Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Giorgio Cini

Training ship Giorgio Cini, IMO 7013824, Guardia di Finanza, port of Livorno
The 54-meter “Giorgio Cini” was built for the Cini Foundation in 1970 and it was donated to the Guardia di Finanza in 1984, to be used as a training ship. With a crew of 30 she can take on board up to 60 “Finanzieri di mare” (Marine Customs officers) for a training cruise.

External links: Cini Foundation - Guardia di Finanza (Wikipedia)
See also: V 609 Falco - Summer Hawk - V 2043 - Hawk at Sea

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Longer Elba Pier

Works at Elba pier, port of Livorno
The 85-meter Elba pier is getting longer. Works in progress will add, in stages, 150 meters to the existing structure: in the end it will be even longer than the nearby 168-meter Capitaneria pier.

VDP & LDP in Florence #2

Via Venezia, Florencee
Second Florentine meeting between Versailles Daily Photo and Livorno Daily Photo...

Monday, April 28, 2014


“There is a word in Newspeak,” said Syme, “I don't know whether you know it: duckspeak, to quack like a duck. It is one of those interesting words that have two contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it is abuse, applied to someone you agree with, it is praise.”
(George Orwell, 1984)

New canal, Venice quarter, viale Caprera, Livorno
Our cheap Livornese version of the Orwellian Ministry of Truth has devised that there wasn't any project of a bridge where now lies the Isthmus of Crocetta.
New canal, Venice quarter, viale Caprera, Livorno
Two nice parapets are now in place where the temporary Jersey barriers once stood and some docile locals or the unaware tourist may even think that this is how the passage across the unnecessary canal was meant to be. We are all still waiting for some gauche Newspeak explanation of why this is better for us.

See also: A New Canal - The Non-Bridge of Crocetta - The Isthmus of Crocetta
External links: Ministry of Truth - Newspeak (Wikipedia)
Search labels: new canal

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lampo Goes to Gliwice

Lampo in Gliwice, Poland
Lampo, the traveling dog has made another trip, this time up to Gliwice, in Poland. Our friend Beata, who introduced us to his story, wasn't able to find a copy of the original book during her stay in Florence. We were more lucky a few days later, and we sent her the book in the mail. (Photos by Beata)
Lampo in Gliwice, Poland
We are not sure how Lampo arrived in Poland, but we all hope that it was on a train!

See also: Lampo, the traveling dog

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Without Trofeo D'Alesio

Labrone rowing crew in training, port of Livorno
The “Trofeo D'Alesio”, the opening race of the Livornese rowing season, did not take place yesterday. It was announced some time ago that the D'Alesio family had withdrawn its support to the competition for undisclosed reasons.
By the way, we will be in Florence for a few days.

See also: Trofeo D'Alesio - Trofeo D'Alesio 2011 - Trofeo D'Alesio 2012 - Trofeo D'Alesio 2013
Search labels: rowing

VDP & LDP in Florence

Via dei Conti, Florence
First Florentine meeting between Versailles Daily Photo and Livorno Daily Photo...

Friday, April 25, 2014

31st Naval Academy Trophy

Nave Italia, IMO 8872825, port of Livorno
Everything is ready for the 31st edition of the “Trofeo Accademia Navale” (Naval Academy Trophy), which begins today. The tents of the “Tuttovela” (All about sailing) village are in place and “Nave Italia” is already here. (Photo taken on April 23)

Search labels: TAN - Tuttovela
External links: 31st TAN (Official site, in Italian)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Big Anchovy

Big fish painted on the roof of the Fish Market by Libera Capezzone, Livorno
A few days ago a “grande acciuga” (big anchovy) has been painted on the roof of the decrepit Fish Market building. It is a work of Libera Capezzone and the words below say: “Lische squame coda amore. Libertà” (Fishbones scales tail love. Freedom).
Big fish painted on the roof of the Fish Market by Libera Capezzone, Livorno
The project was sponsored by a brand of paint, so it would have been nice to paint also the rest of the roof, which badly need it. This would have been also a better background for the big fish.

