Saturday, June 30, 2012

Balcony to Nowhere

Balcony to nowhere, Porto Mediceo, LivornoOn the old walls, facing the “Porto Mediceo”, a balcony to nowhere ...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Leafy Stump

Leafy stump, via Vivoli, via Borsi, LivornoConsidered that we have recently seen an urban farm, I feel able to declare that this leafy tree stump in “Via Vivoli” is an urban forest.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Places I Love

It is appalling to see that more than three thousands of our fellow citizens found the time to answer a poll on bombastic sillinesses about being Livornese and only a few dozens have chosen until now to support a far more interesting and useful initiative.Dutch church, scali degli Olandesi, Livorno“I Luoghi del Cuore” (The Places I Love) is a survey of our forgotten monuments in need of restoration. The most voted ones will attract attention at national level with a realistic hope to get some private or public funds.
For the first time the poll is open to voters from abroad. If you like, take a bit of your time to register on this website and vote for our designated place, which is obviously the derelict “Chiesa degli Olandesi” (Dutch Church). Please be sure to write exactly the words between the quotation marks to avoid mix-ups.

Search labels: Dutch church
See also: Abandoned Church - Scali degli Olandesi - Chiesa degli Olandesi - Sad Preview - A lecture - Finale - A Ray of Hope - Falling to Pieces - Flying Rats - Another Collapse - Fenced Off - Piazza Poerio - The Places I Love - A Few More Votes - Rose Window - Second Place?
External links: Temple of the Dutch German Congregation (Wikipedia)
Facebook Group: “Salviamo la chiesa degli Olandesi a Livorno” (Save the Dutch church in Livorno)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Sentinel, IMO 7106877, port of LivornoLast December, during a storm, two trailers loaded with barrels of chemicals went overboard from the “Eurocargo Venezia” in an unprecised area between the island of Gorgona and Livorno. The 68-meter “Sentinel”, a scientific research and supply vessel, is trying to recover most of those barrels from the bottom of the sea.Sentinel, IMO 7106877, port of LivornoThe ship was built in 1971 by Ferguson Shipbuilders at Port Glasgow, UK, and is now owned and operated by ARGO Ship Management & Services.

External links: Ferguson Shipbuilders - Port Glasgow (Wikipedia) - ARGO Ship Management & Services (Official Site)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Urban Farm

Urban farm, scali del Refugio, LivotnoI found this “fattoria urbana” (urban farm) on the “Scali del Refugio”, in the Venezia quarter.Urban farm, scali del Refugio, LivotnoThese stone-paved slopes from street level to water level are quite common along the canals of Livorno, but farming on them was unheard of until now.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Coat of arms, Province of LivornoIt has been a while since they started, but the talks on the abolition of the provinces have recently taken a practical turn. If the outright abolition will fail, there is even a plan B for their reduction from 107 to 54.Map of the provinces of TuscanyTo be sure of surviving a province must have at least 350,000 inhabitants, an area of 3,500 km² (1,350 sq mi) and 50 municipalities.Table of provinves data, TuscanyIn Tuscany only Florence meets the first two criteria and five more cities get one out three. Livorno, Prato, Pistoia and Massa-Carrara are at risk of unification with other provinces. The tiny province of Prato would come back to Florence or may join forces with Pistoia. Massa-Carrara will probably form with Lucca a province with three names, but the only logic and tragic choice for Livorno has the name of Pisa.

See also: Province of Livorno - Palazzo Granducale
External links: Ecco il piano che dimezza le Province (Il Corriere della Sera, in Italian) - Province accorpate: come cambia la Toscana (Il Tirreno, in Italian)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Table and Rope

Table and basket with a coil of rope outside a bar, Porto Mediceo, LivornoOutside a bar in the “Porto Mediceo”: a table without chairs and basket with a length of rope.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Overgrown by Weeds

Bicycle overgrown with weeds, scali delle Ancore, LivornoPink bicycle locked to a railing and overgrown by weeds.

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Clet Abraham V

Clet Abraham, no parking sign with unbuckled belt, piazza dei Domenicani, LivornoIn “Piazza dei Domenicani” a no parking sign now sports an unbuckled belt.Clet Abraham, standing devil and a flying angel, via Borra, LivornoA standing devil and a flying angel in “Via Borra”.

