Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Coro Garibaldi d'Assalto

Last Friday the “Coro Garibaldi d'Assalto” (Garibaldi Assault Choir) was ready to salute the marchers of ARTEesistenza on their arrival in Piazza Cavour. The repertoire of the group comprises Tuscan folk music and songs of struggle and protest from the Risorgimento to the Resistenza.
Coro Garibaldi d'Assalto, piazza Cavour, Livorno
The group was formed last Autumn after a series of lessons about folk singing at El Chico Malo social center. Pardo Fornaciari, political activist, musician and singer-songwriter, is the creator and leader of the choir.
Coro Garibaldi d'Assalto, piazza Goldoni, Livorno
The choir accompanied our demonstrators from Piazza Cavour to the Goldoni Theater and parted after a last performance of “Bella ciao”.

See also: ARTEesistenza
External links: Coro Garibaldi d'Assalto - Testimoniare cantando (Documentary in Italian)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Bluesmobile, Caffè Gambrinus, via Gramsci, Pisa
In the same bar where is on display the Elektra espresso machine, you can see a Bluesmobile.

External links: Bluesmobile (Wikipedia)
See also: Elektra

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tony's White Night

The White Night is that time when you are forced to live in a night of the zombies without the killings, but with most of the people around you even clumsier and less awake of the living dead. With scooters.
Tony Music City, White Night, Livorno
We have already seen this place in Old and New: the most interesting thing of the new building is a locally well-known musical instruments store called Tony or Music City.
Tony Music City, White Night, Livorno
With the White Night the owners invited customers and friends to perform in front of the shop. They were a lot, of quite different ages, and played very different music. You had only to remember that our wandering zombies like to take pictures with the most improbable devices and angles, but always in front of you.
Tony Music City, White Night, Livorno
Later in the night, with fewer sleepwalkers around, even the music was getting very, very good...

See also: Old and New - White Night

Sunday, July 28, 2013


ArteEsistenza, piazza della Repubblica, Livorno
ARTEesistenza (art existence) was a three-day series of events held around the city, culminating in a Friday afternoon walk from the Terrazza Mascagni to Town Hall. Some stops with street shows had been planned in significant places like Piazza Cavour, Piazza della Repubblica and in front of the Goldoni Theater.
ArteEsistenza, Teatro Goldoni, Livorno
The scope was to make aware the local public of the sorry state of the culture in Livorno with the closure of theaters, the transformation of cinemas into multi-storey parkings and the inaccessibility and neglect of many monuments and historical buildings.
ArteEsistenza, Town Hall staircase, Livorno
The participation was not too good, but was enthusiastic nonetheless, especially from young dance-school students. The demonstration was organized by Ephraim Pepe.

See also: Terrazza Mascagni - Piazza Cavour - Teatro Goldoni - Piazza della Repubblica - Town Hall

Saturday, July 27, 2013

1800-Euro Sign

No entry sign with a guy carrying a huge beam, Clet Abraham, Livorno
After removing the traffic signs modified at the time by Clet Abraham, the municipality of Livorno sold a first lot of them on eBay. These are the final prices, after the auctions ended:

Cartello stradale Rif N.40660 Euro
Cartello stradale Rif N.43725 Euro
Cartello stradale Rif N.46313 Euro
Cartello stradale Rif N.581805 Euro

Search labels: Clet Abraham
External links: Clet Abraham (Wikipedia, in French) - The language of the street signs by Clet Abraham (Abitare)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Salubritatem aegris corporibus

Salubritatem aegris corporibus afferre creduntur, Acque della Salute, Terme del Corallo, Livorno
On the facade of the “Acquarium” we can read a Latin inscription referring to the waters available inside: salubritatem aegris corporibus afferre creduntur (are believed to bring good health to sick bodies). It is a quote from “de Aquaeductu Urbis Romae”, written by Sextus Julius Frontinus, the water commissioner (curator aquarum) for the City of Rome in A.D. 97. The TV antenna is of a later period.

