Monday, March 31, 2014

S.M. Pontino

San Marco Pontino boat, Livorno
It is barely spring, but the crews of the various quarters are already training for the next rowing season. Here are the rowers of San Marco Pontino, seen from the Fortezza Nuova.
San Marco Pontino boat, Livorno
The same crew, a few days ago, at the entrance of the port.

See also: Trofeo D'Alesio 2011 - Red and Yellow - San Marco Pontino - Still Rowing - Warming Up

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Hill on the Fortress

Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
A couple of paved paths run across the top level of the fortress.
Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
The “hill” in the middle of the fortress, actually an earthwork, is the only part of the park with trees.
Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
From atop the north side of embankment we have a view on part of the Venezia and San Marco quarters.

See also: Fortezza Nuova (2009) - Fortress from the Sky (2012) - Welcome to the Fortress - The Grass of the Fortress - Along the Walls
Search labels: Fortezza Nuova

Friday, March 28, 2014

Code Red & Nutella

Codice Rosso, Code Red, take-away pizzeria, via Gramsci, Livorno
“Codice Rosso” would be Code Red, not the more tasteful name for a take-away pizzeria near the hospital.
“Pane e Nutella” (Bread and Nutella) in Via Sardi.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Cast iron spearhead fence, via Gramsci, Livorno
You can see this cast iron spearhead fence in Via Gramsci. A part of it is painted in (rusty) black,
Cast iron spearhead fence, via Gramsci, Livorno
another part in (dirty) white: they look like ancient soldiers facing each other.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Illusion & Bistango

Illusion IMO 9583380, Bistango IMO 9558593, Benetti Shipyard, Livorno
The 46-meter “Illusion” and the 62-meter “Bistango” on dry land for servicing before the coming season.

See also: Imagination & Illusion - Bistango e Reborn - Bistango
Search labels: yacht

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Six Stools

Six stools outside the Aragosta restaurant, piazza dell'Arsenale, Livorno
Stools outside the “Aragosta” (Lobster) restaurant in Piazza dell'Arsenale.

See also: December Chairs

Monday, March 24, 2014

Isacco Bayona

Stolperstein, stumbling block, remembering Isacco Bayona, Livorno
Isacco Bayona was the son of Raffaele Bayona and Diamante Jacob. He was born in Greece, in Thessaloniki, on 21 July 1926. He was arrested in Gabbro (Livorno) with his mother, his elder brother Carlo and his younger sisters Lucia and Dora. They were all deported to the extermination camp of Auschwitz, Isacco was the only one who survived the Shoah.

See also: Stolpersteine - Not Even One Year - Perla - Dina and Dino
External links: Stolperstein - (Wikipedia) - Isacco Bayona (The names of the Italian Shoah)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Along the Walls

Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
One more ramp brings you up to the level of the walls with a view on the area of Piazza Garibaldi.
Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
You can walk along the battlements and even reach one of the turrets above the entrance.
Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
On the other side a wide meadow offers you a view on Scali delle Cantine and the basin of the Fosso Reale.

See also: Fortezza Nuova (2009) - Fortress from the Sky (2012) - Welcome to the Fortress - The Grass of the Fortress - The Hill on the Fortress
Search labels: Fortezza Nuova

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vegliaia Breakwater

Vegliaia breakwater, Livorno
The Vegliaia breakwater, an island of sorts in front of the Terrazza Mascagni, was built at the end of the 19th century with the aim to protect the southern entrance of the port of Livorno.

We would like to say hi to our friend Beata from Gliwice, in Poland. Yesterday we had the pleasure to meet her in Florence for a stroll and a chat over ice cream and coffee.

See also: Terrazza Mascagni - Rough Sea - Lisbon Express - Largo Bellavista

Friday, March 21, 2014


Egagropili, posidonia oceanica, Scoglio della Regina, Livorno
These balls of fibrous material are called egagropili and are formed by the remains of Posidonia oceanica, a species of sea grass that is common to the Mediterranean Sea. They wash up to our coasts in various shapes and sizes.

External links: Egagropili - Posidonia oceanica (Wikipedia)
See also: Borderland

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Grass of the Fortress

Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
Just outside the tunnel, a ramp lead us to the first level of the park inside the fortress, mostly grassland.
Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
The same area from above, you can recognize the turrets and the palm tree at the entrance.
Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
Another area on the same level, still closed to the public. In background we can see the octagonal dome of the church of Santa Caterina.

See also: Fortezza Nuova (2009) - Fortress from the Sky (2012) - Welcome to the Fortress - Along the Walls - The Hill on the Fortress
Search labels: Fortezza Nuova

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Splendida at Night

MSC Splendida, IMO 9359806, port of Livorno
The 333-meter cruise ship “MSC Splendida” leaves the port of Livorno at night.

