Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

God Loves You

God loves you sign, Sant'Agostino church, piazza Aldo Moro, Livorno
A “Dio ama te” (God loves you) banner on the façade of the church of Sant'Agostino in piazza Aldo Moro. I can't really say about the message, but the two images on the sides represent the painting “Christ Crowned with Thorns” by Fra Angelico and the “Madonna of Montenero” altarpiece by Jacopo di Michele, called Gera, of the Pisan School. The first is in a chapel of our Cathedral, the second belongs to the Sanctuary of St Mary of Grace in Montenero.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mega Express Two

Corsica Ferries Sardinia Ferries, Mega Express Two, IMO 9203186, Livorno
The “Mega Express Two” ferry was practically the last ship built in Livorno the Orlando Shipyard, which closed with a heavy financial loss in 2002. What I truly admire in these ships is the real effort at creativity: they are all painted in the same bright yellow and their names go on as Mega Express (Number up to five).
Corsica Ferries Sardinia Ferries, Mega Express Two, IMO 9203186, Livorno
The panoramic stern staircase, a characteristic shared with the sister ship “Mega Express”.

Search labels: ferry

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ghost Bike

Basta morti sulla strada, stop road deaths, ghost bike, piazza del Municipio, Livorno
These white bikes are called ‘ghost bikes’ and are intended as memorials for bicyclists killed or hit on the street. I saw my first one four years ago in New York City and I was quite impressed by the idea. The sign says “Basta morti sulla strada” (Stop road deaths) and the bicycle is locked at the rack of the Palazzo Granducale, just opposite Town Hall. By the way, please note the thriving weeds all around the place...

External links: Ghost bike (Wikipedia)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Napoleon in Livorno

Napoleon-related plaque on a house in via Garibaldi, LivornoPlaque on a building in “Via Garibaldi”, which was then “Borgo Reale”:

In questa casa già proprietà Perier poi Fabbri
il 27 giugno 1796 avvenne lo storico incontro
di Napoleone Bonaparte Generale
con Francesco Spannocchi Piccolomini
governatore di Livorno

Dicembre 1971
150° anno della morte di Napoleone
(In this house owned by Perier, then Fabbri
On June 27th, 1796 took place the historical encounter
between the General Napoleone Bonaparte
and Francesco Spannocchi Piccolomini
governor of Livorno

December 1971
150th anniversary of Napoleon's death)

Napoleon-related plaque on a house in via Garibaldi, LivornoIt wasn't a friendly meeting: the General was quite rude with Spannocchi Piccolomini, accusing him of being a friend of Great Britain (which was probably true) and quickly divesting the Governor of any power.
Napoleone meets Governor Spannocchi-Piccolomini, Livorno
The encounter of Napoleon with Governor Spannocchi Piccolomini in a print of the time.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gelateria Sportiva

Vintage postcard, Amleto Damiani's Gelateria Sportiva, via Goldoni, Livorno
The façade of the renowned Amleto Damiani's Gelateria Sportiva (Sports Ice Cream Parlor) in via Goldoni.
Vintage postcard, Amleto Damiani's Gelateria Sportiva, via Goldoni, Livorno
The lab of the ice cream maker. His granddaughter still owns a nearby gelateria.

(Postcards digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)

See also: The Bewitched Apple - Five Tables, Twenty Chairs

Saturday, November 24, 2012

School with a Tower

The tower of the former villa which now hosts the Dal Borro elementary school, via Montebello, Livorno
The tower of the former villa which now hosts the “Dal Borro” elementary school in “Via Montebello”.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Juicy Salif

Juicy Salif, a lemon squeezer designed by Philippe StarckJuicy Salif”, the legendary lemon squeezer designed by Philippe Starck in 1990, which ended up on display at Museum of Modern Art of New York.La conica, an espresso coffee maker designed by Aldo Rossi“La conica” an espresso coffee maker designed in the early 1980s by the Italian architect Aldo Rossi. Both objects are made by Alessi and I caught them in a shop window in “Via Marradi”.

External links: Juicy Salif - Philippe Starck - Museum of Modern Art - Aldo Rossi - Alessi (Wikipedia) - Juicy Salif - La conica (Alessi)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sea Cleaning Boat

Labromare sea cleaning boat Eupontos 3, port of Livorno
Less glamorous than luxury yachts and cruise ships, the sea cleaning boat “Eupontos 3” is at work inside the “Porto Mediceo”. (Picture taken last September)

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends!

