Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Watch Cat

Evil-minded cat, Porto Mediceo, Livorno
Via del Molo Mediceo: I have never seen a cat looking so evil-minded...

See also: The Grumpy Cat - Killer Gaze
Search labels: cat

Monday, April 29, 2013


This year I didn't see much of the TAN (Naval Academy Trophy) because of our holiday in Rome, but considering these last days, it seems that I didn't miss much. The village and the sail boats have moved out of the Porto Mediceo to a faraway and unwelcoming pier: the tents hosting the shops are a sauna and you can hardly see the boats, moored along a straight stretch of barren quay, often blocked by a huge crane.
Sail ship Pandora, port of Livorno
This boat was built in 1994 as “Anna” in Karelia, Russia, as a faithful replica of a 18th-century postal vessel sailing the Baltic. A few years ago she was found abandoned and almost sunken near the port of Genoa.
Sail ship Pandora, port of Livorno
She was salvaged and completely restored by her actual owner: renamed as “Pandora” the barquentine managed to win two Tall Ship Races in 2007 and 2010. She is now a training ship of sorts for students.

Search labels: TAN - Tuttovela
External links: Barquentine (Wikipedia)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

From the Swing Bridge

Trofeo D'Alesio 2013, Livorno
The swing bridge, festooned with the colors of our quarters, is the perfect place to watch the start and the finish line of the “Trofeo Gaetano D'Alesio”.
Trofeo D'Alesio 2013, Livorno
A view over the Darsena Nuova, with the crew of the Borgo Cappuccini still rowing to his second place.

See also: Trofeo D'Alesio - Trofeo D'Alesio 2011 - Trofeo D'Alesio 2012 - Trofeo D'Alesio 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Trofeo D'Alesio 2013

Trofeo D'Alesio 2013, Livorno
The “Trofeo Gaetano D'Alesio” is the first competition of our rowing season, a series of races between the “gozzi” (rowboats) of the quarters of Livorno.
Trofeo D'Alesio 2013, Livorno
The trophy has been won, as always in the last years, by the rowers of Venezia.
Trofeo D'Alesio 2013, Livorno
The Venezia's crew at the rounding of the mark.

See also: Trofeo D'Alesio - Trofeo D'Alesio 2011 - Trofeo D'Alesio 2012

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Trunk

Locked trunk, Canale dei Navicelli, Livorno
A mysterious and well locked trunk, on the banks of the “Canale dei Navicelli”...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Moby Lines ferry Giraglia, IMO 8013235, port of Livorno
The ferry “Giraglia” undergoing some maintenance inside the small dry dock. She is the sister ship of the “Bastia” and her name comes from an island at the northern tip of Corsica.

After a few days in Rome, we are coming back home today...

See also: Strange Ships
External links: Giraglia
Search labels: Moby - ferry

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shallow Water

The shallows in front of the Terrazza Mascagni, Livorno
Shallows in front of the “Terrazza Mascagni”, in background the Livornese Hills and the Antignano coast.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cranes in the Wind

Cranes, Porta a Mare, Livorno
New buildings at the construction site of the Porta a Mare (Gate to the Sea), seen from the swing bridge: the three cranes are pointing to East.
Cranes, Porta a Mare, Livorno
The same place two days after: the cranes are looking to West now...

See also: Porta a Mare - Swing Bridge - The Two Towers - Via Edda Fagni - Luigi Orlando

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mascagni's Birthplace

piazza Cavallotti, Livorno
The original building, in Piazza Cavallotti, where the composer Pietro Mascagni was born in 1863. This photo, of unknown author, was probably shot in the early 1960s. Above the entrance is visible the plaque commemorating the birthplace of the author of “Cavalleria Rusticana”.
piazza Cavallotti, Livorno
Today the old building is gone, but the plaque is still there...

See also: Mascagni vs Puccini

Saturday, April 20, 2013

St. Catherine's Bell Tower

Bell tower and dome of the church of Santa Caterina, LivornoIt is not easy to spot the bell tower of Santa Caterina: it is usually hidden by the ungraceful dome or by the buildings in the narrow streets around the church.