External links: Frontinus (Wikipedia) - de Aquaeductu Urbis Romae by Sestus Iulius Frontinus (in Latin)
Search labels: spa
See also: The Waters of Health - The Beauty of Decay - Parco delle Terme - The Waters of Health: Hallway - Spa Terrace - Hall of the Five Waters - Acquarium

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Behind Bars

Dog behind bars, piazza San Martino, Lucca
This portrait of a very composed dog is our out-of-jurisdiction photo for this week. It was shot in Lucca, in Piazza San Martino, in March 2012.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Aethalia ferry, IMO: 8706739, port of Livorno
With both her ramps opens, you can literally see through the “Aethalia” ferry...
Aethalia ferry, IMO: 8706739, port of Livorno
“Aethalia” comes from the Ancient Greek name (Αἰθαλία) for the Elba island. (Photos taken last March)

Search labels: ferry

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Waste of Money

I am not a fan of bike sharing because I think the service has substantial hidden costs and even in the most succesful cases it is used only by a tiny fraction of a city's population. In Livorno that fraction seems to be zero, for an announced cost of 127.000 Euro.
Bike sharing station, piazza Cavour, Livorno
After eight months it is clear beyond any doubt that nobody uses these bicycles. I have asked around over and over, and no one I know has ever seen one of these things in motion. Even our otherwise hyperactive bicycle thieves and the many restless vandals keep neglecting them.

See also: Five-Thousand-Euro Bicycles - Bike Sharing - A Diabolical Endeavour

Monday, July 22, 2013

Church of Saint Julia

Church of Saint Julia, Livorno
The modest church of Santa Giulia, dedicated to the patron saint of Livorno, sits on the left of the Cathedral and can barely be seen from Piazza Grande. The works for the building began in 1602, under the direction of the Florentine architect Alessandro Pieroni. The original and beautifully carved coffered ceiling was lost in the devastation of the Second World War. A well-known Livornese saying says “Santa Giula fa l'elemosina al Duomo” (Saint Julia is giving alms to the Cathedral), and it is used to describe someone of modest means buying something for a better-off friend. (Picture taken last April)

See also: Saint Julia

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Old and New

Vintage postcard, Scali degli Olandesi - Via Maggi, Livorno
The corner of Scali degli Olandesi with Via Maggi in a 1907 postcard

Scali degli Olandesi - Via Maggi, Livorno
The old corner building was replaced many years ago by a taller and more modern one

(Postcard digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)
Search labels: postcard
See also: Scali degli Olandesi - Via Maggi

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pale Green Windows

Facade of pale green windows, via Castelli, Livorno
Via Castelli: composition of windows. (Picture taken last March)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Destroyed Ghost Bike

Basta morti sulla strada, stop road deaths, ghost bike, piazza del Municipio, Livorno
Our ‘ghost bike’ didn't last. It appeared last November, but it is already almost destroyed and severed in two parts: it seems that our sidewalks are even more dangerous than our streets...

See also: Ghost Bike
External links: Bicycle Art (Inspiration Green) - Ghost bike (Wikipedia)
Search labels: bicycle art

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Elektra espresso machine, Caffè Gambrinus, via Gramsci, Pisa
This is not a Belle Époque version of R2-D2, the little robot from Star Wars, but an old model of an Elektra, the legendary copper and brass espresso machine, on display in a bar in Pisa.

External links: Elektra espresso machines (Wikipedia) - Elektra (Official site)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Big Screen

Sea Princess cruise ship, IMO 9150913, port of Livorno
On the cruise ship “Sea Princess” you can (or are obliged to) watch football (soccer) games on the sundeck.
Ciel and Lorenzo Rossi observed that this is not football but rugby...

Search labels: cruise ship
External links: Sea Princess (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Market Panorama

Taking pictures from my terrace is quite convenient, especially in summer. Obviously the only subject available, with the exception of passing aircraft and resting gulls, is the Mercato Centrale (Central Market).
3-stitched-photo panorama, Mercato Centrale, Livorno
Stitching photos together to make a panorama is something new to me and this is one of my first efforts, concocted from three different and slightly overlapping shots.
5-stitched-photo panorama at dusk, Mercato Centrale, Livorno
This other image was made from five shots taken at dusk from different points of view and merged using another Photoshop layout.