External links: Labromare (in Italian)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Five-Thousand-Euro Bicycles

Bike sharing station, piazza Cavour, Livorno
The Municipality has just spent 127.000 Euro for four bike sharing stations and a total of 24 bicycles: it is not too difficult to calculate their cost at 5.290 Euro each. Let us hope that these bikes will not be stolen or damaged beyond repair in a short time...

See also: Waste of Money - Bike Sharing - A Diabolical Endeavour

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blue and Blue

Blue awning and blue car, beauty salon, via Demi, Livorno
Beauty salon in “Via Demi”, with a blue awning and a tiny blue car.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Inside the Cathedral

Interior of the Cathedral, Livorno
The interior of the “Duomo”, rebuilt after its almost total destruction during the war, has a relatively simple and modern appearance.
Interior of the Cathedral, Livorno
The boxlike space is graced by the surviving pieces of the old cathedral recovered from the ruins and by the artworks which were stored elsewhere for safekeeping during wartime.
Interior of the Cathedral, Livorno
The “altare maggiore” (major altar) seen from the transept. On the exterior of the apse once stood the “Fontana del Duomo” (Cathedral's Fountain).

See also : Duomo di Livorno - Around the Duomo - Via Cairoli - After the Snow - Fontana del Duomo

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Castle on the Coast

Castello del Boccale, Antignano, Livorno
A view from the sea of the “Castello del Boccale” in 1907.
Castello del Boccale, Antignano, Livorno
Another angle on the same castle in 1939.

(Postcards digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)
See also:

Castello del BoccaleTorre di CalafuriaCalignaia Castel Sonnino

Saturday, November 17, 2012

At the End of the Road

Cruise ship Crystal Serenity, IMO 9243667, port of Livorno
At the end of the road there was a mighty tower, all lit up by the warm early morning light: her name was “Crystal Serenity”.

Search labels: cruise ship

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Amid the Scrawls

Love poem on a wall, via Gramsci, Livorno
In Italian “pasta” is also pastry or paste, and “pasta d'uomo” means literally a man so easygoing as he is made of dough. In this case the writer plays on the double meaning, calling her is 'his condiment'.

È la mia musica l'unica che capisce
Sono una pasta d'uomo lei mi condisce

(She) is the only one to understand my music
I am an easygoing man, she is my condiment

A 'minority' interpretation would be instead:

Only my music understands me
I am an easygoing man, (my music) is my condiment

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Budded Cosses

Budded crosses, church of San Benedetto, LivornoTwo different types of budded crosses, with rays of light, on the church of San Benedetto in “Piazza XX Settembre”. (Picture taken last August)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sunken Boat

Salvaging a sunken boat, Fosso Reale, Livorno
Last Sunday's torrential rains caused a lot of damage and floods in Tuscany and elsewhere.
Salvaging a sunken boat, Fosso Reale, Livorno
These guys are trying to salvage a boat sunk by the heavy rain in the “Fosso Reale”.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tactile Paths

Tactile routes, via Cairoli, Livorno
The installation of tactile routes is almost complete on the sidewalks of “Via Cairoli”. These modular tiles are coded with the Loges system: you have to follow the lines, with the buttons marking the danger. It would in theory make movement easier for people with impaired vision. We already have this kind of tiles in “Via Magenta” and you can see and feel them with your feet on many platforms in railway stations.
Tactile routes, via Cairoli, Livorno
Provided that they will stay clear of cars and scooters, my only doubt about these routes is that they are not very straight, changing direction quite often.
Tactile routes, via Cairoli, Livorno
Around obstacles the pattern of the tiles gets sometimes quite complicated. Some of our brightest minds already use these as bike paths.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Separate Entrances

Le Acque della Salute, Waters of Health, old postcard, Livorno
The main entrance of “Le Acque della Salute” (The Waters of Health) thermal baths.
Le Acque della Salute, Waters of Health, old postcard, Livorno
The entrance to the working-class section of the spas.
(1905 postcards digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)

Search labels: spa - postcard
See also: The Waters of Health - In Presence of the King
External links: Social class - Social class in the United States (Wikipedia)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Building on the Rampart

