Sunday, September 30, 2012

Giuseppe Micheli School

Giuseppe Micheli elementary school, LivornoThe elementary school Micheli, in piazza XI Maggio, is named after the military engineer Giuseppe Micheli. The original building was inaugurated in the summer of 1889, just in time for the first day of class.Vintage postcard, Micheli elementary school, LivornoThe original building was a two-story structure, which quite soon proved to be inadequate to the growing school population of the times.Vintage postcard, Micheli elementary school, LivornoIn the early 1920s the problem was solved adding another story to the building.

(Postcards digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Admirals on Board

Navy band, Amerigo Vespucci, Vidhar, Livorno
A Navy band playing alongside the “Amerigo Vespucci” before the arrival of a couple of important guests.
Amerigo Vespucci, Vidhar, Captain Domenico La Faia, Vice Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, Livorno
The commanding officer of the ship, Captain Domenico La Faia, and the Commander in Chief of the Italian Fleet, Vice Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi.
Amerigo Vespucci, Vidhar, Vice Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli, Livorno
The Commander in Chief of the Italian Fleet, Vice Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, and the Chief of the Italian Navy, Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli.

Search labels: Amerigo Vespucci
External links: Chief of the Italian Navy - Commander in Chief of the Italian Fleet (Italian Navy)
Naval Academy of Livorno - Amerigo Vespucci (Wikipedia)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lion of Saint Mark

Lion of Saint Mark, Saint Mark Gate, LivornoThe Lion of Saint Mark on “San Marco” Gate, in Livorno. We are in Venice, the real one, for a few days.

See also: San Marco
External link: Lion of Saint Mark

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Two Months at Sea

Training ship Amerigo Vespucci A 5312, Vidhar, Livorno
After two months at sea, a call home or to someone already down on the pier.
Training ship Amerigo Vespucci A 5312, Vidhar, Livorno
Just a few hours before going on leave...

Search labels: Amerigo Vespucci
External links: Naval Academy of Livorno - Amerigo Vespucci (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fallen Angel

Clet Abraham, fallen angel, largo Cairoli, LivornoA fallen angel on a battered warning sign, an almost lost work of Clet Abraham.

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

Monday, September 24, 2012

Amerigo Vespucci: Vidhar

Training ship Amerigo Vespucci A 5312, Vidhar 2012, Livorno
Every year about a hundred of cadets of the Naval Academy of Livorno take part in a training cruise on the “Amerigo Vespucci” which usually carry them around the Mediterranean and often beyond. At the end of a two-month cruise the sail ship is back home in Livorno.
Training ship Amerigo Vespucci A 5312, Vidhar 2012, Livorno
Following an old tradition the cadets on board choose the name of their class. This happened in the Bay of Biscay, when the ship was sailing back from Ireland, their choice was “Vidhar” (a god of the Norse mythology) and their motto will be: Etiamsi omnia semper plus ultra (In spite of everything always further beyond).

Search labels: Amerigo Vespucci
External links: Naval Academy of Livorno - Amerigo Vespucci (Wikipedia)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cemeteries, Churches, and Beer

From a free tourist map distributed throughout Livorno:Waldensian church and cemetery on a map, LivornoOur friend Matteo should be quite worried looking at this map: the Old English Cemetery has become a “Cimitero Valdese” (Waldensian Cemetery). The former Anglican church of Saint George is here a Waldensian church (it is Catholic), while the actual Waldensian temple is marked simply as a church.Churches of via della Madonna on a map, LivornoIt gets even better in “Via della Madonna” where they got all the churches wrong. From left to right we should have the former Armenian church of “San Gregorio Illuminatore” and the Madonna church. The recently restored church of the “Santissima Annunziata” is in the right position, but with a wrong name.
In the bottom right corner “Via Pieroni”, named after the renowned architect Alessandro Pieroni, is spelled like an Italian brand of beer.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Watching the Sea

Watching the sea from the Rotonda, cargo ship Sakala, Gorgona island, LivornoWatching the sea from the “Rotonda”: on the left the cargo ship “Sakala”, on the right the island of Gorgona, 37 km (23 miles) off the coast, but still part of Livorno.