See also: Santa Caterina - Inside Santa Caterina - The Window of Santa Caterina

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fuck the Police

The linguistic proficiency of the typical Livornese is almost non-existent: one of the most funny scenes you may enjoy in town is a “conversation” between a local and a group of tourists.
Fuck the Police graffiti, via Maggi, Livorno
But when it comes to insult police officers, even the most ignorant tagger becomes a polyglot: as you can see from the links below, these guys can suddenly write in English, French and even modern Greek.

See also: 1312 - Kiss the Police - All Cops Are Bastards

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Year's Cat

New Year's cat, Livorno
It was too cold even only to open his eyes... (Picture taken last January)

Our friend Catharina is the author of Florensic, a beautiful blog about Florence and surrounding areas. She visited Livorno last week and has just posted a few photos of her trip: Eight out of a thousand.

Ricerca etichette: gatto

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bet 1128

Bet 1128 Class 40, port of Livorno
The “Bet 1128” is a Class 40 sailboat built by Bert Mauri for the young but already seasoned Sardinian skipper Gaetano Mura. The boat is named after her sponsored, a betting site.
Bet 1128 Class 40, port of Livorno
Mura's ambitious “Gironelmondo” project consists in taking part in several boat races around the world.
Our objective is more modest: we are in Rome for a few days...

See also: TAG Heuer VelaFestival - Wianno Senior - Dagadà Spirito di Maremma - Ojalà II
External links: Class 40 (Wikipedia) - Gaetano Mura (Official website, in Italian)
Search labels: sailboat

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hat-racked Tree

Pruned tree, Villa Maria, Livorno
A heavily pruned plane tree in the park of “Villa Maria”. Hat-racking is the severe act of pruning a tree by reducing the length of branches, lowering the tree height, stubbing or removing foliage so that the tree resembles a hat or coat rack. It seems that this should not be an acceptable pruning practice.

External links: Why Topping Hurts Trees (Trees Are Good)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Viale Marconi

Viale Marconi, Livorno
Viale Marconi is a beautiful tree-lined street and had been my address for a quarter of a century. My mom still lives here and, luckily, neither of us drive a car.
Viale Marconi, Livorno
The street is full of holes, probably because of the trees roots, and it is now dotted with ‘bumpy road’ signs and a speed limit of ten kilometers (six miles) per hour. Car accidents are common.
Viale Marconi, Livorno
Petitions about the dangerous situation has been signed and delivered, but the only result has been this sprouting of garish traffic signs. Hopefully, the street would be resurfaced soon.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Passing Troops

Vintage postcard, troops on Scali degli Olandesi, Livorno
Mercato Centrale, a view (with passing troops) from Scali degli Olandesi, 1906

Scali degli Olandesi, Livorno
Mercato Centrale, a view (with parked cars) from Scali degli Olandesi, April 2013

(Postcard digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)
Search labels: postcard

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Marzocco Power Station

Marzocco oil-burning power station, Livorno
The Marzocco oil-burning power station was fired up the last time during the snow spell of February 2012 to spare natural gas used in other plants, making it available to the heavy demand for domestic heating.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty pink bicycle, via della Madonna, Livorno
Hello Kitty pink bicycle, via della Madonna / via Grande

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mascagni's Steps

Steps to the sea, viale d'Antignano, Livorno
Steps leading to the sea from the Viale d'Antignano. A villa once owned by the composer Pietro Mascagni is just across the road. (Picture taken last December)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Poseidon, ARPAT oceanographic vessel, Regione Toscana, LivornoThe “Poseidon” is an 18-meter oceanographic vessel owned by the ARPAT, the Tuscan regional agency for environmental protection. A couple of years ago the boat was impounded for a while by the “Guardia di Finanza” because they found cheaper agricultural diesel fuel in her tanks, a strange case of a public agency cheating on taxes. (Picture taken on May 2012)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fixed Twice

Badly fixed brickwork, Livorno
It may happen that something banal becomes interesting in some uexpected way: looking at this window, you can easily spot the recent rough patch, but also a precedent and more faithful fix.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Vittorio Emanuele II

