Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Place d'Italie?

Old stalls of the Mercatino Americano torn down, LivornoExactly a month after the “Mercatino Americano” left “Piazza XX Settembre”, and after weeks of polemics about the abandoned stalls, the old shanty town is being torn to pieces.Old Mercatino Americano torn downLike many Livornesi of my age or younger, I have never seen this square as it was: a tree lined “piazza” in front of the church of “San Benedetto”. In the meantime many trees were lost, but we gained a statue of an unlucky Grand Duke.Old postcard, piazza XX Settembre, LivornoSeveral ideas were floated for the reborn square: residents would like more parking space, while some brilliant minds would like to transform it in a place d'Italie “like the square in Paris”.View of place d'Italie in Paris, from Bing Maps
[Place d'Italie, 13e arrondissement, from Bing Maps]
I guess they have never been in Paris or simply remember the wrong place, without ever bothering to check it out.Mercatino Americano, the last stallA lone stall keeper has, since now, refused to move and is still displaying his merchandise amidst the ongoing demolition.

21 comments:

JM said...

This is a very interesting post! I'm sure you will show us the final look of the place... when it's done! :-) As for now, the Grand Duque can take a big breath!

By the way, I enjoyed the fact you have mentioned Led Zeppelin in your comment! It's been such a long time since I listen to them that I almost forgot they existed! :-)

Ellie said...

They made the mess on purpose?! Hope they make a decision soon! Paris's plaza is spectacular - I vote for it!

James said...

I bet it will look great when it's finally finished. (fingers crossed)

Vogon Poet said...

@ Ellie - Place d'Italie is a giant roundabout at least 170 meters in diameter, with a practically unaccessible green island and a large fountain in the middle.
“Piazza XX Settembre” is an old fashioned square in front of a church, surrounded by houses. It is only 30 meters wide and a bit more of 100 meters long.

Steffe said...

I like that the lone stall keeper isn't giving up so easy!

brattcat said...

What would you do with it?

Jacob said...

It will be interesting to see what happens here. Has to be better than what was there, right?

Boise Diva said...

Please, don't make it a parking lot!

tapirgal said...

What an interesting story and a nice photo essay. They're all nice, but the first is spectacular. The statue is clearly confused by the demolition going on around his feet!

Baruch said...

I like the aerial view. I always get lost and this will help to find my direction :)

Yoork said...

Ach, it pains me to see destruction!

Gunn White said...

Wow, lots of changes coming up....
And I guess it will be very nice.

Anyway, I hope the stall keeper will keep his stall as long as possible, and than find an ok new place to sell clothes etc.

Cezar and Léia said...

The sculpture at the first shot is trying hard to resist all this mess!
I hope the final result will be okay for all people there.
Maybe that idea about some square like in Paris could be nice.
Please keep us updating about okay!
Léia

Hilda said...

I think bringing it back to what it used to be would be fine, especially if they add even more trees. It would be a lovely promenade.

Whatever the decision is, I just hope it won't be a parking lot! Keep us updated!

margaret said...

The Grand Duke looks as if he's hitching up his skirts to leave.

I am voting with Hilda for more trees. I hope the city council listens to us :)

amatamari© said...

Great post, magnificent photographs
deep thoughts.
Administer the public good should be a priority: often here in Italy
seems an option,confusion and improvisation,and our beauties
vanish...

Saretta said...

Can't wait to see it transformed!

Andreea said...

I just hope they don't choose the parking lot idea.

cieldequimper said...

Wouldn't it be nice to have a bicycle parking lot and some cafés?

Per Stromsjo said...

Wasn't there a news story last year about a Chinese man who refused to move out of his apartment so one house was left standing in a large area being flattened. I'm sure he had to give up eventually but it was an impressive display of stubbornness.

Ellie said...

I've been to Paris. What I meant is - you can do little Paris in 30 m :) They put an obelisk in the middle of the city - didn't care if it is wide enough as the desert :)