Thursday, December 31, 2009


Former Pirelli factory, Viale Carducci, LivornoThis is a decoration on top of the wall surrounding the offices of a former factory in “Viale Carducci”, now a community center. We have already seen its beautiful clock in this post.Former Pirelli factory, Viale Carducci, LivornoI am not a great fan of quizzes, but this could be easy: here is a monogram outside the offices with the initials of the old factory. Can you guess the letters composing it?

amatamari© guessed right, the letters are S-I-C-E for “Societa Italiana Cavi Elettrici” (Italian Society Electrical Cables). Brava!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Via Calzabigi

Palazzo, via Calzabigi, LivornoIf you check on the left of the castle gate of “Villa Maria”, you can see this ornate building with these great balconies.Palazzo, via Calzabigi, LivornoIt is an eye catching “palazzo” and in perfect condition.Palazzo, via Calzabigi, LivornoEven the front door has something special.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Villa Maria

Castle entrance, park of Villa Maria, LivornoThis small castle is the majestic entrance from “Via Calzabigi” to the park of “Villa Maria”. The villa and its gardens were donated to the municipality of Livorno in 1962 by the heirs of the last owner, Giovanni Lazzara.Villa Maria, LivornoThe villa itself faces another street, “Via Redi”, and housed a library until a few years ago, when part of the building was closed for safety reasons. A water tower was built for the four greenhouses and the gardens of the villa.Park of Villa Maria, LivornoThe rest of the building is not kept very well, if we think that is inside a public park. It is officially under restoration, but I have pictures of one year ago which are exactly like these.Park of Villa Maria, LivornoGraffitis are almost everywhere, I even saw a couple of dead pigeons in the path leading to the front door of the villa.Park of Villa Maria, LivornoThis planked-up building faces the playground, a place where kids are supposed to be safe.Park of Villa Maria, LivornoThe detailed rules at the gate (with even two notes) are perfectly in line with the look of the park.

Monday, December 28, 2009

After Christmas

My first Sunday walk after the Holidays begins with a facade in “Via Oberdan”, seen from “Via Sproni”.An enigmatic wreath in “Via dell'Olmo” (Elm Street).Same street, a Santa hopelessly stuck outside a window......and another Santa trapped inside a house, behind bars.In Elm Street you can find an orange tree.
They wrote “Buon Natale” (Merry Christmas) all for themselves...

More Walks

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Venice

Boats, Venezia quarterVenice's “gozzo” and “gozzetta”. Red and white are the colors of the “rione” (quarter) for the rowing competitions along the year. Viale Caprera canalViale Caprera”, the first part of the canal already redug few years ago, the “micropoles” drill and the church of “San Ferdinando”.

Search labels: new canal
See also: An Useless Dig - Canale dei Navicelli - Viale Caprera - Micropoles - A New Canal - Crash - The Dig - Building the Canal - Venice's Canal - The Old “Cantina” - Along the New Canal - Under Construction - The Bomb - The Buried Bomb - The Wall - Modulblock

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saint Stephen

Saint Stephen statue, church of San Sebastiano, LivornoToday is Saint Stephen's Day and it seems a good occasion to thank all the Stefanos (at least four of them) who helped us with access to places, news, facts and historical data.
The statue of the Protomartyr is on the facade of the church of “San Sebastiano” (Saint Sebastian), Saint Stephen is carrying the martyrs' palm and the stones of his martyrdom.

More about Saint Stephen on Jerusalem Hills daily photo.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Nativity Scene

Nativity scenes in a demijohn, LivornoI have seen many nativity scenes, but these are different.
Nativity scenes in a demijohn, LivornoNativity scenes in a demijohn, LivornoThese have been built inside a purposedly broken “damigiana” (demijohn), a typical large wine container, usually enclosed in wickerwork.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Yesterday, for once, I was not late getting to work, so I stopped in “Piazza Grande” to take a picture of the still lighted Christmas tree in front of the “Duomo”. But there is no tree, only the lights!New market stalls in “Via della Madonna” with a nice poker of cats.Boxes of colorful natural soap, for every skin or taste.Not far, a 65 euro Santa emerging from a chimney. Or is it a well?

