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These highly stylised
tethering rings are for
holding horses' reins.  
The two above are in
Gubbio.  The one on
the far right - which
doubles as a flag
holder - is in Perugia,
this one is in Pisa and
the two below are in
Montepulciano (left)
and Assisi
There are lots of quirky and unusual details to catch the eye in Italy, and in "Diversions" we have begun
to capture some of the best examples that we have spotted so far in the area around Mazzaforte.
Politically, Umbria has long been a stronghold of the left.  Together with
Toscana, Marche and Emilia Romagna, the region forms the famous "red
quadrilateral" of Italian politics.  In 2006 this bloc delivered the critical
electoral support that helped Romano Prodi's L'Unione coalition form a
short-lived and spectacularly incompetent government.

Today, even though the persistent shower of EU largesse may have
dimmed the flames of revolutionary ardour to the point where in fact:

"The people's flag is palest pink,
It's not a red as you might think."

The area is still festooned with street names honouring the deities of the
far left and commemorating various struggles and causes, some more
obscure than others.  Click on the image above to access a collection of
particular favourites.  
Neat detailing above
the stone window
frames on the town
hall in Umbertide.
Battente
Street names
Diversions
"battente"  - are a big thing
in Italy.  Click on the image
on the right to go to a
collection of some of the
most interesting examples
from Umbrian and Tuscan
towns in the area around
Mazzaforte: