Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Larger Picture

Working on top of the mast of a sailboat, Livorno
This may seem strange, but ...
Working on top of the mast of a sailboat, Livorno
... look at the larger picture!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stone, Bronze and Iron

Vittorio Emanuele II by Augusto Rivalta, LivornoThe statue of “Vittorio Emanuele II” by Augusto Rivalta.Ironwork on a window, LivornoQuite elaborate ironwork on a fanlight window.Sea monster by Pietro Tacca (copy), LivornoPortrait of a sea monster, part of the fountains by Pietro Tacca.Palazzo San Sebastiano, LivornoThe terrace above the loggia of “Palazzo San Sebastiano”.Banco di Napoli, LivornoWindow grate with the monogram of the former “Banco di Napoli” in “Via Cairoli”.

More Walks

Monday, March 28, 2011

Urania, Chimera and Sirio

Urania F 552, Chimera F 556, LivornoIn this period of the year a group of ships of the Italian Navy visits the port of Livorno as part of a training cruise for young officers. Here are the corvettes “Urania” (F 552) and “Chimera” (F 556).Urania F 552, Chimera F 556, LivornoThis class of units was developed in the 1980s and 1990s with the purpose of patrolling coastal waters, policing the fishing areas and is often used to train naval commandos.Sirio P 409, LivornoThe more recent “Sirio” (P 409) is an offshore patrol vessel, which means her range of action extends beyond the coastal waters. We have already seen another ship of this class, the “Orione” (P 410), in the same occasion last year.

See also: A Sphinx and Many Stars
Urania - Chimera - Sirio (Navy site, in Italian)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In Tuscany

A Levantine Trader - The Majesty of the Law, LivornoAs many authors writing of Italian journeys around the end of the 19th century, Montgomery Carmichael likes to break with the tradition of the Grand Tour leading the reader off the beaten track with his Tuscan Towns, Tuscan Types and the Tuscan Tongue, published in London in 1901.
The British consular official was more a long time resident than a traveler and he is able, in the first part of the book, to offer us an almost anthropological collection of Tuscan types of the time.Water from the public founts - Two Policemen (New Uniform), LivornoAfter a interesting middle section about the many difficulties of the Tuscan dialect, our author chooses five towns to explore the ways and the habits of our cities: Livorno, Lucca, Pisa, Volterra and Portoferraio and the island of Elba.What Delays the Letters - Coral Girls, LivornoOne of the many fascinating features of the chapter about Livorno is a set of photographies, by a Dr. Pietro Rossini, portraying some typical scenes in still easily recognizable places around town.
Carmichael signed off his book in “Livorno la Cara” (Leghorn the Dear) on December 31, 1900.

Original captions of the above photos:
A Levantine Trader - The Majesty of the Law
Water from the public founts - Two Policemen (New Uniform)
What Delays the Letters - Coral Girls

See also: Leghorn “la Cara”

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two Tricolor Flags

French Patrol boat P675 Arago, LivornoThe French patrol boat P675 “Arago” at the Capitaneria pier. The ship is flying two different tricolors: her own French flag from the stern and the Italian courtesy flag on the mast.
The rule that no flag should be flown higher than the national flag does not apply on board a ship: a flag flown at the stern is always in a superior position to a flag flown elsewhere on the ship, even if the latter is higher up. (Flag etiquette, Wikipedia)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Unwelcome Barriers

Bent chained post, LivornoThis bent chained post is part of a line that should separate lanes in “Piazza Cavour”.Bent chained posts, LivornoA sharp turn after a long straight stretch is always dangerous and these posts know something about it.Knocked over concrete bollard, LivornoThis concrete bollard in “Piazza Attias” was deliberately knocked over to gain access to some off-limits parking space. Both the posts and the bollard have been like that for months, but nobody seems to care.

See also: Piazza Attias - Ugly Corner - Palazzo Modigliani - Attias

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Green Light

Green light at the entrance of the Porto Mediceo, LivornoThe green light at the entrance of the “Porto Mediceo”, from where one can watch and photograph all the passing ships.

See also: Norwegian Jade - On Lookout - Voyager of the Seas - Elqui - Pilotina Due - Turning Ships - Bye Bye Vespucci

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reversed Flags

Backward Italian flag on a balcony, LivornoLivornesi have recently discovered some interest in our national flag, usually displayed only in occasion of the Football World Cup matches. Some of them are so unfamiliar with the device that they often hang it backwards.Backward Italian flag from a window, LivornoThe veg stall owner got it right twice, but we can't say the same of who hung the flag from that window.

See also: One Hundred and Fifty - Tricolor Night

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Almost Spring

Lion head door knocker, Livorno Two lions guarding a slightly ajar front door in “Via Ricasoli”.Three puppet rabbit in a shop window, LivornoSame street, a chain of puppet rabbits in a shop window.Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), Dona nobis pacem, LivornoTiles with the symbol of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) on a building in “Piazza Attias”. Dona nobis pacem means grant us peace.Grass full of daisies, LivornoThe grass is full of daisies in “Piazza della Vittoria”; in background the church of “Santa Maria del Soccorso”.Wall planter, LivornoA wall planter in “Via Borsi” with some not so healthy plants.

More Walks

Monday, March 21, 2011


Pierced heart on a wall, LivornoA pierced heart on a wall in “Via Paoli”.Wooden lovers, hollow heart, LivornoA quite strange wooden hollow heart in “Corso Amedeo”.Hearts for sale, LivornoPersonalized hearts for sale (35 euro a piece) in “Via de Larderel”.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Federico Caprilli

Federico Caprilli portraitFederico Caprilli was born in Livorno in 1868. He is credited with developing the system for “forward seat” riding. When he became a young cadet in the Italian Cavalry horses were still ridden over obstacles in an extremely restricted manner.
Riders were taught to pull and lean back during the jump to make sure the horse's hindlegs would land first to minimise the impact, protecting the supposedly fragile forelegs. Caprilli had been watching horses jumping freely, observing that all of them always and naturally landed on their forelegs.Federico Caprilli portraitThe new ideas of the young Lieutenant weren't well accepted at first. He was removed from his duties as a trainer of cavalry units and transferred to Southern Italy as a punishment.
Only a few years later the new ideas were recognised and Caprilli was returned to the cavalry schools in Northern Italy where, after a year of his training, the results where ncredible: the horses were so willing that their riders were able to complete a cavalry training course without reins.Federico Caprilli jumping a cartFollowing this breakthrough, Caprilli was at last made Chief Riding Instructor of the Italian Cavalry. Soldiers from around the world came to his schools to learn his training system, mostly based on the non-interference of the riders.Ippodromo Federico Caprilli, horse-racing facility, LivornoOur local horse-racing facility, inaugurated in 1894, was renamed in his honor “Ippodromo Federico Caprilli” in 1937. He died in Pinerolo in 1907, when his horse slipped on icy cobblestones and fell. On his tombstone, this simple epitaph:

1868 - 1907

(Federico Caprilli
Master of Horsemen
1868 - 1907)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fake Windows

Fake windows and a real lamp post, LivornoFake windows and a real lamp post in “Via Strozzi”.

See also: Les fenêtres étranges (Versailles Daily Photo)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tricolor Night

Central Market illuminated by tricolour floodlights, LivornoMost of you probably already know how much I like events like the so called White Night or Blue Night. A Tricolor Night became unavoidable and therefore a constellation of minor non-events was organized, or better disorganized, all over the town center.
Horse rider in not-so-Garibaldine attire, LivornoRamshackle bands playing improbable music of the Risorgimento, horse riders in even more improbable “garibaldino” attire and the since unattained technical prowess of illuminating our “Mercato Centrale” with three colored floodlights, were some of the pearls of this absolutely forgettable night.

See also: White Night - Blue Night Walk - Mercato Centrale

Thursday, March 17, 2011

One Hundred and Fifty

Italian flag in via Grande, LivornoToday we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy as a single country in 1861, on March 17. I am not sure there is much to celebrate here (or elsewhere), but the “tricolori”, the Italian flags, are all over the city.
Italian flag in piazza Grande, LivornoOur National Day is on June 2, the proclamation of the Republic in 1946. In 1861, on March 17, the first Italian Parliament in Turin proclaimed Vittorio Emanuele II King of Italy.
So Italy was born... on Saint Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

De Larderel

Palazzo de Larderel, LivornoCrabs and scallop shells on the main door of “Palazzo de Larderel”, now the Civil Courthouse of Livorno.Palazzo de Larderel, LivornoStill on the front door, the family crest of the de Larderel family.Palazzo de Larderel, LivornoA more modest handle on a secondary door of the same building.

See also: Palazzo de Larderel

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mid-March Rain

Madonnina, votive niche, LivornoA “Madonnina” on the corner of “Via dell'Angiolo”.Personal supermarket carts locked to a pole, Livorno“Personal” supermarket carts locked in “Piazza Guerrazzi”.Pop Shop BR500 Jamaica, rolling papers vending machine, LivornoA rolling paper vending machine in “Corso Amedeo”.Military zone sign, Livorno“No trespassing, military zone, armed guards” in “Viale Marconi”.Odd bike parking, piazza Attias, LivornoFancy bike parking in “Piazza Attias”.

More Walks

Monday, March 14, 2011

One, Two, Three

Strange window, Livorno
A window in “Via Redi”

Double window, Livorno
A double window in “Viale Marconi”

Triple window, Livorno
A triple window in “Via Del Corona”

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Marie de' Medici

The Embarkation of Maria de Medici at Livorno by Domenico Cresti
“The Embarkation of Maria de' Medici at Livorno” (modello)
Oil on canvas by Domenico Cresti, called Passignano (1559-1638)
France, private collection

Marie de' Medici (26 April 1575 – 3 July 1642) was queen consort of France, as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the Bourbon branch of the kings of France. Following his assassination in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son King Louis XIII of France, until he came of age. (Wikipedia)Bastione Ampolletta e Molo del Soccorso, Fortezza Vecchia, LivornoOn Monday 17 October 1600, Maria de' Medici sailed to Marseille on the French admiral galley La Réale”, leaving from this jetty of the “Fortezza Vecchia”.

See also: Molo del Soccorso