The gates that lead to the entrances of Santorini houses are like lipstick on a woman – enticing! They tease you with a view. Sometimes it’s a path to the front door, but it’s just as likely to be a prelude to something else … often steps that wind up the cliff!
My favorites are the gates that appear to hang in mid air with nothing but sky and sea beyond. They harbor the steps that plunge down the hillside to a house tucked under the pathway you’re standing on.
Although the courtyards inside the gates are beautiful, they’re also quite practical. That’s often where the cistern is. Santorini has a very long history of self-sufficiency, and one of the most important basics is water. On a volcanic island, that’s tough to come by. There are only a few springs on the island, and very little rainfall. Consequently, every house has a cistern for water collection and storage … usually just inside these gates.
Most of all, I think these gates are there to keep out the unpredictable stray donkey!
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Peace and Love,