Monastery

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this marvelous door with us, Manja. The carved panels are lovely and so very special. I love the photos. You picked a great way to celebrate. Thanks, too, for the look back. I’m glad the older blogs are still in tact.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, yet another amazing discovery. I love the carved panels in that door; such artistry.
    Looks like you had a wonderful birthday of exploring. It’s good to see life there is slowly easing back to something resembling ‘normal’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nooorm! So good to see you here again! Oh yes, after half a year I went to some place new. It was just in time too, I was in fear of my mental health. Probably better that it was raining or I’d take too many photos. I hope you are both well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ๐Ÿ˜ Beautiful pictures! Oh, are you gonna partecipate to the Giornate Fai di Primavera? I used to be a member of FAI, and I loved this initiative!

    Haha, no way we are gonna win Eurovision…and honestly? I don’t even care, not having to organize the following year’s edition is actually a plus, HAHA! For me the most important thing is promoting abroad the Italian artists that partecipate, whom, otherwise, wouldn’t have a chance to have a foreign following!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sara! Not silly, not to win to save the costs. ๐Ÿ˜€

      I know there are several open-door days around here, last weekend was also one and it included Castello di Sammezzano near Florence, usually not open for the public, which is amazing and was the first on my list before I even moved to Italy. But I saw this too late and it was all booked by then. :p If you still know anybody at FAI and if they can help – I would really appreciate to be able to visit it!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      This coming one is organised by ADSI. Here is the list of all locations:


  4. A stunning choice of door!!! A work of art. What an opportune photo with the nun poised to go in, I love it โค

    I thought of you this morning because I had a poetry workshop and it started with a 5 minutes free write about doors!! ๐Ÿ˜€ She showed us a whole collage of doors and I thought if only Manja could see this spectacle!

    By the way, your photos are exquisite. The collection of reflections is my favourite. I love how the gentleman's head is popping up in the middle of the composition with his hat reflected in the water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sunra. Can you see the drone? She was testing it. What a strange sight that was!

      I’m really glad to be thought of in connection to doors. ๐Ÿ™‚ Did you write any poems about them? I’d be happy to read it. And I’m glad that you like my photos. That is my uncle with the hat, but it’s not the water. The reflection is off the car roof. ๐Ÿ˜‰


      1. You have an excellent eye for a photo. They are both money shots, especially the reflection one, exquisite๐Ÿ‘Œ I write some garbled insights that I haven’t unravelled ๐Ÿ˜„ If it becomes a poem later on, I shall certainly share it. ๐Ÿ’›โ˜€๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great portal! It reminds me of Pisa. What was up with that nun and the drone? Inspecting the roof? Or just playing? I loved the stained glass window and the flashback pictures. โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marian. ๐Ÿ™‚ I couldn’t say what she was up to as she and the drone disappeared inside and then she closed the door. I’d say she was testing it. It was just so unexpected. I was really glad to find this place to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful door! It’s a Bible lesson in wood. It looks to me like it’s not very old but it is beautifully carved. The photo of the nun and the drone is quite bizarre; what a photo opportunity!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I loved your door. We have an open doors day here in Bristol as well. It is usually in September but I am glad they closed the door for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such an amazing door! Your story is beautifully illustrated with all your pictures. I love the idea of revisiting your old blogs. As for Eurovision, Italy is my favourite but I have my doubts it will win, which is a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Manja a perfect birthday discovery for you! Close, accessible, interesting, and gorgeous. The door is stunning. I could have spent so much time there, as I can tell you did. How lucky to have the nun come and close the door for you, ha ha! Did you have any guesses at what the drone was doing? Possibly broadcasting a service for Internet viewers? I was very excited to be able to read some of the door, now that I’m beginning to learn some Italian words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo, brava – which you now know means good girl. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually, as I say in this post, I spent only 9 minutes here since there was no path around the building, for example, and after I took this many photos we continued to the Sorano fortress from my post from three days ago. This was just a perfect but brief door stop. The drone disappeared inside with the nun and there is no knowing that it was up to but my guess is that she was testing it. Thanks, Crystal!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a wonderful door, such details!! And that nun with the drone is priceless!

    Am jealous of your garden tours๐Ÿ™‚. Things are opening up here too. Gotta get out there too๐Ÿ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Romanaaa, so nice to see you come over! I hope May has been good to you. I started doing these throwbacks to my old posts. It’s been quite interesting. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I realised what she was doing. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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