Sunday, May 31, 2009


Sacro Cuore, Sacred Heart church, Salesians, LivornoThe “Sacro Cuore” (Sacred Heart) is the church of the Salesian compound. It was built after the First World War in the new quarter of the Stazione (Railway Station) by the architect Torello Macchia and consecrated in 1928. In 1932 the church became a regular Parish of the Diocese of Livorno and is commonly known as “I Salesiani” (The Salesians).Sacro Cuore, Sacred Heart church, Salesians, LivornoThe church has no bell tower but only what is called in Italian a “campanile a vela” (literally sail-shaped belfry). I don't know the equivalent English architectural term: I have found that in French is campenard and in Spanish espadaña.Sacro Cuore, Sacred Heart church, Salesians, LivornoA bust of Don Tommaso Masera, the founder of the “Opera Salesiana” in Livorno, is placed in a small garden on the side of the church.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vigili del Fuoco

Vigili del Fuoco, Firefighters, LivornoThe “Vigili del Fuoco” are the italian equivalent of a Fire Department, organized on national level with local detachments. A large “caserma” (literally: barracks) hosts our Fire Brigade on the eastern outskirts of Livorno. Firefighters are now civilians but the term for their base has stuck from past times.Vigili del Fuoco, Firefighters, LivornoThe Port of Livorno has its own station of firefighters in the “Darsena Vecchia” (Old Harbor), just opposite the Four Moors.Vigili del Fuoco, Firefighters, LivornoIt is quite a common sight to spot one of the smaller boats patrolling the waters or checking out vessels refueling.Vigili del Fuoco, Firefighters, LivornoThe “Vigili del Fuoco” have their divers ready to plunge in the not so clean waters of the port, for any emergency situation.Vigili del Fuoco, Firefighters, LivornoOn the entrance of the Old Harbor fire station you can read their latin motto: “In audentia hilares”, literally “Merry in boldness”.
I had the idea for this post reading a very good piece on Tampa Daily Photo about an old (but kept as new) fireboat. None of these boats is as lovely as it, but I like most of them anyway.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Ladies on a jetty at the marina, Porto Mediceo, LivornoPorto Mediceo, a couple of ladies “catwalking” to their sailboat, carrying some supplies.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Behind the Scenes

Inside the Goldoni Theater, LivornoWe are again inside the Teatro Goldoni, this time on the stage: sets of scenography are dangling from the wood grating placed at about 30 meters of height.Inside the Goldoni Theater, LivornoWe are now on top of the grating, just above the stage, and you can admire a giant terracotta jar: full of water it was used then as a primitive fire fighting device.Inside the Goldoni Theater, LivornoPeople working behind the scenes were proud of their work and wrote their accomplishments on the walls. Some of these writing have been left during the renovation of the theatre.
This one says: “Newest Operetta Company, December 14, 1914”.

See also: Inside the “Goldoni” - Teatro Goldoni

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Lady with two dogs on the leash, scali D'Azeglio, LivornoLate afternoon of a sunny day, on the Scali d'Azeglio.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inside the Goldoni

Inside the Goldoni Theater, LivornoMy friend Stefano has a key for every door and a couple of days ago let me inside the “Teatro Goldoni”. You can see people working on the stage for the next show.Inside the Goldoni Theater, LivornoThere are four order of boxes with the “Palco Reale” in the middle. The central part of the fourth row is called “galleria” and the whole top row, the one with the balustrade, is the “loggione”.Inside the Goldoni Theater, LivornoThe “Palco Reale” hasn't hosted royals lately, but our President, the Livornese Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, was there in 2004 for a “Cavalleria rusticana” by the Livornese Pietro Mascagni.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Pilot boarding a ferry from a pilot boat, LivornoLarge ships are very difficult to maneuver through the relatively narrow waterways that lead into a port, where even the slightest error in judgment can cause huge damage.Pilot boats, Molo Mediceo, LivornoUsually a pilot, with extensive knowledge of the port, boards any arriving or departing ship. To qualify as a pilot many years at sea and experience in the area are required.Pilot boat under a cruise ship outside the port of LivornoPilots rely on visual reference points, knowledge of tides, swells, currents, depths and shoals that might not be readily identifiable on nautical charts without first hand experience.