See also: Mercato del Pesce

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Azamara Quest

Cruise ship Azamara Quest, IMO 9210218, port of Livorno
The 181-meter “Azamara Quest” was built in 2000 by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France. She was the seventh ship in a series of eight identical cruise ships built for Renaissance Cruises and, in an amazing flight of fantasy, she was named “R Seven”. She then became “Delphin Renaissance” and “Blue Moon”, before settling for the actual name.

See also: MS Nautica
External links: Azamara Quest - Chantiers de l'Atlantique (Wikipedia)
Search labels: cruise ship

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Eve

Tower of the Maritime Warnings service, torre dell'Avvisatore Marittimo, port of Livorno
Easter Eve is usually the peak of a week-long rush to buy food and groceries for the Easter dinner. A shower of rain has probably kept away the rare fishermen, so I am not surprised to have the port all to myself.
Tower of the Maritime Warnings service, torre dell'Avvisatore Marittimo, port of Livorno
The tower of the Avvisatore Marittimo (Maritime Warnings service) looks even more strange against a dark and cloudy sky.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lampo, the traveling dog

During our chat in Florence, our friend Beata told us of a book that is very popular with kids in Poland: the story of Lampo, the traveling dog. I didn't know the story, but when later I asked my son he said that he was well aware of it. He also remember that my father told him about having met the dog himself.
Lampo, il cane viaggiatore - Lampo, the traveling dog, book covers
In the early 1950s a dog jumped off a freight train at the station of Campiglia Marittima and was practically adopted by the assistant stationmaster Elvio Barlettani, who called him Lampo (Lightning). Before making Campiglia his home, Lampo had stayed for a while in the station of Livorno, but when a less benevolent stationmaster called the dogcatcher, a railway worker flung him into a freight car heading south.
From Campiglia, a busy railway junction, Lampo was able to catch a train to anywhere. He rode only passenger trains, hiding under a seat when he heard the conductor coming. They say that Lampo visited almost every station within 300 kilometers of Campiglia, becoming a well-known presence.
Lampo, il cane viaggiatore - Lampo, the traveling dog
Lampo slept in the station, but in the morning he would jump on the local train to Piombino to walk Mirna Barlettani to school, only to take the train back to Campiglia. In the afternoon, Lampo rode the train back to Piombino and saw Mirna home from school. Then he returned to Campiglia.
One day the dog got caught in a door and the train had to be stopped to release him. This event was witnessed by an inspector and it was ordered that the dog must go: they decided to put Lampo on a freight train to the far south, with instructions to let him go in open country, far from any station. After five months, ill and beaten, Lampo was back. He became famous and ended up on national and international newspapers. He was also filmed by a few TV crews.
Statue of Lampo, the travelling dog, Campiglia Marittima railway station
[Photo by LepoRello, Wikipedia]
A train passenger, who claimed to recognize the dog, said that Lampo had been accidentally stranded in the port of Livorno from an American ship. It seems that the dog was really fascinated by the sea.
Lampo, quite old, was eventually killed by a train in 1961, but a statue still remembers him at the station of Campiglia Marittima, where he spent so many years.
Le chien qui prenait le train, Lampo chien voyageur - Lampo, the traveling dog, book covers
Elvio Barlettani wrote a book about his story: “Lampo, il cane viaggiatore” and it was also published in English as “Lampo, the Traveling Dog”.

External links: Dog on a train - La Dolce Vita di Lampo (The Nature of the Beast)
- Lampo, the travelling dog (Cover, Look and Learn)

Thursday, April 17, 2014


A head of Bacchus in the small garden of a building in Via Ferrigni.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Minerva Class

port of Livorno
This weekend three Minerva-class corvettes of the Italian Navy are berthed at the Capitaneria pier. Here are the “Chimera” (F 556) and the “Sfinge” (F 554).
port of Livorno
The three units, built at the end of the 1980s, are identical, but the “Sfinge”, which means sphinx, has now a radome where the other two still have an Albatros missile launcher. Any ship of our Navy still has a Latin motto: Tacita atque resoluta (Silent and resolute) for the “Sfinge” and In arduis intrepida (Fearless in arduous things) for the “Chimera”.
port of Livorno
Further along the pier we can see the “Fenice” (F 557), which would be phoenix, with the predictable motto of Resurgit (She rises).