External links: MSC Splendida (Wikipedia)
Search labels: cruise ship

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Welcome to the Fortress

Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
When you pass the gate at the entrance of the Fortezza Nuova, this is what awaits you.
Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
On your right you have a battery of firing slits, once used to protect the entrance.
Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
The (closed) gate on the right would give you access to a walkway outside the walls and along the canal.
Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
The left tunnel brings you in the heart of the fortress, which is now the public park.

See also: Fortezza Nuova (2009) - Fortress from the Sky (2012) - The Fortress, at Last! - The Grass of the Fortress - Along the Walls - The Hill on the Fortress
Search labels: Fortezza Nuova

Monday, March 17, 2014

Museo Fattori

This slightly dilapidated building is Villa Mimbelli, an 19th century residence surrounded by a beautiful park, not far from the Terrazza Mascagni. Yesterday's turtles live in a fountain at the entrance of this park. Since 1994 the villa hosts the “Museo civico Giovanni Fattori” with its interesting collection of works of the Livornese painter, along with many other works by fellow Macchiaioli and other local artists.
Museo Fattori, Villa Mimbelli, Livorno
A few days ago in the course of a debate at a local newspaper, one of the candidates for mayor of Livorno said that the Fattori Museum is one of the most visited in Europe, but only we aren't able to realize this. This bold statement went unchallenged by anyone present.

See also: Terrazza Mascagni - Turtles
External links: Giovanni Fattori - Macchiaioli (Wikipedia)

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Turtles, fountain of Villa Mimbelli, Livorno
There is a world living on this pile of rocks in a fountain of Milla Mimbelli. We have been here a couple of years ago and practically nothing is changed: the same bunch of abandoned turtles slowly circling around this small basin or trying to secure a place on the rocks.
Turtles, fountain of Villa Mimbelli, Livorno
After a swim they must climb on each other to find a place in the sun.
Turtles, fountain of Villa Mimbelli, Livorno
Sometimes they seem to be looking at you...
Turtles, fountain of Villa Mimbelli, Livorno
I wouldn't have ever dreamed to catch my reflection in the eye of a turtle!

See also: Slow Motion

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Fortress, at Last!

Our Fortezza Nuova (New Fortress) has been closed since early 2009 and its reopening was announced at least six times in the past years. The local daily “Il Tirreno” has also published an interesting infographic with all the past missed dates.
Fortezza Nuova, New Fortress, Livorno
At last, the park will reopen today with a ceremony and a feast of sorts. The first time I wrote about this closure I said that the fortress would have reopened in time for the local elections in June 2009.
I was wrong about the year, but not about the elections: the next ones are in May.

See also: Fortezza Nuova - Welcome to the Fortress - The Grass of the Fortress - Along the Walls - The Hill on the Fortress
Search labels: Fortezza Nuova

Friday, March 14, 2014

Expressionist Bike

Hand painted bicycle, via Serafino De Tivoli, Livorno
An hand-painted bicycle in Via Serafino De Tivoli, a street named after a painter of the Macchiaioli group.

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Serafino De Tivoli - Macchiaioli (Wikipedia)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tape & Barriers

Taped vase behind barriers, piazza Goldoni, Livorno
If someone breaks the large vase of a tree in Piazza Goldoni, all you have to do is to use some packaging tape and put a few safety barriers around it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Goodbye, Pogoria!

STS Pogoria, port of Livorno
I happened to be in port when the “Pogoria” was leaving. They didn't need a tug: three members of the crew unberthed the ship on their own with the help of a rubber boat.
STS Pogoria, port of Livorno
Then they sped along the moving ship to go back on board.
STS Pogoria, port of Livorno
In a few seconds the “Pogoria” was already recovering her service boat, sailing away.

See also: Pogoria - Welcome Back Pogoria - STS Pogoria
External links: Pogoria - Gdańsk Shipyard (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Livorno Is Also Happy

After watching this little masterpiece we have enjoyed seeing the other videos made around the world, all inspired by the same Pharrell Williams' song. Ours is a really good one, compliments to the authors!
In my opinion the best is the one from Paris, but it is clearly made by pros. Other big cities, like London and New York, have been disappointing, while the most brilliant videos come from the East Europe, with a very funny one from Beijing. If you like, try to watch Moscow, Poznań, Budapest, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Chișinău, Vilnius and even Kiev.

External links: Pharrell Williams - Happy (Official Music Video)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cristofano Allori

Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Pisa
The main altar of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri: on the left is visible “Il Martirio di Santo Stefano” (The Martyr of Saint Stephen), painted by Giorgio Vasari in 1571. The painting is actually under restoration.
Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Pisa
On a part of the gorgeous panelled ceiling of the church we can see “The Embarkation of Maria de' Medici at Livorno”, painted by Cristofano Allori in 1604. A detail of the painting, showing a bastion of the Fortezza Vecchia, is visible here.