See also: Anne-Sofie & Sakala - Gorgona - Far from the Madding Crowd
External links: Gorgona (Wikipedia)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Curbside Art

Livorno is so rich in art and artists that you can often find extemporaneous installations on the side of the street. Sadly most of these anonymous works will not survive the blind fury of the ruthless garbage collectors.Splashed paint and sawdust, via San Carlo, Livorno
“Splashed paint and sawdust”

Tired traffic sign, scali Novi Lena, Livorno
“Tired traffic sign”

Twelve boards, via Alfonso Lamarmora, Livorno
“Twelve boards”

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Anne-Sofie & Sakala

Cargo ship Sakala, IMO 9065687, Livorno roadsteadWe usually see ships in port, but this time I am showing you a couple of them on the roadstead, in the waters in front of Antignano. The 159-meter “Anne-Sofie” is classifieed as a heavy lift ship. She was built in 2008 and sails under the flag of Antigua.Cargo ship Anne-Sofie, IMO 9376490, Livorno roadsteadThe 137-meter “Sakala” is a heavy load carrier. She was built in 1995 and sails under the British flag.

See also: Crane Carrier

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Record Temperature

90°C or 203°F in piazza Cavour on Sunday, LivornoLast Sunday at noon the thermometer was reading 90°C (203°F) in “Piazza Cavour”...

See also: Sunday Morning

Monday, September 17, 2012

Innocence and Mansuetude

Statues, chiesa della Santissima Annunziata, church of the Most Holy Annunciation, via della Madonna, LivornoMost of us can't remember these statues in place, on the facade of the “Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata” (Church of the Most Holy Annunciation) in “Via della Madonna”. The church was almost destroyed by the by the Alled bombings of the Second World War and the damaged statues were stored elsewhere for safekeeping.Statues, chiesa della Santissima Annunziata, church of the Most Holy Annunciation, via della Madonna, LivornoLast week, after a long and thorough cleaning of the facade which took a few months, copies of the original statues have been placed where they once stood. The allegorical sculptures represent Innocence and Mansuetude, but don't ask me which one is what...

See also: United Greeks - Inside United Greeks - Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata - Annunciation

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Agustín de Iturbide

We have already seen the elaborate Coat of Arms of Mexico in another post, but the Mexican flag has another link with Livorno, well beyond the annual ceremony of the Foreign Navies during the TAN.Foreign Navies ceremony, piazza del Municipio, LivornoThe actual flag of Mexico took its distinctive, if slightly different, form as the flag of the First Mexican Empire and was designed in 1821 by the future emperor himself: Agustín de Iturbide.
Augustine I of Mexico was deposed in 1823 and, as other emperors did before him, chose an exile in Tuscany. He rented a small country house in Livorno where he lived with his family and some servants, writing his memoirs.Emperador Agustin I de MexicoSpain continued to pressure the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to expel Iturbide, who finally moved to Great Britain, where he was able to publish his memories.
After his departure, the situation in Mexico continued to worsen and Iturbide was convinced to return home. He arrived on 14 July 1824 and was initially greeted enthusiastically, but soon he was arrested, tried and sentenced to death. Iturbide was executed by firing squad on 19 July 1824.Plaque remembering Agustín de Iturbide, Sanctuary of Montenero, LivornoIn Montenero he is rememberend by a plaque in Spanish and Italian placed on the wall of the Sanctuary, where he used to pray.

See also: The Legend of Tenochtitlan
External links: Flag of Mexico - Agustín de Iturbide (Wikipedia)

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Paperina, Daisy Duck, rowboat, port of Livorno“Paperina” (Daisy Duck). (Picture taken on June 3 during the “Coppa Risi'atori”)

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Bunch of Bikes

Flock of bicycles on a rack, piazza XX SettembreA flock of bicycles on a rack in “Piazza XX Settembre”.

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Via San Luigi

Laundry hanging from a clothesline out of a window in via San Luigi, LivornoLaundry hanging from a clothesline out of a window in “Via San Luigi” (Saint Louis Street).

See also: Urban Clotheslines

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mayan Queen IV

Mayan Queen IV superyacht, IMO 1009479, port of LivornoThe 93-meter “Mayan Queen IV” superyacht was built in 2008 by Blohm + Voss GmbH in Hamburg, Germany.Mayan Queen IV superyacht, IMO 1009479, port of LivornoThis is the same shipyard that built the “Eclipse”, the world's largest private yacht, and the “Dubai”, close second at 0.5 meters.Mayan Queen IV superyacht, IMO 1009479, port of LivornoThe yacht was designed by Tim Heywood, with interiors by Terence Disdale, for the Mexican billionaire Alberto Baillères.

Search labels: yacht
External links: Blohm + Voss (Wikipedia)
A new queen rules over Sydney Harbour (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blue Whale

Blue whale painted on a wall, scali delle Ancore, LivornoA blue whale on the “Scali delle Ancore”, painted on the wall of the Fish Market. Its style reminds me of the Trojan Seahorse.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Everything for the School

Tutto per la scuola, everything for the school, Livorno“Tutto per la scuola” (Everything for the school): lessons begin this week.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Département de la Méditerranée

Coat of arms of the Département de la MéditerranéeAlmost everybody now accepts that Livorno and Pisa will be a single province, but there is no agreement on the provincial capital. Pisans say that their city has more history and is well known in the world. The law clearly says that in this case the most populated center, Livorno, will be the capital.Map of Italy at the time of the First French EmpireDuring the First French Empire, when Tuscany was annexed by France, Livorno and Pisa were part of the same province, the Département de la Méditerranée, whose capital was obviously Livorno.


Ce département est l'un des trois que forme le grand Duché de Toscane.
Il est borné au N. par la principauté de Lucques, à l'Orient par les départemens de l'Arno et de l'Ombrone, au S. par la principauté de Piombino, et à l'Occident par la mer Méditerranée. Sa superficie est de 491,000 hectares; sa population est de 318,725 individus; il est divisé en trois arrondissemens communaux.
Ce département, qui fait partie de la quatrième série, et a trois députés à élire au Corps législatif, est compris dans la vingt-neuvième division militaire, la seizième cohorte de la légion-l'honneur, la vingt - neuvième conservation des forêts, les diocèses de Pise, de Livourne, Pescia, San Miniato, Volterra et Colle; la sénatorerie de ........... et ressortit à la Cour d'appel de Florence.


Arrondissement de Livourne.
M. Capelle, Préfet à Livourne.
M. Tonduti-Lescarene, Secrétaire général.
Conseil de Préfecture composé de quatre Membres : Messieurs,
Mugnai, Palloni, Faleni, ......... .
Chefs-lieux des Justices de paix, Castel-Fiorentino, Fauglia, Lari, Livourne (trois Justices de paix), Miniato (Saint), Palaja, Peccioli:, Pontedera, Rosignano.
M. ..... , Maire, à Livourne.


Arrondissement de Pise.
M. De Nobili, Sous-Préfet à Pise.
Chefs-lieux des Justices de paix. Bains Saint Julien, Barga, Bientina, Borgo-Buggiano, Cascina, Castel Franco di Sotto, Furcecchio, Montecarlo, Montecatini, Pescia, Pietra (Sainte), Pise (deux Justices de paix), Seravezza, Vicopisano.
Arrondissement de Volterra.
M. Guidi, Sous-Préfet à Volterra.
Chefs-lieux des Justices de paix. Campiglia, Colle, Gemignano (Saint), Montajone, Pomarance, Volterra.
(L'almanach impérial pour l'année 1810, Chapitre X: Organisation administrative)

The French even gave us the nice coat of arms you can see above, we would only need to drop the Napoleonic bees for three tiny leaning towers of Pisa.

See also: Pis-orno
External links: Méditerranée - First French Empire (Wikipedia)
Organisation administrative (L'almanach impérial pour l'année 1810, in French)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

On the Bridge

The Santa Trinita bridge seen from the Venezia bridge, LivornoEarly morning traffic on the “Santa Trinita” bridge, with the “Fortezza Vecchia” in background.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Giampaolo Cardosi

Giampaolo Cardosi, the long-haired traffic cop, il vigile capellone, LivornoGiampaolo Cardosi was born on 7 September 1943, the eve of the Armistice between Italy and the Allied forces, but, as he often said, he never knew a moment of peace.
In the 1970s, when he joined the “Polizia Municipale” (Municipal Police), he was called the “vigile capellone” (long-haired traffic cop) because his kind of haircut was, and still is, a rarity in the force.
He was fired in 1979 on flimsy charges, the presumed theft of an old table and some chairs, and that was the beginning of a long legal battle for his rehabilitation. A popular figure around town, he always rode his bicycle, which he considered the true love of his life.
It took decades, but at last he was acquitted of all charges, with his hasty dismissal becoming suddenly unmotivated. A couple of years ago he refused a 300000 Euro settlement because an even purely formal reinstatement was not included. He wanted to wear again, even for a single day, his unform.
In 2010 he lost his house for a modest debt with his own lawyer and spent the last two years as a homeless, often sleeping on a chair outside the ER of the local hospital.
At the end even his true love betrayed him: Giampaolo died last Saturday for an accidental fall from his bike. He finally got to wear his uniform, but only for his funeral. Today would have been his 69th birthday.

(Photo: author unknown)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Girl for the Weekend

Cercasi ragazza per il fine settimana, Looking for a girl for the weekend, shop sign, Livorno“Cercasi ragazza per il fine settimana” would be “Looking for a girl for the weekend”. It may seem a strange sign, but this is a shop and they are clearly looking for a sales girl, a “commessa” in Italian.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Corsica Marina Seconda

Corsica Marina Seconda ferry, IMO 7349039, port of LivornoThe ferry “Corsica Marina Seconda” inside the floating dry dock for maintenance. (March 30th)Corsica Marina Seconda ferry, IMO 7349039, port of LivornoThe same ferry on regular service to Corsica. (August 4th)

Search labels: ferry

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Odeon Parking

Odeon parking ramp, LivornoThe ramp of the new parking built where once was the “Cinema Odeon”.The Old English Cemetery, LivornoThe trees in background are those of the Old English Cemetery.

See also: Old English Cemetery - Parco Centro Città - Cinema Odeon

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cruiser “Georgios Averof”

Vintage postcard of the launch of the Greek cruiser Georgios Averof, LivornoA 1910 postcard celebrating the launch of the Greek cruiser “Georgios Averof” at the Orlando Shipyards. There was a time when in Livorno we built a class of battleships called “Pisa”, fitted with an extraordinary combination of Italian engines, French boilers, British artillery and German generators.Right elevation and deck plan, Greek cruiser Georgios Averof, LivornoAlready at that time Italy had budget problems, so the third and last ship of the lot was sold to the Hellenic Navy. Not that Greece was much better off than us, but those were times when philantropists paid also for battleships, so the cruiser was named after George Averoff, who had footed part of the bill.Greek cruiser Georgios AverofAfter a troubled first cruise to Britain to load ammunitions, the “Georgios Averof” finally sailed into Phaleron Bay, near Athens, in September 1911. At the time she was the flagship of her Navy and the most modern and powerful battleship in the Eastern Mediterranean.Greek cruiser Georgios Averof as a floating museum in Faliron Bay, AthensThe cruiser was decommissioned in 1952, but in 1984 the Navy decided to restore the historical vessel. She is now anchored in Faliron Bay as a floating museum of the maritime history and traditions of the Greek Navy.

(Photo credits: postcard from the collection of Antonio Cantelli, Wikipedia, Historic Naval Ships Association)

External links: Greek cruiser Georgios Averof - Georgios Averof (Wikipedia)
B/S Georgios Averof (Historic Naval Ships Association)