Thursday, September 3, 2009

Piazza della Repubblica

Piazza della Repubblica, Livorno“Piazza della Repubblica” is the largest square in Livorno and has a secret: it is a very wide bridge. Around 1840 the “Fosso Reale” was provided with a vaulted covering over 220 meter long, which gave the square the popular name of “Voltone” (big vault).Piazza della Repubblica, LivornoThe square is on the east-west axis going from the port to the railway station and faces, on its north side, the “Fortezza Nuova”.Piazza della Repubblica, LivornoOn the square were erected two statues of two Grand Dukes of Tuscany: Ferdinando III by Francesco Pozzi and Leopold II by Paolo Emilio Demi. The last statue was damaged during the unrest of 1849 and replaced with a copy by Emilio Santarelli in 1855. The damaged statue was kept in storage for almost a century and is now sadly stranded in the middle of “Piazza XX Settembre”.Old postcard, piazza della Repubblica, LivornoFormerly known as square of the Grand Dukes, changed its name in “Piazza Carlo Alberto” to honor Carlo Alberto of Savoy. In 1946, after the fall of the monarchy, the square received its current name.

See also: The Austrians Are Coming - Shall We Dance? - Balliamo? - Fanfara dei Carabinieri - Forlorn Grand Duke

24 comments:

Sunny said...

I find the contrast of the sleek boats against the old architecture very interesting.
Wonderful pictures.
Sunny :)

Jacob said...

The subject of a couple of these photos look familiar...but I had no idea this was "a very wide bridge." Fascinating history.

Leif Hagen said...

I see the light at the end of the tunnel . . . .

Clueless in Boston said...

I think it was great ingenuity to build a square over a river.

Tash said...

Another really well done comparison of Now & Then. Is the hill in the distance of the old photo still there? I think I see it with a huge white structure on it??

joo said...

Wide bridge indeed! The first photo is terrific, and I like the idea of comparing modern and old pictures.

Per Stromsjo said...

Not a bad place for a Grand Duke to hang around. I also like the first shot, it captures the contrasts that I like so much about Italy.

Cezar and Léia said...

I loved the first shot! So interesting post dear friend!
Léia

Traveler said...

It is a very wide bridge. I've never seen anything like it. The first picture is beautiful. I like the way the bridge and the boats are reflected in the water.

brattcat said...

A splendid quartet. It really helps when you show a historic shot and a contemporary image of the same place from the same basic angle. Thank you.

Vogon Poet said...

@ Tash - The hill in the old photo is the “Fortezza Nuova”. The white buildings are replaced by trees since it became a public park.

B SQUARED said...

Must be a very popular area.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

excellent post. I love the old photo showing the same scene many years ago. such history.

JM said...

The Fosso Reale is so very interesting!

Ilse said...

Just love Italy! I noticed that the pose of the Grand Duke is that of the 'Apollo Belvedere' in the Vatican. A Roman statue which so captured the public imagination in the 19th c. & is now almost forgotten.

Halcyon said...

I like it when you take us around and show us a different view of something we've seen before. I thought I recognized that statue!

James said...

Wonderful pictures. You are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.

Steffe said...

Love the now and then photo. And some interesting facts about the Piazza.

Frank said...

The contrast between then and now is very cool. The plaza is amazing in itself and is what I like so much about Livorno and Italy. Big, grand spaces. Huge statues and lots of history.

Nice post!!

amatamari© said...

Is incredible: a square is a bridge!
Beautiful and interesting history: thanks for the series of photographs!
:-)

Asta said...

Hello,

Fascinating story. I had no idea.
Thank you for sharing this with us.

Best regards
Asta

Ellie said...

Great work! You really know how to fit giant spaces into the limits of a photo! Super!

Kate said...

I think that the European concept of public squares is to be envied! How pleasant it must be to be able to gather on a wide expanse over a bridge.

Hilda said...

This is so fascinating! I wouldn't even have thought this huge plaza was a 'bridge'! I'm also amazed that it still looks largely unchanged from the old illustration.