Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Painted Tiles

Fruit and vegetables, via Mentana, LivornoFruit and vegetables in “Via Mentana”.Bookbinder sign, corso Amedeo, LivornoA bookbinder in “Corso Amedeo”.Wine shop sign, via Mentana, LivornoA wine shop, again in “Via Mentana”.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ciano's Mausoleum

Ciano's Mausoleum, LivornoWhen I was a kid I suspected that this massive structure on the top of “Monte Burrone” (Mount Ravine) was a money bin of sorts, like the one where Scrooge McDuck stored his dollars.Ciano's Mausoleum, LivornoThe huge “cube” was part of the mausoleum of Costanzo Ciano, the powerful local Fascist leader whose son Galeazzo married Edda, the daughter of Mussolini.It was practically intended as a giant plinth for a 12 meter statue honoring him as naval commander and as the base for a 50 meter tall fasces-shaped light.
Ciano's Mausoleum, LivornoThe war and the fall of the Fascist regime stopped the works, then the Germans blew up the light. The building and the surrounding area, not far from Montenero, had been abandoned since.Part of the half-finished statue still lies in a cave on the island of Santo Stefano, in the Maddalena archipelago of northern Sardinia.

(Pictures of the project and of the statue from: Mausoleo di Costanzo Ciano: un pezzo di storia tra i rifiuti)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Trillian's Walk

Stone eagle, Villa Jana, Quercianella, LivornoThis time is Trillian who is wandering the streets of Quercianella: her first catch is a frowning eagle of “Villa Jana”.Table and chairs outside the restaurant Sottocosta, Quercianella, LivornoA table outside the renowned restaurant and hotel “Sottocosta”.Hibiscus, Quercianella, LivornoA lone hibiscus (Thanks, ciel!) outside a “villetta”.Sun and moon on a wall, LivornoThe sun and the moon together on a wall.Trillian in a convex mirror, LivornoWho can resist a convex mirror?Plaque, Villet Tina, Quercianella, LivornoA “villettina” is a smaller villa or “villetta”, but in this case there is probably around some lady called Tina.

See also: Villa Jana - Green Lizard's Bay - Baia del Rogiolo - Quercianella

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Villa Jana

Villa Jana, Quercianella, Livorno“Villa Jana”, or “Castel Jana” as modestly written on a plaque at the main gate, is a striking structure in eclectic style built in 1921 in the outskirts of Quercianella.Villa Jana, Quercianella, LivornoQuercianella, an administrative division of Livorno, is a lovely seaside resort and the southernmost part of our Municipality.Villa Jana, Quercianella, LivornoThe belvedere of the villa faces the bay on the south of the Romito headland, dominated by “Castel Sonnino”.Villa Jana, Quercianella, LivornoThe villa has a turreted access to a small jetty...Villa Jana, Quercianella, Livorno... and to a pebble beach nearby.

See also: Villa Jana, Quercianella

Castello del BoccaleTorre di CalafuriaCalignaiaCastel Sonnino

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lost Walk

I forgot this walk. It was the Sunday after the White Night and it was reassuring to see in “Piazza XX Settembre” the face of Alfredo Kraus, one of the greatest tenors of the last century. Not sure of his feelings about “Caballeria Rusticana”.I saw this (dry) fountain in a courtyard inside the building called “Palazzi Rossi”, I have never noticed it before...This asinine writer wrote “avvolte” (which is “wrapped”) instead of “a volte”, which is “sometimes”.The building of the “Biblioteca dei Ragazzi”, the Children's Library in the park of “Villa Fabbricotti”.Discovered by Christopher Columbus on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in 1493, pineapples became a rare delicacy in Europe, and were symbolic of power, wealth, and hospitality. The pineapple was adopted as a motif by architects, artisans and craftsmen, being sculpted into gateposts, railings, weather vanes and door lintels. (Pineapples as a decorative motif, Wikipedia).

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Thursday, August 26, 2010


Porticoes of via Grande, LivornoVia Grande”, our main street, was practically destroyed by the Allied air raids. After the war the only building still standing was the “Palazzo del Picchetto”.Old postcard, corso Vittorio Emanuele, LivornoAfter the war the whole street was rebuilt with wide porticoes flanking both sides, from “Piazza Guerrazzi” to the Old Harbor.Porticoes of via Grande, LivornoThere were shops, bars, movie theaters and even two department stores. Now some of the old shops are closing for good, the movie theaters are gone and only a few international chains are opening new stores.

