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.

30 comments:

Lois said...

It looks kind of sad right now. I hope it does get restored!

Albert Lázaro-Tinaut said...

Un bellissimo modo di conoscere una città che, purtroppo, non ho ancora visitato. Interessantissimo! Le faccio i miei complimenti sinceri.
Auguri per il 2010 e saluti cordiali da Barcellona.

Stine in Ontario said...

Awful about the graffiti! And what a shame this place has been allowed to rundown.

Wolynski said...

A lovely decaying villa still has character - even Livorno can't be perfect.

Luis Gomez said...

It looks like a wonderful place. Do you think it will be finally restore any time soon?

James said...

What a shame. That place would be amzing if it was kept up.

Per Stromsjo said...

Restoration certainly seems like a good idea but if time just passes without anything happening it does become a matter of credibility.

joo said...

It's a shame, the place could be so pretty! Actually still to certain extend.

lodolite said...

che tristezza e che rabbia! propongo di non chiamere graffiti dei banali e brutti scarabocchi.
ciao simona

Gunn White said...

When i saw the first two photos, I thought it was a very pretty place......
The rest was sad, and a shame that some people don`t care....

Eleonora said...

What a shame! Can there be public funding to restore it? It's sad to think that our cities' green spaces can be neglected like this.

Ciao
Eleonora

Julie said...

I gather that some of the problem is that Italy has so many old builings that "really should be kept up" that there is not enough public money available to restore every such building.

I appreciate your showing this to us, VP. Sometimes looking at the not so good bits of our city is a refreshing thing to do.

Thank you.

brattcat said...

Excellent series of shots and commentary, VP. That first shot, looking through the archway toward the garden has such promise. And then you take us in and show us the graffiti and decay, which is beautiful the way you compose it, but also sad.

Ilse said...

Now, almost 50 years after the donation, I wonder what the heirs of the donating heirs think? Back then the family probably could not afford the taxes & the maintenance. Now, what the place would be worth for a developer to turn into condos or a hotel?

Halcyon said...

Guess the rennovation crews are on an extended break. No one ever said things move quickly in Italy! ;-)

Small City Scenes said...

Such a beautiful place with a great history. Too bad vandals are so thoughtless. MB

cieldequimper said...

Argh... making me angry just before I leave on holiday. Such a waste.

amatamari© said...

Ma che tristezza vedere questa incuria...
:-(

Andreea said...

Too bad, it looks like a nice place. I hope the restoration will restart before the damage is too great.

Steffe said...

Hopefully when the economic situation changes for the better, so will this old place.

JM said...

What an entrance! Shame about the rest but let me tell you it's not only in Livorno that some restoration works took years before starting... and we never understand why!...

As to the aloe, yes, I think it's the arborencens, the most common around here. I also keep 6 species on my terrace, but there are so many that I'm never sure which is which... :-)

Birdman said...

Now, that kind of spoiled my 'romantic' view of castles. I guess everyone can't be like the panoramnic views of the Highlands.

tapirgal said...

I saw this on my BlackBerry when I was out today, but didn't comment until I'd seen the post of the beautiful facade above this. I think you're showing us opposites back to back. It's good to see both sides, and I, too, hope someone fixes this up. It's too bad to lose it or to lose children inside of it!

tapirgal said...

P.S. About the children. I hope nobody gets hurt, but of course I remember we loved to find places like this when I was a child, and it looks like some have had fun getting past the planks already.

Ellie Vellie said...

If they clean up the pigeons they may grow tomatoes or peppers there :)

Hilda said...

Sigh. Such a waste. I hope your city gets around to renovating it soon. It looks and sounds like it can be such a magnificent place.

Dina said...

Uh oh, I wonder what killed the pigeons.
That was a WATER tower?? So practical!
The doorless doorway would tempt me to explore.

Kaori said...

What do they do with buildings considered unsafe in Livorno? Do they tear them down and rebuild? Or do they restore the original building? I hope they manage to give the park a face-lift :)

JT said...

Perhaps the graffiti is imported from LA? Wonderful photos nevertheless.

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

Ah well, when I see things like this I think, at least it has not been torn down and some ugly modern building put there. "Someone" will get around to it eventually -- especially if it gets publicity like this! Good work.

Three Rivers Daily Photo