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
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