Saturday, November 30, 2013

Old Counter, New Cinema

Nuovo cinema La Gran Guardia, Livorno
Almost everyone in Livorno has queued at the ticket counter of the La Gran Guardia theater: for a show or a movie, sometimes for a concert or even an opera. (Picture taken in April 2011)
Nuovo cinema La Gran Guardia, Livorno
The same counter, refurbished and respectfully modernized, now sits at the entrance of the new cinema.

See also: La Gran Guardia - The New Gran Guardia

Friday, November 29, 2013

The New Gran Guardia

New La Gran Guardia movie theater, Livorno
Our Odeon and Moderno cinemas are now parking silos, but part of the La Gran Guardia movie theater is reborn today.
New La Gran Guardia movie theater, Livorno
The new cinema has two 150-seat theaters equipped with state-of-the-art 4K digital projectors.
New La Gran Guardia movie theater, Livorno
A small space decorated with old posters and with two of the original seats of the old cinema.

See also: Cinema Odeon - La Gran Guardia - Cinema Moderno - Odeon Parking - Odeon Parking, Sardi Street - Red and Gold
External links: 4K resolution (Wikipedia)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Palazzo Maurogordato

Giorgio (Zorzis) Maurogordato was a rich merchant of Greek origin living in Livorno. The Maurogordato (Greek: Μαυροκορδάτος) were a family of Phanariot Greeks that distinguished itself in the history of the Ottoman Empire, Wallachia, Moldavia, and modern Greece.
Palazzo Maurogordato, scali D'Azeglio, Fosso Reale, Livorno
In the second half of the 19th century he bought one of the parcels resulting from the straightening of the Fosso Reale, a work undertaken by the architect Luigi Bettarini after the demolition of the city walls.
Palazzo Maurogordato, scali D'Azeglio, Fosso Reale, Livorno
In 1856 he had the architect Giuseppe Cappellini design and build a Renaissance Revival palazzo for him and his family. The building was finished in 1864 and shows an extensive use of rusticated stone.

External links: Mavrocordatos family - Phanariotes (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Superyacht Samar, IMO 1008190, port of Livorno
“Samar” is a 77-meter luxury motor yacht designed by Laurent Giles, with interior styling by Joe Thome. She was built by Devonport Yachts in Falmouth, England, and launched in 2006. The yacht has a range of 6.000 nautical miles and is provided with a helipad.

Search labels: yacht

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bus on Fire

Burned bus, via Magenta, Livorno
Last Sunday a bus took fire in Via Magenta and this is what was left of its back.
Burned bus, via Magenta, Livorno
In the early afternoon the bus was still waiting for removal...
Burned bus, via Magenta, Livorno
... which happened just while I was passing by.

See also: Fire - Pilotina DueTheme Day: My Street

Monday, November 25, 2013

Modigliani in Venice

Plaque about Modigliani, Venice
Plaque on the facade of a building on Fondamenta San Basegio, where Amedeo Modigliani had his studio in Venice in 1905. The quotation is from a letter to the Livornese painter and friend Oscar Ghiglia.

“Da Venezia ho ricevuto gli insegnamenti più preziosi della vita;
da Venezia sembra di uscirmene adesso come accresciuto dopo un lavoro..”
(From Venice I received the most valuable lessons of life,
on leaving Venice I feel like I am grown after a work..)

“Modigliani moved to Venice in the spring of 1903 and enrolled in the Scuola Libera del Nudo at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in May. All his life Modigliani made friends easily, and he was making contact with a distinguished group: Umberto Boccioni, the Futurist painter and sculptor, Fabio Mauroner, with whom he shared a studio in the San Barnaba quarter and whose interests would include sculpture, painting, the graphic arts, and art criticism; as well as artists Mario Crepet, Cesare Mainella, Guido Marussig, Ardengo Soffici, and Guido Cadorin. Such encounters with the cream of intellectual and artistic life in Venice suggest assiduous cultivation. Perhaps it was in Venice that Modigliani learned the pivotal rule for the up-and-coming young artist, the right cafés at the right moment. In Venice it was the Florian, which never closed. Meanwhile he occasionally went to life classes, relying on his eye and the lessons to be had by daily visits to the great museums, studying the Bellinis and Carpaccios with concentration.”
(Meryle Secrest, Modigliani: A Life, 2011)

External links: The Misunderstood Death of Modigliani (The New York Times) - Meryle Secrest (Wikipedia)
Search labels: Modigliani

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Cross within a Cross

Santa Maria del Soccorso crosses seen from via Magenta, Livorno
The church of Santa Maria del Soccorso has two external crosses: a large and hollow one above the facade and a smaller and simpler one on the top of its dome. There is only one point in Via Magenta from where we can see the two crosses one inside the other.
Santa Maria del Soccorso crosses seen from via Magenta, Livorno
If you try to check this out be careful: the exact spot lies in the middle of the roadway.

See also: Santa Maria del Soccorso - Four Noses

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Baby Girl and Dog

Cesare Zocchi (Florence, 1851 – Turin, 1922) was a sculptor of some renown in the late years of the 19th century. He is the author of the monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi in Florence (1890) and of the statue of Vittorio Emanuele II in Pisa (1892).
Bambina su seggiolone e cane, Baby girl in a high chair and dog by Cesare Zocchi, Biblioteca dei Ragazzi, Children's Library, Villa Fabbricotti, Livorno
A quite different work of the same sculptor, “Bambina su seggiolone e cane” (Baby girl in a high chair and dog), sits at the entrance of the “Biblioteca dei Ragazzi” (Children's Library).

See also: Biblioteca dei Ragazzi

Friday, November 22, 2013

Lusben Bicycles

Benetti service or courtesy bicycles bicycles, port of Livorno
Service or courtesy bicycles inside the marina of Benetti Yachts.

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Biblioteca dei Ragazzi

Biblioteca dei Ragazzi, Children's Library, Villa Fabbricotti, Livorno
The “Biblioteca dei Ragazzi” (Children's Library), in the middle of the park of Villa Fabbricotti, is a place I enjoyed when I was very young and had not yet gained access to real libraries. Sadly, like so many places in this town, it had been closed for a while for repairs that never seemed to happen. It has reopened only last summer after some extraordinary maintenance work carried on thanks to the donation of a private citizen, Professor Marco Di Giovanni of the Department of Historical Studies of the University of Turin.

See also: Villa Fabbricotti

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sea Cloud II

La “Sea Cloud II”, technically a large barque, is a luxury vessel operated by Sea Cloud Cruises GmbH of Hamburg, Germany. She sails under the Maltese flag.
Sea Cloud II sail cruise ship, IMO 9171292, port of Livorno
This modern sail ship was built at the Astilleros Gondán SA, in Figueras, Spain. After some delays during her construction the ship was christened in February 2001 in Las Palmas, Canary Islands.
Sea Cloud II sail cruise ship, IMO 9171292, port of Livorno
With an overall length of 106 meters the ship can accomodate 96 passengers in 45 cabins of three different types. The 23 sails, made in Poland, provide the “Sea Cloud II” with a sail surface of 3000 square meters.

Search labels: cruise ship - tug
External links: Barque - Sea Cloud II (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Seven Spheres

Concrete spheres, Piazza Attias, Livorno
Piazza Attias: hard to say if these are bollards, some kind of decoration or a work of art...

See also: Unwelcome Barriers

Monday, November 18, 2013

Another Food Fair

Some shots from a food fair in Piazza della Repubblica:
Food fair, piazza della Repubblica, Livorno
Sicilian dried tomatoes

Food fair, piazza della Repubblica, Livorno
Pecorino al tartufo nero (Black truffle pecorino)

Food fair, piazza della Repubblica, Livorno
Filetti di alacce (Gilt sardine fillets)

Food fair, piazza della Repubblica, Livorno
An assortment of delicious things...

Search labels: food fair

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Vintage Railings

Rusty railing, terrace of the Acque della Salute, Terme del Corallo, Livorno
Rusty volutes of iron of the terrace railing of the Acque della Salute.
Rusty railing, balcony of the Acque della Salute, Terme del Corallo, Livorno
A detail of the rusty but still elegant ironwork of a balcony railing of the same complex.
Rusty railing, balcony of the Acque della Salute, Terme del Corallo, Livorno
A view of the whole balcony reveals the precarious state of the buildings.

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 - Salubritatem aegris corporibus - Curator acquarum - Terme del Corallo

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013


Il Mercante di Stelle, The Merchant of Stars, via Magenta, Livorno
What do you think of this awning in Via Magenta? It seems that they whiten teeth there...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Out of Stone

Plants growing on the parapet of the Fosso Reale, Scali Saffi, Livorno
On Scali Saffi plants are growing out of the parapet stones of the Fosso Reale.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Container ship Genoa Express, IMO 8501452, port of Livorno
The slowly passing 270-meter container ship “Genoa Express” as background.
(Picture taken last September)
See also: Lisbon Express

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Enclosed balcony, via Bosi, Livorno
“Veranda”, in Italian, is rarely a space at ground level: it is usually an enclosed and roofed balcony. This one in Via Bosi is a bit old fashioned: it is still made of wood and rests on a set of reinforced wrought iron supports.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Lighthouse

Fanale dei Pisani, lighthouse of port of Livorno
In 1305 Livorno was only a tiny hamlet, but we were able to trick the Pisans into building this 52 meter tall lighthouse for our harbor. Genoa helped, defeating Pisa in the Battle of Meloria (1284) and destroying the lighthouse once placed on the islet, just in front of Livorno. Gratefully, or mockingly so, we called it “Fanale dei Pisani”, which is literally Pisans' Beacon, but it was intended as Pisans' Lighthouse.
Fanale dei Pisani, lighthouse of the port of Livorno
The original tower lasted more than six centuries: it was blown up in 1944 by German sappers. After the war the lighthouse was faithfully rebuilt, mostly using stones from the wreckage, and went back in service in 1956. Its look has recently changed, but we will see this another day...

External links: Fanale dei Pisani (Museo Galileo)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mak Π 100

Mak Pi 100 vintage postcard, Naval Academy of Livorno
Mak Π 100 is a sort of prom, but typical only of military schools: in this case the Accademia Navale (Naval Academy) of Livorno. Looking at this 1917 postcard, the young officers seem happy to leave the school and even happier to embark on a battleship to take part in the First World War.
(Postcard digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)
External links: Prom (Wikipedia)
Search labels: cartolina

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wicker Tricycle

Wicker tricycle, via Magenta, Livorno
An eye-catching tricycle outside a recently opened food shop in Via Magenta.

Search labels: bicycle art
External links: Bicycle Art

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Vintage Cinematografo sign, movie theater, Parco delle Terme, Livorno
“Cinematografo” was the original Italian word for movie theater, now usually shortened in “cinema”. This faded old sign is painted on a wall visible from the “Parco delle Terme”.

See also: Parco delle Terme

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


60m-yacht Swan by Benetti, IMO 9630183, port of Livorno
The 60-meter “Swan” by Benetti, with an unusual blue hull, was designed by Stefano Natucci. She can accommodate 12 guests in six spacious cabins, her interior design was by Pierre-Yves Rochdon.
60m-yacht Swan by Benetti, IMO 9630183, port of Livorno
Her structure has been reinforced to support a touch-and-go helipad.

External links: 60m Swan for Sale (Camper & Nicholsons) - Benetti (Wikipedia)
Search labels: yacht

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Modì's Heads

In 1909 Amedeo Modigliani, back in Livorno from Paris, was testing his skills as sculptor working on some stone heads. His friends weren't enthusiasts of the results and made fun of him: legend has it that the angry artist threw his works in the waters of the nearby Fosso Reale (Royal Canal).
Fosso Reale, Livorno
In 1984 Livorno was in the process of commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Amedeo Modigliani, when it was suggested to dredge that part of canal to see if the above mentioned heads could be recovered and eventually put on display.
Fake Modigliani's heads, Livorno
[Photo by unknown author]
After a few days of work, three crudely sculpted heads were found in the canal and the story made the news around the world. Noted art historians recognized the sculptures as authentic and our city basked for a while in the glory of the recovery of these lost masterpieces.
Fake Modigliani's heads, Livorno
[Photo by unknown author]
Then three students said that they had carved one of the heads with a Black & Decker, while a dockworker released a video showing that he was the author of the other two. The whole world laughed, Pisans had a field day, and real heads rolled. The fake ones quietly found their way into some warehouse.
Now some brilliant minds want to waste 45.000 Euro of public money to display the three fakes and the story of the hoax. Evidently, it would not be enough to put them in a room somewhere with a simple explicative panel.

External links: Modigliani Dredgers Find 2 Heads in Canal (The New York Times)
- The Modigliani Practical Joke of Livorno (Best Hoaxes and Pranks)
- Fake Modigliani heads get a Museum of their own – thirty years after the controversial hoax (ArtIsLife)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Clet's Studio

Clet Abraham's studio, via dell'Olmo, Florence
The studio of Clet Abraham in Via dell'Olmo, in Florence, with plenty of new and old creations on display.
Clet Abraham's studio, via dell'Olmo, Florence
With so many different kinds of works, we could really spend some time looking around...
Clet Abraham in his studio, via dell'Olmo, Florence
Clet was also so kind to pose for us next to his self-portrait.

See also: Clet Abraham - On the Trail of Clet - Via dell'Olmo
Search labels: Clet Abraham
External links: Clet Abraham (Wikipedia, in French) - The language of the street signs by Clet Abraham (Abitare) - Interview with Clet (Daily Inspiration)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Almost Camouflaged

Almost camouflaged sparrow against the rocks, port of Livorno
An almost camouflaged sparrow on the breakwater of the Porto Mediceo.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Theme Day: Heights

Acrobatic System at work, piazza Matteotti high-rise, Livorno
Maintenance crew using rope access techniques on the “Grattacielo” (Skyscraper) in Piazza Matteotti.
High rise piazza Matteotti, Livorno
With its 26 floors and 91 meters it is more a high-rise, but it is still the tallest structure in town.
(Pictures taken in October 2012)

See also: Piazza Matteotti - Acrobats at Work