More Walks

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The building of the “Banca Nazionale del Lavoro” (National Bank of Work) in “Via Cairoli” has a nice set of bas-reliefs: three panels on each side of the main entrance.Each panel shows, in a symbolic manner, a different sector of the economy: commercial fishing, maritime trade, agriculture, movie making, constructions and mechanical industry.Financing films (more than 5000 in about seventy years) from production to distribution has been a traditional business for this bank, since the last years of the fascist period, when the import of American movies was forbidden.The BNL is now owned by French banking group BNP Paribas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Palazzo Granducale

Palazzo Granducale, LivornoThe “Palazzo Granducale” (Grand Ducal Palace), opposite Town Hall in “Piazza del Municipio”, houses the offices of the “Provincia di Livorno”.It was built in the early 17th Century following a project by Antonio Cantagallina for the Grand Duke Ferdinando I. In 1629 Giovan Battista Santi enlarged the building and added the portico toward “Piazza d'Armi”, now “Piazza Grande”. It was used as a residence for visiting sovereigns.Palazzo Granducale, LivornoIn 1796, during the French invasion, Napoleone Bonaparte stayed here: the building was used as barracks and looted of part of its furniture. Since 1871 it housed various schools, then it was refurbished to become the seat of the Province in 1931.Palazzo Granducale, LivornoIn this old postcard you can see it on the right, facing “Piazza Vittorio Emanuele”, as it was called “Piazza Grande” about one hundred years ago. Heavily damaged during the war, it was demolished and rebuilt few meters back from the original position, to grant more visibility to Town Hall. Its facade and portico are reminiscent of the old “palazzo”, but the rest is a modern building.Palazzo Granducale, LivornoAn extensive cleaning of the travertine facade is still in progress.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Anniversary Walk

Today is the first anniversary of our blog and this is a very good occasion to say thank you to all our friends. It has been a great year in your company and we are quite ready for the next one.Balcony with Christmas decorations, LivornoThis is a Sunday walk with a Christmas theme: decorations, shop windows and market stalls. Our first stop is for a balcony in “Via Calzabigi”, one of the more elegant street in Livorno.Mannequins, window display, via Ricasoli, LivornoThe expression of this mannequin in “Via Ricasoli” is interesting.Benches, crêperie, via Ricasoli, LivornoBenches await customers outside a crêperie in the same street.Via Ricasoli seen from Piazza Cavour, Livorno“Via Ricasoli” seen from “Piazza Cavour” in the early afternoon: at this time of the day this street is usually almost desert.Presepe, nativity scene, LivornoA cheap but colorful “presepe” (nativity scene) in a market stall.Wild-eyed and pink-faced Santa, LivornoA wild-eyed and pink-faced “Babbo Natale”, in strange company.Flowers and poinsettias, Livorno“Offerta”: on special offer. “Consegna a domicilio”: home delivery.

More Walks

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Still at Sea

It is not enough cold to keep people from using their boats, as you can see in these pictures taken last week.
We can observe their clothing while they are coming back to port.
Maybe in a hurry to get something warm, after some time at sea.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


The oldest part of the port of Livorno, the “Pamiglione”, with the “Fortezza Vecchia” (Old Fortress) and the “Mastio di Matilde” (Matilda's Keep) in background.A wider view of the “Pamiglione”.

See also: Old Harbor - Fortezza Vecchia - Mastio di Matilde - Painted Pamiglione

Friday, December 18, 2009


Caminito, restaurant, via dei Bagnetti, LivornoA whiff of Argentina at the “Caminito”.La Bodeguita, LivornoSome Cuban flavor at “La Bodeguita”.Habano tobacconist, via Ricasoli, LivornoEverything for smokers at the “Habano” tobacconist.