Vittorio Emanuele II (Victor Emmanuel II) was the first king of a unified Italy. He died in Rome in 1878 and was buried in the Pantheon. Even at the point of death he refused to meet with Pope Pius IX's envoys, who could have reversed his 1860 excommunication. Monuments to the king were soon commissioned in almost every city of the Kingdom.
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, Monument to Victor Emmanuel II by Ettore Ferrari, Riva degli Schiavoni, Venezia
The monument in Venice, quite incongrously set along the Riva degli Schiavoni, is a work of the sculptor Ettore Ferrari (the same of the Pisan Garibaldi) and was dedicated in 1887.
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, Monument to Victor Emmanuel II by Enrico Chiaradia, Rome
The equestrian statue in Rome, by the sculptor Enrico Chiaradia, is the heart of the immense “Altare della Patria” (Altar of the Fatherland) dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II and was ready in 1911.
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, Monument to Victor Emmanuel II by  Augusto Rivalta, Livorno
Our statue, by the sculptor Augusto Rivalta, was placed in 1892 in front of the Cathedral, in the freshly renamed Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II (now Piazza Grande). After the war the monument was moved in Piazza Unità d'Italia, in front of the “Palazzo del Governo”.
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, Monument to Victor Emmanuel II by Cesare Zocchi, Pisa
Our Pisan cousins weren't late this time: a bronze statue by the sculptor Cesare Zocchi was dedicated in 1892, but the Father of the Fatherland was left on foot.

See also: Viva Verdi - Stone, Bronze and Iron - Horseback Thinking
External links: Victor Emmanuel II of Italy (Wikipedia)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Livorno Train Station

Livorno Centrale railway station, Livorno
The facade of the Livorno Centrale railway station

Vintage postcard, Livorno Centrale railway station, Livorno
The railway station in the 1910s

(Postcard digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)
Search labels: postcard
See also: Livorno Centrale

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ovo Sodo at Sunset

The “Ovo Sodo” (Hard boiled egg) crew rowing toward the entrance of the port: they are always training...

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Walls of the Brigands

Le mura dei briganti, The Walls of the Brigands, osteria pizzeria, via Sant'Anna, Livorno
“Le mura dei briganti” (The Walls of the Brigands) Osteria - Pizzeria, Via Sant'Anna

Old fashioned sign, photographer, via Magenta, Livorno
A sign for a quite old fashioned photographer in Via Magenta

New American Market, Nuovo Mercatino Americano, Advertising panels, via Grande, Livorno
Mercatino Americano, Stazione Marittima (American Market, Passenger Terminal) ad, in Via Grande

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Place in the Sun

Cat in the sun, via dei Bagnetti, Livorno
Cat lying in the sun, on the hood of a car, in Via dei Bagnetti.

Search labels: cat

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ojalà II

Ojalà II, TAG Heuer VelaFestival, Livorno
When asked by his friends if he was going to fulfill his dream of owning a sailboat, Charles Holland always answered ‘hopefully’. These friends were Argentinian so that came out as ‘ojalà’. The dream was fulfilled and the actual “Ojalà II” is the second boat bearing this name. She was built in 1973 at the Royal Huisman shipyard in Vollenhove, Netherlands, on a design by Sparkman & Stephens.

See also: TAG Heuer VelaFestival - Wianno Senior - Dagadà Spirito di Maremma
External links: Ojalà II (Sparkman & Stephens)
Search labels: sailboat

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dinner Is Ready

A lot of gulls now feed on garbage and you can see them in places that are relatively distant from the sea, colonizing roofs while squawking loudly and ceaselessly for our great pleasure.
Sea gull with a fish, Porto Mediceo, Livorno
This guy doesn't like junk food and has been able to catch a sizable prey inside the Porto Mediceo. He is mildly alarmed by my presence, but luckily I am not so keen on chewed raw fish from polluted waters.
Sea gull with a fish, Porto Mediceo, Livorno
Another old-fashioned gull is ready to dine on fish and is probably waiting for a glass of white wine.

Search labels: gull