Friday, April 30, 2010

Sun and Sea

Sailboats leaving for a race, port of LivornoYesterday I arrived just in time to watch the sailboats leaving port for a race. There was a lot of activity even here, far from the racing waters, and I caught the three sailboats of our Navy coming back.Orsa Maggiore, Italian Navy, port of Livorno
“Orsa Maggiore” (Ursa Major)

Stella Polare, Italian Navy, port of Livorno
“Stella Polare” (Pole Star)

Corsaro II, Italian Navy, port of Livorno
“Corsaro II” (Privateer II)

See also: 27th TAN

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Foreign Navies

Foreign Navies ceremony, piazza del Municipio, Town Hall, LivornoToday was the day of the parade of the foreign Navies present to the 27th TAN.Foreign Navies ceremony, piazza del Municipio, Town Hall, LivornoAfter a short walk along “Via Grande” the delegations arrived in “Piazza del Municipio” (Town Hall Square) for a simple ceremony.Foreign Navies ceremony, piazza del Municipio, Town Hall, LivornoThe Navy band was playing all along for the joy of the many kids from the local elementary schools.Foreign Navies ceremony, piazza del Municipio, Town Hall, LivornoThis is an official picture downloaded from the website of the 27th TAN. It was taken inside the “Accademia Navale”, in front of the interred brigantine.

Search labels: TAN - Tuttovela

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Barquentine Oloferne, LivornoThe barquentine “Oloferne” is owned by “La Nave di Carta”, a La Spezia based no-profit organization whose aim is to help young people develop the knowledge, experience, and skills to go at sea.Barquentine Oloferne, LivornoThe original boat was built in Messina, Sicily in 1944. After many and different owners, she was donated to the organization few years ago. In 2006 the boat was almost completely rebuilt inside the Navy base of La Spezia by the “maestro d'ascia” (boat builder) Aurelio Martuscelli and a force of volunteers.Barquentine Oloferne, LivornoThe “Oloferne” is currently sponsored by the “Biblioteca del Mare” (Library of the Sea), a series of maritime books by the publisher Mursia.

See also: 27th TAN

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trofeo D'Alesio

Trofeo D'Alesio 2010I am not an early riser, so when I arrived at the “Porto Mediceo” the “Trofeo Gaetano D'Alesio”, the first rowing competition of the season, was almost finished. I barely managed to watch the last race, the one with the ten-rower “gozzi”.Trofeo D'Alesio 2010The boat of the quarter “Venezia” won the chronometer race.Trofeo D'Alesio 2010The boats of the “rioni” (quarters) “Salviano” and “Fabbricotti”.Trofeo D'Alesio 2010The boats of “Ovo Sodo” (Hard boiled egg) and “San Jacopo”.Trofeo D'Alesio 2010The boats of “San Marco - Pontino” and “Borgo Cappuccini”.Trofeo D'Alesio 2010The four-oars “gozzetta” with the ladies from “Salviano”.

See also: 27th TAN - Gozzi & Gozzette - Palio Marinaro

Monday, April 26, 2010

Model Boats

Submarine Platino (Platinum), class “Acciaio” (Steel), Livorno.We are still at the “village” of the 27th TAN (Naval Academy Trophy) where, in one of the tents, several model boats of any type are on display. This is the submarine “Platino” (Platinum), built during the last war and almost the only survivor of the class “Acciaio” (Steel).The PT-109 is probably one of the most famous boats in the world: her last commander was the junior Lieutenant John F. Kennedy. Her sinking near the Solomon Islands and Kennedy's following actions to save his crew made him a war hero.The “Anteo” was an old fashioned type of tugboat quite common in Italian ports between the wars.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Boats

Palinuro training ship, Naval Academy Trophy, LivornoThe 27th TAN (Naval Academy Trophy) has begun last Thursday, yesterday rained all day, so I'm making my first visit there only on Saturday. The school ship “Palinuro” is already there, ready to sail for some day cruises with selected high school students on board.Sailboats, LivornoThree jewels of the Italian Navy, minor only in size, are moored nearby: “Orsa Maggiore”, “Corsaro II” and “Stella Polare”.Old Coast Guard patrol vessel, Naval Academy Trophy, LivornoA nice surprise was to meet an old friend of mine on board this boat. This is an old Coast Guard patrol vessel donated to our local “Istituto Nautico”. Refitted and refurbished by the students now it is almost ready to go at sea, a new precious source of training for the school.

See also: Palinuro - Faventibus Ventis

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Two Surfaces

Building reflected on the windscreen of a parked car, piazza Attias, LivornoA building in “Piazza Attias” reflected on the rear windshield of a nearby parked car.Building reflected in a pool of water, piazza Attias, LivornoThe same building seen in the puddle of water of a clogged drain.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Flowers Above

A bunch of colorful flowers on a terrace in “Via Borsi”.All over the wall, in “Viale Marconi”.Again in “Via Borsi”, on a balcony.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Palazzo Uzielli

Palazzo Uzielli, LivornoOn the west side of “Piazza Cavour” the rest of the former “Via degli Spalti” (Embankments Road) is called “Via Indipendenza” (Independence Street) and it was, for a short time, “Via dei Santi Pietro e Paolo” (St. Peter and St. Paul's Street). In the 1830's “Palazzo Uzielli” was built there with its two distinctive and symmetrical belvedere towers. The architect was Riccardo Calocchieri, the same of “Palazzo de Larderel” and “Palazzo Stub”.Palazzo Uzielli, LivornoWe have already seen these strange knobs in the post “Snakes”.Front door detail, Palazzo Uzielli, LivornoA detail of the carved wood of the upper part of the front door.

See also: Palazzo Rosso - Palazzo Santoponte - Piazza Cavour - Via Maggi

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mid-April Walk

Another Sunday walk, we starts at a railing of the “Fosso Reale”.Down in the canal, the boats are prepared for the good season.A pearl of wisdom: “Voldemort does exist!”, written on a wall.In a shop window, a nice fake flower against a red dress.
A “Welcome” sign at the entrance of the “Antonio Benci” school.

More Walks

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Palazzo Santoponte

In “Piazza Cavour”, opposite the “Palazzo Rosso”, we have the “Palazzo Santoponte”, built in the 1830's by the architect Giovan Battista Picchianti.On the first floor of this building was once active a workshop for the processing of coral, a very important source of wealth for the merchants of Livorno at the time. The coral was manufactured into beads and then sent to London on ships that had exported pepper to Italy.After the early sixteenth century diamonds were the main item in jewellery imports from India, and coral took first place in exports to the east, for a long time being an essential commodity in all trade with India.The western Mediterranean was the only source of red coral, the kind needed for the Indian market, Marseilles, Leghorn, Genoa, and Naples were centres for coral fishing and coral industries… In India it was used for jewellery and in cremation ceremonies, and served also as a symbol of social standing.Leghorn's importance as a centre of the coral trade and industry was described by a Jewish coral merchant from that place named Abraham de Castro: it is common for the coral fisheries to bring from the islands adjacent to Leghorn from six to eight thousand pounds weight of coral each boat…
About three hundred of such boats are employed in collecting in each of the coral fishing seasons for the market of Leghorn, besides which great quantities of coral are from time to time imported at Leghorn from France.

“Diamonds and coral” by Gedalia Yogev
(Leicester University Press, 1978)

See also: Diamond and coral (DeCastro Family Story)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Astoria Flowers

We already saw the “Residenza Astoria”, but this time of the year its flowerbeds are more colorful and interesting.Their prickly pears have plenty of fruits, known as “fichi d'India” or literally Indian figs.Many bees around these flowers, but I didn't catch any.

See also: Astoria

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Via Maggi

Via Maggi, LivornoOn the east side of “Piazza Cavour” we find “Via Maggi”, formerly part of a “Via degli Spalti” (Embankments Road) because it ran outside the ancient walls.Via Maggi, LivornoIt has several interesting buildings, some renewed and a few in need of some attention.Via Maggi, LivornoJust before getting back to “Piazza Cavour” we find “Piazza Giorgio Caproni”, one of the newest squares in town.Via Maggi, LivornoA scene of “La prima cosa bella”, a movie by Paolo Virzì almost completely located in Livorno, was filmed here last May.

See also: Piazza Giorgio Caproni - La prima cosa bella - Federica's Corner - Sun, Moon and Starfish
External links: Paolo Virzì - La prima cosa bella (Wikipedia)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Bowl of Hygeia, via Santa Giulia, LivornoA symbol on a mirror outside a pharmacy in “Via Santa Giulia” and the out of focus reflection of a religious crest on the facade of the “Santa Giulia” church.Church of Santa Giulia, Livorno On the same mirror, focus on the reflection of the church symbol.