See also: A Sphinx and Many Stars - Urania, Chimera and Sirio
External links: Minerva-class corvette (Wikipedia)
Search labels: Navy

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Via Delle Sedie

A building on the corner of Via Enrico Delle Sedie and Via Carolina Internari is almost identical to this one in Via Emilio Zola.

See also: Via Emilio Zola
External links: Enrico Delle Sedie (Wikipedia)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Inside Santa Giulia

Interior of the church of Santa Giulia, Saint Julia, Livorno
The interior of the church of Saint Julia was restored after the devastation of the Second World War, when the wooden ceiling was completely lost along with the religious furniture.
Interior of the church of Santa Giulia, Saint Julia, Livorno
The main altar has a 13th-century altarpiece depicting Saint Julia, the patron saint of Livorno.

See also: Church of Saint Julia - Saint Julia

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sala degli Archi

Sala degli Archi, Hall of Arches, Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
The “Sala degli Archi” (Hall of Arches) is the only part of the Fortezza Nuova that has been accessible in these years.
Sala degli Archi, Hall of Arches, Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
It is used for exhibitions like this one, dedicated to the Livornese sculptor Renato Spagnoli.
Sala degli Archi, Hall of Arches, Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
The artist (no relation) is the author of the big red A in Piazza Attias.

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

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014


Bicycle locked to a temporary general warning sign, via Roma
Bicycle locked to a temporary general warning sign, Via Roma

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A New Piazza Grande?

Works in progess, piazza Grande, Livorno
Half of Piazza Grande has been fenced off for works, but don't hold your breath for the outcome...

See also: Duomo di Livorno - 270 Years After - After the Snow - Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Micourier 2, Costa Concordia sponsons, port of Livorno
The next time we will see these sponsons (watertight steel boxes) they will be fastened on the starboard side of the “Costa Concordia” to refloat the wreck.

See also: Ril - Costa Concordia
External links: Costa Concordia disaster - Isola del Giglio (Wikipedia)

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Cats of the Fortress

Cats, Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
Since the recent reopening of the Fortezza Nuova, I have been asking myself where are the cats I saw the last time I visited the already closed fortress, in September 2009.
Cats, Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
The answer is that they are probably still there, but their presence is more discrete.
Cats, Fortezza Nuova, Livorno
Now they have to share the fortress with humans... and even dogs.

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

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Good Start

Fosso Reale and Dutch church, Livorno
I am not an optimist by nature, but it seems that something good is going to happen quite soon for our Dutch church.
Dutch church, Livorno
Yesterday, in an informal press conference inside the Mercato Centrale, a detailed plan to secure and partly restore the facade was announced, with works starting in the early summer.
Dutch church, Livorno
Funds are limited, but they probably would be enough at least to stop the decay of the building.

External links: Press release (Livorno delle Nazioni)
See also: Dutch church - Mercato Centrale
Search labels: Dutch church

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014


Scali Cialdini, Livorno
If you walk a lot around town it is easy to see through the frantic pre-electoral sprucing up.
Scali Cialdini, Livorno
Scali Cialdini: Via Grande and the Four Moors are just around the corner.

See also: Canale dei Francesi - Scali Cialdini - Four Moors

Thursday, April 3, 2014

At the Office

Flowers at the office, Livorno
It is spring and everybody is posting flowers, but there aren't many around Livorno, at least within my reach. Then I realized that the desks of my colleagues have plenty of them...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sider Warrior

General cargo Sider Warrior IMO 9353022, tugboat Piero Neri IMO 9351713, port of Livorno
The “Piero Neri” tug pushes the bulk carrier “Sider Warrior” to her berth.

See also: Piero Neri
Search labels: tug

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Theme Day: Triangles

Synagogue, piazza Benamozegh, Livorno
The back of the synagogue is decorated with five sets of 32 small triangular windows. Their effect is visible in the pictures taken inside the temple, while their number may also have some kabbalistic meaning.

See also: Synagogue of Livorno - Inside the Synagogue - Rejoicing of the Law - The Old Synagogue - Around the Tebah - The Doors of the Synagogue
External links: Kabbalah and the 32 Types of Consciousness (The Huffington Post)
Search labels: synagogue