See also: Mercato Centrale
Search labels: Mercato Centrale

Sunday, July 14, 2013


The “Acquarium” was part of the east wing of the The Waters of Health complex and it is still linked to the main building by curved porticoes. Its main attraction was the Hall of the Five Waters.
Acquarium, Acque della Salute, Terme del Corallo, Livorno
The Waters of Health, a view of the “Acquarium”, June 2013

Vintage postcard, Acquarium, Acque della Salute, Terme del Corallo, Livorno
The Waters of Health, a view of the “Acquarium”, 1909

(Postcard digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)
Search labels: spa - postcard
See also: The Waters of Health - The Beauty of Decay - Parco delle Terme - The Waters of Health: Hallway - Spa Terrace - Hall of the Five Waters

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Orange tree, via Borsi, Livorno
An orange tree in Via Borsi, a view not so common in town...

See also: After Christmas - Fruits & Flowers

Friday, July 12, 2013

Games & Talent

Games Time,, via Sardi, Livorno
The colorful rolling shutter of a video games shop in Via Sardi.
New Talent Store, piazza XX Settembre, Livorno
This shop in Piazza XX Settembre sells accessories for young girls.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Mean-looking gulls, Benci elementary School, scali degli Olandesi, Livorno
There are a lot of people people who love animals unconditionally, but don't count me in that number.
Some lady habitually leaves food for these gulls just in front of the Benci elementary school, against precise regulations, without good sense and with scarce respect for hygiene.

Search labels: gull

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Costa Concordia

Costa Concordia,  IMO: 9320544, Isola del Giglio
Here is the “Costa Concordia” wreck just outside Giglio Porto, on the Isola del Giglio. We are not in Livorno and we are even outside our province, but the Costa Concordia disaster happened inside the area of the Livorno MRSC (Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre).
(Photo by Alessia, July 2012)

External links: Costa Concordia disaster - Coast Guard - Isola del Giglio (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Alien Garbage

Piles of garbage near dumpsters, via Santa Fortunata, Livorno
Livorno is a city so neat and clean that scenes like this one are absolutely rare. Obviously out-of-towners are behind this: probably Pisans or aliens from deep space who are getting rid of their garbage here, out of envy of our spotless streets.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Christian Frederik and Caroline Amalie

Portraits of king Christian VIII of Denmark and queen Caroline Amalie
Christian Frederik (1786-1848) was the crown prince of Denmark when, in May 1821, visited Livorno with his wife, the princess Caroline Amalie (1796-1881). He will become king in 1839.
Plaque remembering the visit of prince Christian Frederik and princess Caroline Amalie, Scali del Ponte di Marmo, Livorno
This plaque was placed at the time in the hall of the house of the Consul of the Kingdom of Denmark, where the royal couple spent the night. I have been looking for this plaque for a while and I was finally able to find it with the help of my friend Stefano.

External links: Christian VIII of Denmark - Caroline Amalie (Wikipedia)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Piazza Cavallotti

Old photo of buildings in piazza Cavallotti, Livorno
Buildings in Piazza Cavallotti in a photo of an unknown author, probably taken in the early 1960s

Buildings, piazza Cavallotti, Livorno
The right half of the building is still there (March 2013)

See also: Mascagni's Birthplace

Saturday, July 6, 2013

On Twitter

Comune di Livorno on Twitter ad, piazza della Repubblica, Livorno
I know you were eagerly waiting for this: since last February the municipality of Livorno is on Twitter...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pink on Pink

Pink bicycle against a pink wall, via delle Galere, Livorno
Pink bicycle against a pink wall, Via delle Galere.

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Italia and Vespucci

Italia (A 5314), Amerigo Vespucci (A 5312), port of Livorno
The sailship “Italia” moored at the Elba pier with the “Amerigo Vespucci” berthed at the Capitaneria pier. Just for comparison: the cruise ship in background is the 238-meter-long “MS Riviera”.

See also: Amerigo Vespucci - Swan fan Makkum - Nave Italia
External links: MS Riviera (Wikipedia)
Search labels: Amerigo Vespucci

Tuesday, July 2, 2013