Monday, November 30, 2009

Four Seasons

Quattro Stagioni, Four Seasons  kindergarten, corso Amedeo, LivornoWe have already seen four busts representing the seasons on the facade of the Palace of the Marble Columns, in the quarter of New Venice.Quattro Stagioni, Four Seasons  kindergarten, corso Amedeo, LivornoAnother set, this time of full figure statues, decorates a villa built around 1920 in “Corso Amedeo”. The building is now used as a kindergarten, obviously called “Quattro Stagioni” (Four Seasons).Quattro Stagioni, Four Seasons  kindergarten, corso Amedeo, LivornoQuattro Stagioni, Four Seasons  kindergarten, corso Amedeo, LivornoAs in “Via Borra” Spring and Summer are depicted as ladies, while Autumn and Winter are kindly reserved to men.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Red Ripper

Red cat ripping a scooter seat, LivornoI found the Red Ripper comfortably nestled on this scooter, then he arose and began to scratch the already damaged seat.Red cat ripping a scooter seat, LivornoSinking his claws with gusto in the padding ...Red cat ripping a scooter seat, Livorno... then asking for forgiveness from the wounded scooter.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Anno 1858

Mascaron with lion biting a scroll, via Roma, Livorno“Anno” is the Italian for year, so any doubt about the age of this “palazzo” is cleared by this hungry lion, guarding its entrance.Building at the corner of via Marradi with via Roma, LivornoThis remarkable building faces “Piazza Attias” with its short front, with one facade on “Via Marradi”, on the left, and another on “Via Roma”. Amedeo Modigliani's birthplace, now a museum, is just opposite the lion, in “Via Roma”. At the end of the same street you can see our only skyscraper, which is perhaps a mere high-rise.Vintage postcard, building at the corner of via Marradi with via Roma, LivornoThe hungry lion is not alone, because both facades are decorated with many strange figures, but we'll see this another time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

On Top

Skylight on the roof of the Central Market, LivornoThis is the skylight of the “Mercato Centrale” and the guy in white coveralls, safety belts and mask, is walking on top of it wielding a power tool. In foreground one of the lightning rods of the building.Skylight on the roof of the Central Market, LivornoProbably they are fixing some of the Eternit boards of the roof, hence the protective gear, necessary to handle and cut this stuff.Crane, scali Saffi, Central Market, LivornoThe huge crane almost uses all the width of the “Scali Saffi”.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ordinary Day

Fishing boat, port of LivornoThis fishing boat entering port with a lot of company around.Mega Express Four ferry, port of LivornoThe “Mega Express Four”, erupting black smoke, ready to leave.Dockworker, port of LivornoAn “ormeggiatore” freeing a mooring line from a bollard.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fancy Plaques

Labroarte Ceramiche plaque, LivornoThis “Labroarte Ceramica” (Labronic Art Ceramics) plaque is an interesting starting point for a post just because of that “Labro” prefix. We have already seen that “Labronic” is a more emphatic form used for a library or an academy, while “Livornese” is for everyday use.
The four towers shown in the plaque are quite important in the history of Livorno. From left to right: the “Torre del Marzocco” (Marzocco tower), the “Mastio di Matilde” (Matilda's Keep), the “Torre della Meloria” (Meloria tower) and the “Fanale dei Pisani” (Pisans' Beacon). These are the last still standing of many more.Hairdresser for man and woman, plaque, LivornoNot far, another fancy sign: “Hairdresser for man and woman - Donati Sabrina's - No lunch pause”.Plaque: Mood, weather and money could affect the opening hours of this shop, LivornoLast but not least this funny disclaimer: “Mood, weather and money could affect the opening hours of this shop! Excuse me”.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two Squares

During another short Sunday walk I passed “Piazza XX Settembre”, which is going to look soon like a normal square: it has been repaved and some benches have been placed under the trees.“Mutui” is the Italian word for mortgages, I know that appearance isn't everything but I would be wary about asking something here.In “Piazza della Repubblica” the ice rink is ready and open. The first timid skaters are trying the ice, quite desert in the early Sunday afternoon.Around the ice rink stalls as “Le Gru Giganti” (The Giant Cranes) and “Dolce e Salato” are ready to amuse and feed the crowd. Now, they are just waiting. Then I went on YouTube and found this, I hope cieldequimper and everybody else would like it:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ponte della Venezia

Ponte della Venezia, Bridge of the Venice quarter, LivornoThis is not a beauty and it was obviously rebuilt after the last war. You probably will be somewhat familiar with the colorful houses on the right from the post “Venetian Windows” and the view beyond the bridge is almost the same as in “Scali delle Barchette”.Ponte della Venezia, Bridge of the Venice quarter, LivornoThe usual old postcard shows us the three-arched bridge as it was about a century ago, seen from the “Scali del Ponte di Marmo”.Ponte della Venezia, Bridge of the Venice quarter, LivornoNot so usual is a 1785 print by the painter Giuseppe Maria Terreni (Livorno, 1739-1811) who realized eighteen views of his home town, much appreciated by the then Gran Duke Pietro Leopoldo. We have already seen another of these prints in “Chamber of Commerce”. The caption under the drawing says: “View of the New Venice from the great bridge”.Ponte della Venezia, Bridge of the Venice quarter, LivornoThe last image, of the other side of the bridge, is taken from the “Scali delle Ancore”.