Palazzo di Francesco, Canaviglia bastion, Fortezza Vecchia, Old Fortress, LivornoThe “Canaviglia” bastion of the “Fortezza Vecchia” (Old Fortress) seen from the Capitaneria pier of the “Porto Mediceo”. The building on top of the rampart is the “Palazzo di Francesco”, built by Francesco I de' Medici. Just behind it we can see the “Mastio di Matilde”, which was the keep of the fortress. On the right, in background, the bell tower of “San Ferdinando”. (Picture taken last August)

See also: Fortezza Vecchia - Canaviglia - Palazzo di Francesco - Mastio di Matilde - San Ferdinando
Search labels: Fortezza Vecchia
External links: Francesco I de' Medici (Wikipedia)

Friday, November 9, 2012


Quincaillerie boutique sign, via Gamerra, LivornoA detail of the unusual sign of “Quincaillerie”, a women's fashion shop in “Via Gamerra”.
Quincaillerie boutique sign, via Gamerra, LivornoIn French, for what I know, a quincaillerie is a hardware store.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jeanne Hébuterne

Jeanne Hébuterne mural, corso Amedeo, Livorno
Jeanne Hébuterne (à la Modigliani) on a wall in “Corso Amedeo”, sadly already painted over...

See also: Modigliani's Tomb
External links: Jeanne Hébuterne
Search labels: Modigliani

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Divers boat, port of LivornoWe have already seen this boat in one of our first posts, then we saw it at work in another one.Divers boat, port of LivornoIn these pictures, taken last April, the diver was recovering the buoys after the Trofeo D'Alesio 2012.

See also: Cartoon Boat - Surfing & Working - Trofeo D'Alesio 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On the Road

Scooter parked outside the Kino Dessé, Livorno
On the Road” movie poster and a scooter outside the “Kino Dessé” (formerly Gragnani), “Via dell'Angiolo”.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Church of San Sebastiano

Church of San Sebastiano, Saint Sebastian, LivornoThe quite simple facade of the church of “San Sebastiano”, with the statues of Saints Stephen and Saint Lawrence. It was built after the plague epidemic of 1632, by the architect Francesco Cantagallina, in honor of Saint Sebastian, the protector of the plague victims. The new church was entrusted to the Barnabite fathers who also organized a school with an impressive library which reached 5500 volumes.Statue of San Lorenzo, Saint Lawrence, outside the Saint Sebastian church, LivornoThe statue of San Lorenzo (Lawrence of Rome) on the right of the entrance. We have already posted an image of the statue of Saint Stephen, on the other side.

See also: Saint Stephen
External links: Barnabites - Lawrence of Rome (Wikipedia)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cristoforo Colombo

Cristoforo Colombo sailing shipThe “Cristoforo Colombo” was launched on April 4, 1928, at the “Regio Cantiere Navale” (Royal Shipyard) in Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples. She was the sister-ship of the “Amerigo Vespucci”: the vessels were almost twins, with some minor differences regarding the propulsion and the placement of the masts.
Cristoforo Colombo sailing shipThe figurehead at the bow, representing Cristopher Columbus, is now at the “Museo Tecnico Navale” (Technical Naval Museum) in La Spezia.Cristoforo Colombo sailing shipIn 1949 the ship was handed over to the Soviet Union as war damage compensation. Renamed “Dunay” (Danube), she was used in Odessa as a training vessel for young Soviet sailors until 1959. In 1961, dismasted and reduced to a barge, she was used for a while as a wood carrier until she burned up with all her load in 1963.
(Images digitized from a 1931 copy of “Liburni Civitas”, courtesy of Antonio Cantelli)

Search labels: Amerigo Vespucci
External links: Cristoforo Colombo (Wikipedia) - The Strange Fate of the Cristoforo Colombo (Around Naples Encyclopedia)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Prickly Pear

Large cactus, prickly pear, Scali del Pontino, LivornoA quite large prickly pear on “Scali del Pontino”. (Picture taken on September 2nd)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pink, Yellow and Orange

Pink, yellow and orange bicycle, via del Giglio, Livorno
A pink, yellow and orange bicycle in “Via del Giglio”. A work of art or a simple way to make it more recognizable in case it is stolen? Bike theft in Livorno is a quite frequent occurence...

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art