Search labels: ferry

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Church of Sant'Andrea, Saint Andrew, LivornoFrom the windows of the Istituto Mascagni, in the Gherardesca compound, you have an excellent view of the “campanile” (clock tower) of the church of “Sant'Andrea” (Saint Andrew).Church of Sant'Andrea, Saint Andrew, LivornoThe church was built in 1837 were a cemetery once was, just in front of the Cisternone. A project for “Sant'Andrea” renovation has been completed in 2002, funded by the church parishoners.Old postcard, church of Sant'Andrea, Saint Andrew, LivornoA postcard dated 1901 shows some pictoresque folks around, but not much has changed in the last hundred years: just few cars, a couple of dumpsters, some street lights and the occasional plane.

See also: Sant'Andrea's Bell Tower - Half-Dome Fad

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Istituto “Pietro Mascagni”

Old organ, Istituto Pietro Mascagni, LivornoThe “Pietro Mascagni” musical school was created in 1953 as a public school devoted to prepare new players for the Orchestra Labronica.Concert hall, Istituto Pietro Mascagni, LivornoIn 1978 the Institute received the full title of Academy of Music. Since 2003 the Institute is hosted in the completely renovated “Gherardesca” compound, a former hospice built in 1861 by the architect Alessandro Gherardesca.
Score and baton fountain,  Istituto Pietro Mascagni, LivornoMy friend Stefano showed me around, so you can see the concert hall (a former chapel) and its “vintage” organ. A pity that the “score and baton” inspired fountain in the patio was not flowing at the moment.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Primavera a Colline

Primavera a Colline, Livorno “Colline” is a quarter of Livorno, its name literally means “hills” and it is obviously placed in one of the flattest part of the city. This year they are starting a “Primavera a Colline” (spring in Colline) week, when it is almost already summer.Primavera a Colline, LivornoThis is always an occasion for some photos of the usual things you can find at these fairs: balloons, market stalls and food.
Croccante, brittle, LivornoThe “croccante” (crisp, crunchy) is our local version of brittle, with various kind of nuts and caramel available.
Brigidini, LivornoThe “brigidini” of Lamporecchio are sweet thin waffles made with flour, egg, sugar and a bit of anise. Legend says that these sweets came out from a kitchen mistake and made the fortune of this small town near Pistoia. Usually sold already packaged, sometimes “brigidini” are cooked on the spot on waffle irons.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Anchovies Street

Via delle Acciughe (Anchovies Street), plaque, LivornoHow many cities have a street named after anchovies as “Via delle Acciughe”?Vicolo degli Asini (Donkeys Alley), plaque, LivornoAny “Vicolo degli Asini” or Donkeys Alley?

See also: Narrow Streets, Long Names - Low and Dark

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Unknown Flower

Callistemon or bottle brush flower, LivornoI found this in Piazza Grande, in a flower bed just in front of the Duomo. I do not know its name, anybody can help?

Baruch and Livorno Fan say that this flower is a Callistemon or “bottle brush”.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mine Is Longer

Mega Express and Moby Drea“Mega Express” and “Moby Drea” sizing up each other's bulbs inside the “Porto Mediceo”.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Prisoner Van

vehicle of the “Penitentiary Police vehicle, port of LivornoThis is a new vehicle of the “Polizia Penitenziaria” (Penitentiary Police) clearly intended as escape proof.
Who thinks that only gas-guzzling monsters are made in the States, could check Global Electric Motorcars, Fargo, North Dakota.

