Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Big Anchovy

Big fish painted on the roof of the Fish Market by Libera Capezzone, Livorno
A few days ago a “grande acciuga” (big anchovy) has been painted on the roof of the decrepit Fish Market building. It is a work of Libera Capezzone and the words below say: “Lische squame coda amore. Libertà” (Fishbones scales tail love. Freedom).
Big fish painted on the roof of the Fish Market by Libera Capezzone, Livorno
The project was sponsored by a brand of paint, so it would have been nice to paint also the rest of the roof, which badly need it. This would have been also a better background for the big fish.

See also: Mercato del Pesce

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Azamara Quest

Cruise ship Azamara Quest, IMO 9210218, port of Livorno
The 181-meter “Azamara Quest” was built in 2000 by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France. She was the seventh ship in a series of eight identical cruise ships built for Renaissance Cruises and, in an amazing flight of fantasy, she was named “R Seven”. She then became “Delphin Renaissance” and “Blue Moon”, before settling for the actual name.

See also: MS Nautica
External links: Azamara Quest - Chantiers de l'Atlantique (Wikipedia)
Search labels: cruise ship

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Eve

Tower of the Maritime Warnings service, torre dell'Avvisatore Marittimo, port of Livorno
Easter Eve is usually the peak of a week-long rush to buy food and groceries for the Easter dinner. A shower of rain has probably kept away the rare fishermen, so I am not surprised to have the port all to myself.
Tower of the Maritime Warnings service, torre dell'Avvisatore Marittimo, port of Livorno
The tower of the Avvisatore Marittimo (Maritime Warnings service) looks even more strange against a dark and cloudy sky.

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)