See also: Ferragosto

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rolling Shutters

Rolling shutter, Cantina di Cenaia, Salviano, LivornoColorful shutters in “Via di Salviano”. This “cantina” offfers free home delivery of wines, bottled or from the cask.Rolling shutter, Il bello delle donne, Salviano, LivornoI think “Il bello delle donne” (The beautiful thing about women) is inspired by an Italian TV series.Rolling shutter, Ottica Modì, Salviano, Livorno “Modì” was the nickname of Amedeo Modigliani and is still used by countless unrelated shops in town.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chiesa degli Olandesi

Chiesa degli Olandesi (Dutch Church), LivornoThe “Chiesa degli Olandesi” (Dutch Church) was owned by the Dutch German congregation, which ceased to exist in the 1960s. The lack of an active congregation was the prime cause of the decline in the state of conservation of the temple.Chiesa degli Olandesi (Dutch Church), LivornoSome basic maintenance was assured by the descendants of the members of the former congregation, but this was not enough to block the construction of an apartament building just behind the church or to avoid the demolition of the spires for safety reasons. Already in 1996 there was some water damage inside the church due to leaks, the walls were unsafe and the great glass panels of the windows had been shattered.Chiesa degli Olandesi (Dutch Church), LivornoIn 1997 the congregation was formed again and a new project was presented with the idea of opening the temple for cultural events and not just for worship. After the last war the church, with its excellent acoustics due to its slender shape, was already being used as an auditorium . Sadly, the organ, one of the best in Tuscany, was stolen during the war.Dutch Church Livorno, old postcardWith the new millennium the roof was somewhat fixed and the windows repaired, but a few years after, in 2005, part of the ceiling collapsed on the old wood benches. Another minor collapse was visible in 2008 on the structure to the left of the main entrance.Dutch Church Livorno, old postcardThe congregation has no funds to finance any rebuilding without outside support and it is not even able to suggest a practical project for this temple. The lack of public interest about this building is amazing; people and politicians seem really not to care about it. The wall of the canal in front of the church collapsed 15 years ago and has still to be rebuilt.Dutch Church Livorno, old postcardTo publicize this situation letters have been sent to the press, to the local council, to the Department of National Heritage and even to the Embassies of The Netherlands and Germany.
To raise awareness of this situation a Facebook group was created: “Salviamo la chiesa degli Olandesi a Livorno” (Let's save the Dutch church in Livorno) by our friend Stefano, whose comment to another post I have just translated above.

Search labels: Dutch church
See also: Abandoned Church - Scali degli Olandesi - Sad Preview - A lecture - Finale - A Ray of Hope - Falling to Pieces - Flying Rats - Another Collapse - Fenced Off - Piazza Poerio - The Places I Love - A Few More Votes - Rose Window - Second Place?
External links: Temple of the Dutch German Congregation (Wikipedia)
Facebook Group: “Salviamo la chiesa degli Olandesi a Livorno” (Save the Dutch church in Livorno)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Very Short Walk

No wanderings here, this is in almost straight line the route to my mom's and back: too hot for detours...A plaque in “Via Micali” reminds us that the poet Giovanni Pascoli lived here in 1887-8. He was teaching at our “liceo classico” and wrote here part of “Myricae” (Tamarisks), his first poetic work.Fake green and flower are another kind of poetry in “Via Battisti”.Watch out for the dog, in “Via Oberdan”.“Trattoria da Motorino” (Scooter's Trattoria), a renowned restaurant.Church of “San Benedetto” in “Piazza XX Settembre”, some of the old tombstones in the facade.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Coast Guard

Coast Guard, LivornoA Class 800 S.A.R. (Search and Rescue) patrol boat in front of the “Guardia Costiera”, the Coast Guard local headquarters.Coast Guard, LivornoThe other side of the building, where the boats are moored, faces the “Pamiglione” or Old Harbor.Coast Guard, LivornoThe same boat of the first image leaving port at full speed.

See also: CP 867 - Calm Waters - CP 867 & Nataly - Piaggio P166

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Salesian Walk

Walking from “Piazza Damiano Chiesa” toward the “Salesiani”, we meet soon this unusual giraffe pattern chimney.Galliano Masini park, LivornoThe “Galliano Masini” park is sadly closed on Sunday.Galliano Masini houseThe “villetta” where the tenor once lived.This statue of the Virgin Mary and child, on the corner of the Salesiani's building, was a gift from the archbishop Felice Guerra, a name which is literally... Happy War!The Salesian movie theater showing some version of “Pinocchio”.

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