See also: Island Prison

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Synagogue of Livorno

Synagogue of LivornoThe first synagogue in Livorno was built around 1606 between the Cathedral and the Fosso Reale, then enlarged and embellished in various stages until 1789.Synagogue of Livorno, 19th centuryThe temple suffered heavy damages during the last war, so the jewish community of Livorno decided to build a new synagogue rather than restore the old one.Synagogue of Livorno, ruins after the warThe new synagogue was built in 1962 in the same place, in a square now named after Elijah Benamozegh. The jewish architect Angelo Di Castro (blacklisted under the fascist racial laws) designed a tentlike building, following the outlines of the original Tabernacle.
Synagogue of LivornoElio Toaff, Chief Rabbi of Rome for fifty years, was born in Livorno in 1915 and is probably the most famous son of this community in recent times.

See also: Inside the Synagogue - Moses Montefiore
Search labels: synagogue

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wind Star

Wind Star cruise ship, IMO 8420878, port of LivornoThis 134 meter cruise ship, built at the Atelier et Chantiers du Havre in 1986, is owned by Windstar Cruises of Seattle and has modern computer-controlled sails. The “Wind Star” is a high-end cruise ship which carries only 150 passengers, so the service on board tends to be excellent.Wind Star cruise ship, IMO 8420878, port of LivornoThis kind of ships still allow passengers on the bridge, though not when entering or leaving port. Given their small size and with a shallow draft of only 4 meters, the “Wind Star” can enter ports that are inaccessible to larger cruise liners.

External links: Windstar Cruises (Wikipedia)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Moby Drea

Moby Drea, LivornoThe “Moby Drea” was born in Lübeck in 1975 as “Tor Britannia” and was used for ferry service between Germany, Sweden, Holland and the United Kingdom. Tired of the North Sea, in 2003 the ship gaudily repainted itself, took a fancy name and retired to the warmer waters of the Mediterranean.Moby Drea, LivornoThis 184 meters cruiseferry has four hundred cabins, a pool and a children's play area. It runs the Moby Lines routes Livorno-Olbia or Genova-Porto Torres.

Search labels: Moby - ferry

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fanfara dei Carabinieri

Fanfara dei Carabinieri, LivornoGoing further backward in time, before the ball in Piazza della Repubblica, there was a concert of the “Fanfara dei Carabinieri” (Carabinieri's brass band), with the traditional 1816 uniforms.Fanfara dei Carabinieri, LivornoThe Carabinieri, created by the King of Savoy in 1814, long before the Italian unification, were modeled on the French Gendarmerie, with similar duties.Fanfara dei Carabinieri, LivornoIf you like band music, check the Carabinieri website and download (free of charge) any mp3 you wish of their most famous concerts. You can find national anthems, “Strangers in the Night”, “White Christmas”, “Star Wars”, opera themes and Neapolitan songs.

See also: The Austrians Are Coming - Shall We Dance? - Balliamo

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Gran Ballo risorgimentale, Livorno
[Photos by VP]
This is the second part of the “Gran Ballo risorgimentale” (Grand Ball of the Risorgimento) in Piazza della Repubblica. The ball was organized by the Livorno chapter of the “Società di Danza” (Dance Society) with guest dancers from other italian cities and from Prague.Gran Ballo risorgimentale, LivornoGran Ballo risorgimentale, LivornoGran Ballo risorgimentale, Livorno
See also: The Austrians Are Coming - Shall We Dance? - Fanfara dei Carabinieri

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shall We Dance?

Gran Ballo risorgimentale, Livorno
[Photos by Trillian]
Just before the “occupation” in Piazza della Repubblica took place a “Gran Ballo risorgimentale” (Grand Ball of the Risorgimento). This ball was organized by the Livorno chapter of the “Società di Danza” (Dance Society) with guest dancers from other italian cities and from Prague.
Gran Ballo risorgimentale, LivornoGran Ballo risorgimentale, LivornoGran Ballo risorgimentale, LivornoWe'll cover this event with two posts, this is the first part with photos by Trillian.

See also: The Austrians Are Coming - Balliamo - Fanfara dei Carabinieri