See also: Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri - Marie de' Medici - Fortezza Vecchia - Molo del Soccorso
External links: Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri - Giorgio Vasari - Cristofano Allori (Wikipedia)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri

The Order of Saint Stephen was created by Cosimo I de' Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany, with the objective of fighting the Ottoman Turks and the pirates that sailed Mediterranean Sea in the 16th century. The monument to Ferdinando I de' Medici in Livorno, better known as the Quattro Mori (Four Moors), celebrates the victories of the Order, with the Grand Duke himself dressed as its Grand Master.
Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Pisa
Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri is a church in Pisa, in Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knight's Square), on the right side of the Palazzo della Carovana, the headquarters of the Knights. It was built between 1565 and 1569 as the church of the Order, on a project by Giorgio Vasari.
Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Pisa
The bell-tower, also designed by Vasari, was completed by 1572 by Giovanni Fancelli.

External links: Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri - Order of Saint Stephen - Knight's Square - Palazzo della Carovana (Wikipedia)
See also: Four Moors

Friday, March 7, 2014

St. Gregory Behind Barriers

Chiesa di san Gregorio Illuminatore, Saint Gregory the Illuminator, via della Madonna, Livorno
Safety barriers are everywhere around Livorno: usually to protect the passers-by from the fall of debris from derelict buildings. Also the church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, in its own small way, has a few of them now...
By the way, the sign says: “Livorno, Città Storica delle Nazioni” (Livorno, Historical City of the Nations).

See also: Half a Church - Saint Gregory the Illuminator - Faith and Charity - Armenian Plaque

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cormorants on the Fortress

Cormorant, Palazzo di Francesco, Fortezza Vecchia, Livorno
One of several cormorants resting on the roof of the Palazzo di Francesco. This is a building with a great view of the harbor, sitting on the Canaviglia bastion of the Fortezza Vecchia.

See also: Fortezza Vecchia - Canaviglia - Palazzo di Francesco - Miramare - The Cormorant

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Montcalm's Regiments

Louis-Joseph de Montcalm (1712-1759) was the commander of the French troops in Canada from 1756 to 1759, during the French and Indian War. Montcalm’s forces were defeated by the British general James Wolfe in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, that culminated in Montcalm's and Wolfe's deaths, resulting in France losing Quebec. Montcalm, a controversial figure among military historians, was strongly criticized for his decisions, but also much memorialized, especially in France.
Crotale missile launchers, anti-submarine frigate Montcalm (D642), port of Livorno
We have already seen the French anti-submarine frigate “Montcalm” and we are looking now at her Crotale launchers. The barrel of a M2 Browning heavy machine gun is visible on the left.
French 100 mm naval gun, anti-submarine frigate Montcalm (D642), port of Livorno
The 100 mm naval gun and the Crotale system above are named after regiments that were once under the command of Louis-Joseph de Montcalm in Quebec: La Reine and Royal-Roussillon.

External links:
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm - French and Indian War - James Wolfe - Battle of the Plains of Abraham - French frigate Montcalm (D642) - French 100 mm naval gun - Crotale (missile) - M2 Browning (Wikipedia)
See also: Montcalm (D642)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

IKEA in Pisa

Oversized living room, IKEA advertising, piazza Cavour, Livorno
Tomorrow a new Ikea store is opening in Pisa, while in Livorno retail shops keep closing. The Swedish giant put up an oversized living room in Piazza Cavour to remind us to flock to the opening.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Doors of the Synagogue

Synagogue, piazza Benamozegh, Livorno
Our synagogue has three entrances, every one marked with a Jewish symbol. The left one has a Menorah, we are going to see the other two with the help of our friend Dina, of Jerusalem Hills daily photo.
Synagogue, piazza Benamozegh, Livorno
Above the central door we can see the luchot habrit, the tablets of the covenant. On the right one are the letters alef, bet, gimel, dalet, heh. The letters of the Hebrew alphabet can also be also be numerals, so we have First Commandment, Second Commandment, and so on. It continues on the left tablet with the letters vav, zayin, chet, tet, yod: the Ten Commandments.
Synagogue, piazza Benamozegh, Livorno
The lettering around the star of David, from right to left, says Kadosh la Adonai, meaning “Holy unto God”. The final letter, heh, is a way of writing God's ineffable name without writing it.

External links: Menorah - Tablets of Stone (Wikipedia)
See also: Synagogue of Livorno - Moses Montefiore - Inside the Synagogue - Rejoicing of the Law - The Old Synagogue - Around the Tebah
Search labels: synagogue