The unexpected beauty of a humble and versatile stone!
Walking through Rapallo’s caruggi, one can admire some beautiful slate portals dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. The tradition of decorating entrances with bas-reliefs depicting biblical scenes, heroic medallions and religious symbols became widespread when many of the medieval loggias, which used to be located on the ground floor of buildings, were replaced in favour of atriums and staircases. Slate, mined in the nearby Val Fontanabuona, was used for roofs, thresholds, stairs, windowsills, blackboards, billiard tables and ciappe for cooking food, as well as for portals.
Interesting fact: The mining and trade of slate was such an important resource for the people of the interior that the stone, in the quarries, was affectionately called ‘the sleeping bread’.