Search labels: Clet Abraham
External links: Clet Abraham (Wikipedia, in French) - The language of the street signs by Clet Abraham (Abitare)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Superyacht Valerie, Lürssen Yachts, IMO 1010624, port of Livorno“Valerie” is an 84-meter yacht built in 2011 at the Lürssen shipyard in Rendsburg, Germany.Superyacht Valerie, Lürssen Yachts, IMO 1010624, port of Livorno“Valerie” can offer accommodation for up to 12 guests in 6 suites.Superyacht Valerie, Lürssen Yachts, IMO 1010624, port of LivornoThe interior has been designed by Reymond Langton Design and the exterior styling is by Espen Oeino.

Search labels: yacht
External links: Lürssen (Wikipedia) - Lürssen Yachts (Official Site)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Clet Abraham Returns

Last weekend Clet Abraham was back in town and presented us with a few more “improved” traffic signs.Clet Abraham, pigeon and its dejection on a no entry sign, via  del Porticciolo, LivornoA pigeon and its dejection on a no entry sign in “Via del Porticciolo”.Clet Abraham, no parking or standing sign with skull and crossbones, via della Venezia, LivornoThis no parking or standing sign in “Via della Venezia” became a skull and crossbones of sorts.

Search labels: Clet Abraham
External links: Clet Abraham (Wikipedia, in French) - The language of the street signs by Clet Abraham (Abitare)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Coppa Barontini 2012

Borgo Cappuccini rowers, Coppa Risi'atori 2012, LivornoLast Saturday the rowers of “Borgo Cappuccini” won the “Coppa Barontini”, a head race that covers most of the “Fosso Reale” with the finish line in the basin between the “Fortezza Nuova” and the “Scali delle Cantine”. (Picture taken on June 3, during the Coppa Risi'atori)

See also: Trofeo D'Alesio 2012 - Coppa Risi'atori 2012 - Fortezza Nuova - Scali delle Cantine

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Leaning Tower of Pisa, piazza dei Miracoli, Square of Miracles, PisaSeveral thousands of readers of a local daily voted for the best phrase to represent the essence of “Livornesità” (Livorneseness). This one was the winner, with 45% of the vote:

Si vorrebbe vince’ senza gioca',
si vorrebbe mangia' senza lavora'
ma quello che ci s’ha nel cuore e nelle mani
è tuo senza nemmeno starci a pensa'!

(We would like to win without playing,
we would like to eat without working
but what we have in our heart and hands
is yours even without thinking about it!)

For the first time in my life I have wished to be a Pisan...

External links: Livornesità, scegli la frase da premiare (Il Tirreno, in Italian)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ave Maria

The corner of via del Fagiano with via dell'Origine, LivornoThe corner of “Via del Fagiano” with “Via dell'Origine”. (Picture taken at the end of April)

Friday, June 15, 2012


Le ortolane greengrocers, corso Mazzini, LivornoIn Italian an “ortolano” may be a greengrocer selling vegetables or a market-gardener who grew them. “Le ortolane” is the female plural form of the above and the name of a shop in “Corso Mazzini”.Melamangio greengrocers, via Gramsci, LivornoA bit of wordplay in this fruits and vegetable shop sign. If you spell the writing “Me la mangio” it would be I eat her, which is not necessarily an anthropophagous statement in Italian, because everything has a gender and apples, along with many other fruits, are female. Otherwise “Mela mangio” is literally (I) apple eat, which it is not correct but may even works for a kid or a very hungry tourist.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


European flag, Province of Livorno building, Livorno
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.

(Down the Rabbit Hole, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MS Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Epic cruise ship, IMO 9410569, port of LivornoThe cruise ship “Norwegian Epic” appearing behind the stern of the “Serenade of the Seas”.Norwegian Epic cruise ship, IMO 9410569, port of LivornoThis 329-meter behemot is the largest cruise ship built at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St. Nazaire and the world's third by gross tonnage.Norwegian Epic cruise ship, IMO 9410569, port of LivornoWith a crew of 1700, she carries 4100 passengers. How many of these have cabins with balconies?

See also: Liberty of the Seas - Celebrity Solstice
External links: Norwegian Epic - Chantiers de l'Atlantique - World's Largest Cruise Ships (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Directions and Distances

Pole with distances and directions to different cities in the world, LivornoAn extremely useful pole with distances and directions to different cities in the world has materialized in “Piazza del Municipio”, where the flying booth once stood.Pole with distances and directions to different cities in the world, LivornoThe signs understandably point out to Pisa, Lucca, Florence and Siena. The rest of the world is represented by New York, London and Madrid. Minor European hamlets like Paris, Berlin or Moscow are ignored.Pole with distances and directions to different cities in the world, LivornoA few tourist signs point to local attractions, but they are useless unless you can walk through buildings.

