Perugia, La Via Appia

This gate frames a lovely vista from a hilltop looking out over another hill. The view would still be unusually attractive even without the gate, but the addition of the gate turns this view into a work of art.

Note that from a distance, the houses appear almost as a jumble, scattered apparently at random across the hillside. Almost without a doubt, however, the arrangement of the streets, and the houses that front on them, is anything but random. Rather, the paths of the streets is almost certainly governed by minor features in the topography.

In San Francisco, most areas of the city were platted in accordance with a rigid grid pattern superimposed without apparent regard for the topography. This results in some exceptionally steep streets (I used to live on one) that impose needless dangers on daily life (a contractor was killed by his own runaway truck on my street). While the grid arrangement does make form some attractive long views from the hilltops, I can't think of any view in San Francisco that rivals this one. It seems entirely appropriate that someone chose this particular view to frame with a gate.

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