See also: Ponte di Marmo - Ponte dei Domenicani - Ponte di San Giovanni - Ponte dell'Angiolo - Ponte del Luogo Pio

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Balustrades, Terrazza Mascagni, LivornoWith the tiles come the sinuous balustrades sneaking around the Gazebo and, when the sea is rougher, often sprayed by the waves.Balustrades, Terrazza Mascagni, LivornoThe southern end of the “Terrazza Mascagni” seems to lead you toward the “Grand Hotel Palazzo”, the magnificent 19th Century hotel recently restored to a five-star splendor.Balustrades, Terrazza Mascagni, LivornoOne of the shortest curl of balustrade, at the South end of the promenade. This is not far from the “Love Padlocks” and the church of “San Jacopo in Acquaviva” is just a short walk away.

Search labels: Terrazza Mascagni
See also: Terrazza Mascagni - Tiles - Whitecaps - At the “Terrazza” - Saint Sylvester - Theme Day: Postcard-worthy - Beyond the Balustrade

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Tiles, Terrazza Mascagni, LivornoYou could play endless perspective games with the black and white tiles of the checkered pavement of the “Terrazza Mascagni”.Tiles, Terrazza Mascagni, LivornoIn this view toward North we can see in background some cranes of the port and, in the middle, the building of the Aquarium, still closed because subject to a never ending restoration process.Tiles, Terrazza Mascagni, LivornoSome smart kids recently sprayed a lot of these tiles with love messages. The cleaning bill will amount to thousands of euro.

Search labels: Terrazza Mascagni
See also: Terrazza Mascagni - Balustrades - Whitecaps - At the “Terrazza” - Saint Sylvester - Theme Day: Postcard-worthy - Beyond the Balustrade

Friday, November 20, 2009

Antonio Benci School

Antonio Benci elementary school, LivornoThe “Antonio Benci” elementary school faces the “Fosso Reale”, opposite the “Mercato Centrale” and just a block east from the “Abandoned Church”. Angiolo Badaloni, the same architect of the market, designed this imposing building, inaugurated in 1893. At first, the three levels of the building hosted different schools: an elementary school for boys, a separate one for girls and a technical school.Antonio Benci elementary school, LivornoThe head of Minerva, with her little owl, above the main entrance on the “Fosso Reale”, now seldom used. This side of the school is the one so loved by pigeons as in the post “Sunday & Saturday”.Antonio Benci elementary school, LivornoNowadays the elementary school shares the building only with a kindergarten, here its colorful entrance in “Via Bernardina”. On Thursday nights the “Società di Danza”(Dance Society) meets in the gym of the school for lessons and training. We have seen them dancing in “Shall We Dance?” and “Balliamo?”.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

White Sea

White Sea, IMO 9006291, port of LivornoAs you can see from the mangled superstructure the “White Sea” had some bad encounter. She was leaving port in the early morning of November 5, the same day of my posts “Rough Sea” and “Lisbon Express”, when she lost power and crashed on the tetrapods of the “Curvilinea”. She was rescued and towed back inside the port by the effort of a pilot and two tugboats.White Sea, IMO 9006291, port of LivornoFour days after, the “White Sea” has just entered the smaller “Bacino di carenaggio” (dry dock), which we see still full of water.White Sea, IMO 9006291, port of LivornoAnother day has passed and, sitting on the bottom of the dry dock, the ship awaits all the repairs she needs. Yesterday morning she was still there and works were in progress.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ponte dei Domenicani

Ponte dei Domenicani, Blackfriars Bridge, LivornoAt the other end of “Via Borra” we find the “Ponte dei Domenicani” (Blackfriars Bridge). Straight ahead we can see the tree topped “Fortezza Nuova”, on the right we have the buldings of the “Palazzo di Giustizia” (Courthouse). On a lighter tone, the tiny “Microcirco” was just in front of the very pink building on the left.Ponte dei Domenicani, Blackfriars Bridge, LivornoApparently not much different from the “Ponte di Marmo”, this bridge takes its name from the nearby church and a former convent, later used as a prison, of the Dominicans.Ponte dei Domenicani, Blackfriars Bridge, LivornoOn the other side of the bridge we find the polygonal dome of the church of “Santa Caterina” with its raw facade.Ponte dei Domenicani, Blackfriars Bridge, LivornoDue to a new structure below the parapet of the canal, I wasn't able to match more closely the above image with the usual century-old postcard. You can clearly see that the bridge was rebuilt.

See also: Ponte di Marmo - Ponte della Venezia - Ponte di San Giovanni - Ponte dell'Angiolo - Ponte del Luogo Pio

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Low-Cost Lamp Post

Lamp post, Livorno“Piazza della Vittoria” was completely refurbished a few years ago with fine lawns, new benches, a zone reserved for dogs and some elegant old fashioned streetlights.Low-cost lamp posts, LivornoBut something strange is happening to these lights: an unknown hand is replacing the ornate posts with galvanized iron pipes and the lanterns with transparent globes.Lamp post base, LivornoLow-cost lamp post base, LivornoEroded by rust, a few years are already too much for many of the original posts, hence several have been replaced with the pipes. Budget restraints, lack of spare parts or a new no-frills style?

See also: Temporary Forever

Monday, November 16, 2009

Looking for the Sun

This Sunday the sun was nowhere to be seen, so I spent my afternoon walk in search of it. I didn't find the real one but at least caught some images of it. On the window of a tanning center...Another sun center, “La baia del sole” (The bay of the sun), many shining suns on its window either.
“Tende da sole” (sun awnings) has a smiling sun sporting shades.One more sun shines on the painted lawn of an Internet point.The last sun I saw was behind a trident on a damaged mosaic. So, looking for the sun, I found the sea either!