See also: Piazza del Municipio - The Flying Booth

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stad Amsterdam

Clipper Stad Amsterdam, IMO 9185554, port of LivornoThe “Stad Amsterdam” (City of Amsterdam) is a three-masted clipper designed by Gerard Dijkstra, who modelled her after a mid-19th century frigate by the same name. The 76-meter sailing ship was built in 2000 at the Damen Oranjewerf, using a combination of modern techniques with the best qualities of clippers of the past.Clipper Stad Amsterdam, IMO 9185554, port of LivornoWith a classic “look and feel” and 29 sails the “Stad Amsterdam” can reach 17 knots.Clipper Stad Amsterdam, IMO 9185554, port of LivornoUsed for training and as a charter-ship, this elegant sailing yacht has 14 cabins for 28 guests, a small library and a spacious long room. She won the 2001 Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Race.

External links: Clipper - Stad Amsterdam (Wikipedia) - Stad Amsterdam (Official Site)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Vespa Sweet Years

Vespa Sweet Years, LivornoIt has been around for a while, but this is my first encounter with a Vespa Sweet Years.

External links : Sweet Years

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cyclette Art

Abandoned cyclette at a dumpster, via Santa Fortunata, LivornoA cyclette abandoned near a dumpster in “Via Santa Fortunata”.

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just Cohabiting

Oggi coinquilini, just cohabiting sign, piazza della Vittoria, LivornoThe usual sign says “Oggi sposi” (Just married), but this one states “Oggi coinquilini” (Just cohabiting)...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice cruise ship, IMO 9362530, port of LivornoPassengers watching from the balconies while the “Celebrity Solstice” is leaving the port of Livorno.Celebrity Solstice cruise ship, IMO 9362530, port of LivornoOn her side, the distinctive Celebrity Cruises X logo, which is the Greek letter chi for Chandris.Celebrity Solstice cruise ship, IMO 9362530, port of LivornoThe 315-meter cruise ship is making a quite steep turn just outside the entrance of the port, to clear the “Vegliaia” seawall.

See also: Liberty of the Seas
External links: Celebrity Solstice - Celebrity Cruises - chi - Chandris Line (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Coppa Risi'atori 2012

There were times when the right to unload an incoming vessel went to the first local longshoremen who showed up alongside the ship, before entering the port. The “prize” obviously went to the crew with the strongest rowers, and that was only the beginning of their hard work. They rowed toward the ships in almost every weather and were therefore called “risi'atori” or “risicatori”, which means risk-takers.
The “Coppa Risi'atori” celebrates every year the strenght of these men who rowed not for leisure, but to make a hard living. The race starts from the Meloria islet, about 5 km outside the port of Livorno, with the finish line in the “Darsena Nuova” of the “Porto Mediceo”.Venezia rowers, Coppa Risi'atori 2012, LivornoThe crew of the “Venezia” was so ahead of the other boats that some of the rowers were able to raise their hands well before of the end of the race.Venezia rowers, Coppa Risi'atori 2012, LivornoThe rowers and their support team celebrating in the waters of the “Darsena Nuova”.Venezia rowers, Coppa Risi'atori 2012, LivornoIt is probably not a case that their “cantina” is on the “Erta dei Risicatori” (Risk Takers Slope).

See also: Coppa Risi'atori - Beyond the Second - The Old “Cantina” - The Anchors of Venice
External links: Meloria (Wikipedia)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Photos of the Painted School

Keith Haring mural, Istituto Colombo, LivornoA photo exhibit on The Painted School will open today (5 PM) at the B. Arte Gallery in via Sardi.Photo exhibition, The Painted School, B. Arte Gallery, via Sardi, LivornoThe images will show us the making of the murals, their authors at work and the finished school.Photo exhibition, The Painted School, B. Arte Gallery, via Sardi, LivornoYes, some of the pictures on display are ours...

See also: The Painted School

Sunday, June 3, 2012

From Livorno to New Zealand

Old postcrd, port of Livorno in 1901A friend of mine just told me of this funny passage about a group of Livornese workers in New Zealand in the 1870s.

In the 1870s Premier Julius Vogel extended immigration assistance to southern Europeans. The government hoped to boost the growing nation with settlement, public works and forest clearing. Most of the 230 town workers who responded to the lure of free passage came from Leghorn (Livorno) in Tuscany. They arrived between 1875 and 1876, unprepared and unsuited for the hard labour that awaited them. The first group began work on the Featherston railway, but were dismissed within a month because of disputes. The government promptly stopped assisting Italian immigrants, claiming: ‘they have proved utterly unfit for the work of colonisation’.

From: “Italians - Immigration 1860–1880” by Tessa Copland, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand