Friday, January 31, 2014

Ready for Winter

Covered bicycle, Benci elementary school, Livorno
An effort to protect a bicycle from the rain, in the courtyard of the Benci elementary school.

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Moby Aki & Mega Express Two

Corsica Sardinia Ferries, Mega Express Two ferry, IMO 9203186, Livorno
The “Mega Express Two” and “Moby Aki” ferries in port.
Moby Aki ferry, IMO 9299393, Livorno
You have already seen these ferries, but this time there is something more in the pictures: the heavy rain.

See also: Mega Express Two - Moby Aki
Search labels: Moby - ferry

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Magpie

Magpie on the roof of the Central Market, Livorno
A magpie on the roof of the Mercato Centrale. Sorry for the quality, but this was a very distant shot.

See also: Mercato Centrale - Panorama del Mercato

Monday, January 27, 2014


A stolperstein in Via Dario Cassuto, dedicated to Perla Beniacar.
Stolperstein, stumbling block, remembering Perla Beniacar, Livorno
She was born in Livorno on 19 June 1935, the daughter of Moise Beniacar and Estrea Levi, a family that had recently arrived in town from Smirne, Turkey. Perla, which means pearl, was also the name of her paternal grandmother. She had three siblings: Matilde, Bulissa Luisa and Giacobbe Giacomo.
They were all arrested on 21 January 1944 in Borgo a Buggiano (Pistoia) and deported to Auschwitz, where Perla died on 26 February 1944. The only member of her family who survived the Shoah was her sister Matilde.

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

Sunday, January 26, 2014

More Troops

I take this opportunity to thank all the slobs that forced me to watermark these old postcards.
Vintage postcard, scali degli Olandesi with passing troops, Livorno
Mercato Centrale, another view (with passing troops) from Scali degli Olandesi, 1914

Scali degli Olandesi, Livorno
Mercato Centrale, almost the same view from Scali degli Olandesi, April 2013

(Postcard digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)
Search labels: postcard
See also: Mercato Centrale - Passing Troops

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Glad to See Again

Since mid-2010 my vision kept deteriorating constantly and in late 2012 I wasn't able to recognize a face within a few meters from me. Walking around was still relatively easy on familiar grounds, but a bit difficult outside my usual path. As you know, I kept taking pictures: my zoom lens became an eyesight enhancer that made me able to read distant signs and street plaques.
Dutch church, scali degli Olandesi, Livorno
Exactly one year ago, on 25 January 2013, I underwent a quite simple surgical procedure that allowed me to regain most of my eyesight. This photo of our Dutch church was my last “blind” shot.
Coastline, Marina di Pisa
The following day I had an after-surgery visit in Pisa and they finally freed my eye from a protective patch. Coming back to Livorno we stopped in Marina di Pisa, where I took my first shot “after”.
It was a beautiful day.

See also: Outside the Cage - Chiesa degli Olandesi

Friday, January 24, 2014

Two More Clets

Walking around Livorno I keep finding some more of the traffic signs revised by Clet Abraham...
Clet Abraham, scali delle Barchette, Livorno
Scali delle Barchette, Livorno

Clet Abraham, via Mentana, Livorno
Via Mentana, Livorno

See also: Clet Abraham - Clet's Studio
External links: Thirty smile an hour zone: Cheeky artist changes road signs with stickers... (Daily Mail)
- Clet Abraham (Wikipedia, in French) - The language of the street signs by Clet Abraham (Abitare)
Search labels: Clet Abraham

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Voice of Bells

Bells of the church of San Giovanni Battista, Saint John the Baptist church, Livorno
The bells of the church of San Giovanni Battista (Saint John the Baptist), in Via Carraia.

Laudo Deum verum, plebem voco, congrego clerum!
Defunctos ploro, pestem fugo, festa decoro!
Funera plango, fulgora frango, sabbata pango!
Excito lentos, dissipo ventos, paco cruentos!
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Golden Legend, 1851)

(I praise the true God, I call the people, I assemble the clergy!
I bewail the dead, I put to flight plague, I honor the feasts!
I mourn at funerals , I scatter the thunderbolts, I call the sabbaths!
I hustle the sluggards, I drive away storms, I proclaim peace after a bloodshed!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Italian Navy patrol boat P401 Cassiopea, porto di Livorno
The patrol boat “Cassiopea” was launched in 1987 at the Fincantieri shipyard at Muggiano, La Spezia. She was the first ship of the her namesake class.
Oto Melara 76/62 MMI, Italian Navy patrol boat P401 Cassiopea, porto di Livorno
Her Oto Melara 76/62 MMI gun is actually a hand-me-down from a discarded Bergamini-class frigate.
(Pictures taken in September 2013)

External links: Bergamini-class frigate - Cassiopea-class patrol vessel - Oto Melara 76/62 MMI (Wikipedia)
- Cassiopea (Marina Militare)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fire Escape

Fire escape stairs, ISIS Niccolini-Palli, via Ginori, Livorno
The fire escape stairs landing of a school, with a dish antenna. This is just in front of “All Clean”.

See also: All Clean

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Beggar Woman

“The Beggar Woman” is the other painting by Modigliani which was almost certainly painted in Livorno in the summer of 1909. Dedicated to the friend Jean Alexandre, it was shown at the 1910 Salon.
Beggar Woman, painting by Amedeo Modigliani
“The Beggar Woman”, 1909
Oil on canvas, 46x38cm
Private collection

“Modigliani may have painted one other picture while he was at home in Livorno. ‘The Beggar Woman’ - the companion to ‘The Beggar’ - before he left for Paris in the autumn of 1909, sadly and hopefully.”
(June Rose, Modigliani - The Pure Bohemian)

“Perhaps the most fully realized of his portraits at this period is ‘The Beggar Woman’, an example of the ‘cool purposefulness’ and economy of means that Modigliani was beginning to display. The lowered eyes, droop of the head, and particular set of the mouth speak volumes about the misery and pride of this anonymous daughter of the people.”
(Meryle Secrest, Modigliani: A Life)

See also: The Beggar of Livorno
External links: Amedeo Modigliani - Jeanne Modigliani - Salon (Wikipedia)
Search labels: Modigliani

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Rob in Livorno

Multicolor umbrella on a square-tiled floor, Livorno
Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet Rob of Barcelona Daily Photo, who made a stop-over in Livorno, on his way back home. The weather was not brilliant, but we were spared the rain and I was able to accompany our friend for a quick walk around Livorno. Rob speaks an excellent Italian (and nine more languages!) so my task as guide was even easier. We also met Trillian at the end of our tour.
Ikarus Palace route from Livorno to Barcelona
Rob is now on his way to Barcelona on board the “Ikarus Palace”, which is now (9:27 AM) just off Toulon.

External links: Barcelona Daily Photo - MarineTraffic

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Cloud

Bicicletta coperta, scuola elementare Benci, Livorno
I do not usually take pictures of clouds: in my list they rank even below sunsets, which are already near the bottom of it. But our sky is usually clear or uniformly grey: fluffy clouds like this one are really a rarity and deserve an exception.

We are happy to say hello to our friend Rob Siemann of Barcelona Daily Photo, who is in town!

External links: Livorno di notte (Barcelona Daily Photo)

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Dead Leaves

Bicycle lying on a bunch of dead leaves, via Gramsci, Livorno
A bicycle overwhelmed by the wind, lying on a bed of dead leaves, in Via Gramsci.

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Sphinx of Livorno

Terracotta sphinx, via Mayer, Livorno
This busty sphinx stands on the pillar of a gate in Via Mayer, facing her slightly less photogenic twin sister on the other pillar.
Terracotta sphinx, via Mayer, Livorno
This terracotta work appeared in one of my first posts and a couple of years later it showed up again in a set of mythological creatures.

See also: Topless Sphinx - Myths & Legends

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

M/V Lisbon Express

Lisbon Express, IMO 9108128, port of Livorno
It wasn't easy to recognize the “Lisbon Express” from behind and almost a kilometer away, so I had to check her later. My first encounter with this 216-meter container ship is documented here.
Lisbon Express, IMO 9108128, port of Livorno
A few days later I went to see her more closely: the ship was undergoing some maintenance work while berthed at a dock.

See also: Lisbon Express - Hapag-Lloyd
External links: Hapag-Lloyd (Official website)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pink Wall

Lamppost, windows on a pink wall, via delle Galere, Livorno
This is the same wall of Pink on Pink, in Via delle Galere. Not visible, on the left, the by now closed Cinema Kino-Dessé.

See also: Pink on Pink - Cinema Kino-Dessé

Monday, January 13, 2014

Madonna dei Popoli

Madonna dei Popoli, Our Lady of the Peoples by Paolo Grigò, port of Livorno
The other half of this blog has convinced me to rewrite this post because it was too negative, so I will try it again, more blandly. This is the statue of the “Madonna dei Popoli” (Our Lady of the Peoples), by the Pisan sculptor Paolo Grigò.
Madonna dei Popoli, Our Lady of the Peoples by Paolo Grigò, port of Livorno
The sculpture, placed on a basement at the entrance of the port of Livorno, was unveiled last September in a formal ceremony.
Madonna dei Popoli, Our Lady of the Peoples by Paolo Grigò, port of Livorno
A final shot of the statue against the stern ramp of the passing “Eurocargo Malta”.

See also: The Scaffolding

Sunday, January 12, 2014

More Ouroboroses

“In the cemetery, a snake biting or eating its tail is a symbol of immortality, rejuvenation, and eternity. It is seldom used in funerary art nowadays, but it was a very popular symbol in nineteenth-century cemeteries. Images of the ouroboros can be found in the art of ancient Egypt (where it symbolized the daily cycle of the sun), China (where it was among the myriad yin and yang symbols), the Roman Empire (where it was associated with Saturn, the god of time), as well as in European and American funerary art.
Ouroboros, Old English Cemetery, Livorno
Beyond symbolizing immortality the ouroboros suggests that for every ending there is a new beginning. In alchemy the ouroboros symbolizes a closed cyclical process (heating, evaporation, cooling, condensation), which refines or purifies substances.”
(Douglas Keister, Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography, 2004)

Ouroboros, Old English Cemetery, Livorno
All of our examples of ouroboros are taken from graves of the Old English Cemetery in Livorno.
Ouroboros, Old English Cemetery, Livorno
We have recently seen how a part this cemetery is in danger, but some uninformed pieces on the local papers are distorting the facts, trying to minimize or ignore the role of the group of volunteers who cleared, kept and maintained the place in the last years. Trying to secure this situation is well beyond the means of these brave people and the cemetery needs any external help available, but without much fuss or sterile polemics.

See also: Ouroboros - Old English Cemetery - Cemetery in Danger
External links: Ouroboros - Old English Cemetery, Livorno (Wikipedia)
Facebook: Salviamo l'Antico Cimitero degli Inglesi di Livorno (Save the Old English Cemetery of Livorno) - Livorno delle Nazioni (Livorno of the Nations)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wet Cat

Wet cat after a downpour, via del Fagiano, Livorno
After a downpour, a quite wet cat is trying to dry himself on a wall in Via del Fagiano.

Search labels: cat

Friday, January 10, 2014


Change by Vlado Vesselinov, Il Melograno art gallery, via Marradi, Livorno
“Change” by Vlado Vesselinov, in a window of “Il Melograno” art gallery in Via Marradi.

External links: Vlado Vesselinov (Saatchi Online) - Il Melograno (Official website, in Italian)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Via Emilio Zola

Corner building, via Zola, Livorno
A building on the corner of Via Emilio Zola with Via dell'Arena Alfieri.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

M/V Otello

They must love opera at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. In their fleet of vehicle carrier ships we can find “Fidelio”, “Carmen”, “Aida”, “Falstaff”, “Tosca”, “Turandot” and many more like that. They even have two sister ships named one “Porgy” and the other “Bess”!
Otello car carrier ship, IMO 9316141, Livorno
Ours is the 200-meter “Otello”, a sister ship of the above mentioned “Aida”. She is a PCTC (Pure Car Truck Carrier) with a capacity of 6.700 cars. (Picture taken in December 2012)

External links: Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (Wikipedia) - Fleet list (Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Cinema, Old Logo

La Gran Guardia logo, screen of the new cinema, Livorno
The old logo of the La Gran Guardia cinema on the screen of one of the new theaters...
La Gran Guardia logo, upholstery of the seats of the new theaters, Livorno
...and on the upholstery of the seats.

See also: La Gran Guardia - The New Gran Guardia - Old Counter, New Cinema - Movie Projector

Monday, January 6, 2014

Fattori in Florence

Bust of Giuseppe Fattori by Fosco Tricca, Academy of Fine Arts, via Battisti, Florence
This bust of Giovanni Fattori, by the sculptor Fosco Tricca, is part of a monument to the Livornese painter on the wall of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (Academy of Fine Arts of Florence), in Via Battisti.
Bust of Giuseppe Fattori by Fosco Tricca with plaque, Academy of Fine Arts, via Battisti, Florence
Since 1869 Fattori taught at the Accademia, where one of his late students was Amedeo Modigliani.

External links: Giovanni Fattori - Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze - Amedeo Modigliani (Wikipedia)
See also: Chili Pepper & Macchiaioli - Cisternino di città - Mazzini & Fattori - Portrait of Giovanni Fattori

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Night and Day

Two almost identical views from the bridge of the Mercato: on the left there is the Chiesa degli Olandesi (Dutch Church), at the far end of the Fosso Reale (Royal Canal) we can see Piazza Cavour.
Night view of the Fosso Reale from the Mercato bridge, Livorno
At night

Fosso Reale seen from the Mercato bridge, Livorno
In daytime

See also: Ponte del Mercato - Chiesa degli Olandesi - Piazza Cavour

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bicycle Thieves

Lucchetto di bicicletta tagliato, via Gramsci, Livorno
Bicycle thieves at work: a cut lock is all that remains...

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dogs on the Roof

Statues of dogs on a roof, scali delle Cantine, Livorno
We have already seen a couple of strange statues on a roof, but these are the ones I like best. The building is on Scali delle Cantine and faces the Fortezza Nuova.

See also: Busti on the Roof - Scali delle Cantine - Fortezza Nuova

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Theme Day: Best of 2013

Today's Theme Day is about the best photo of 2013. I was looking back at the pictures I took last year and it was difficult to pick up something I really liked. Then I saw this was the one: it portrays Stefano Ceccarini and Matteo Giunti, two brave friends of mine who are still fighting hard to save at least part of the precious heritage of this decaying and uncaring city.
Stefano Ceccarini, Matteo Giunti, Chiesa degli Olandesi, Dutch church, Livorno
With their hard work they have just secured 25.000 Euro for the Dutch Church, with more 80.000 Euro coming. It is not much, but it obviously helps.
As we have recently seen, Matteo has also his hands busy with the cemetery in danger.

Happy New Year to All of You!

See also: Theme Day: Best of 2009 - Theme Day: Best of 2010
- Old English Cemetery - Chiesa degli Olandesi - Stefano & Matteo