Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blackbirds Don't Tweet

Blackbird, via Micali, Livorno
It is said that the last three days of January are the coldest of the year and are called the “giorni della merla” (days of the hen blackbird). Legend says that all blackbirds were once white, until, in the last days of an very cold January, a hen blackbird took shelter with her chicks in a chimney. They got out on February 1st, all black because of the soot. Since then blackbirds wear proudly their black in sign of gratitude.
By the way, blackbirds don't tweet, but today we are celebrating our blog's 1,000th tweet...

See also: Giorni della merla - The Blackbird - A Blackbird
External links: The Merla Days (Italy Heritage)
Search labels: bird

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Spoiled Monk

Restaurant Il Monaco Viziato, The Spoiled Monk, via Magenta, Livorno
Outside the restaurant “Il Monaco Viziato” (The Spoiled Monk) in Via Magenta.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Crowded Balcony

Crowded balcony, Viale Carducci, Livorno
A “crowded” balcony in Viale Carducci. (Picture taken last July)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Yacht Guilty, port of Livorno
The 35-meter yacht “Guilty” was built in 2008 at the Cantieri Navali Rizzardi in Sabaudia.
Yacht Guilty, port of Livorno
The naval architect is Arrabito Naval Architects and the designer is Ivana Porfiri of Porfiristudio. The eye-catching camouflage design is by Jeff Koons and reminds us of the dazzle camouflage used in World War I.
Yacht Guilty, port of Livorno
“Guilty” was originally built for the Greek art collector Dakis Joannou.

External links: Jeff Koons - Dazzle camouflage - Dakis Joannou (Wikipedia)
- Dakis Joannou's “Guilty” yacht by Jeff Koons and Ivana Porfiri (Don't Panic)
- ‘Guilty’ by Ivana Porfiri for Dakis Joannou (Yatzer)
Search labels: yacht

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dina and Dino

Stolpersteine, stumbling blocks, remembering Dina Bona Attal and Dino Bueno, Livorno
A few days ago two Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) have been placed in Via della Coroncina, where once lived the 44-year-old Dina Bona Attal and her 21-year-old son Dino Bueno. They were arrested near Lucca in December 1943 and both died in Auschwitz.

See also: Stolpersteine - Not Even One Year - Perla - Isacco Bayona
External links: Stolperstein (Wikipedia) - Dina Bona Attal - Dino Bueno (The names of the Italian Shoah)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Saint Francis

Stained glass window, Cathedral of Livorno
Our Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Francis, represented in this stained glass window on the apse of the church. The windows were lightened up on Christmas Eve for the Midnight Mass.

See also: Duomo di Livorno - Around the Duomo - Fontana del Duomo - Inside the Cathedral - Most Blessed Sacrament Chapel - Marco Alessandro del Borro - Works around the Cathedral

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Via di Montenero

Building in via di Montenero, Livorno
An interesting building in Via di Montenero...
Vintage postacard, building in via di Montenero, Livorno
... and a century-old postcard with a view of the same street.

(Postcard digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)

See also: Montenero - Sanctuary of Montenero - Funicolare - Sagrato - Famedio - Piazza del Santuario
Search labels: postcard

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

Lions and Poodles

Lion on a gate pillar, Viale Petrarca, Livorno
In Viale Petrarca, some have lions on the pillars of their gate.
Poodle on a gate pillar, Viale Petrarca, Livorno
Others have poodles...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rowing in January

Crew of the Borgo Cappuccini training, Porto Mediceo, Livorno
Last Sunday morning: the rowers of the “Borgo Cappuccini” during a training session.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Napoleon and the Elba

Napoleon and the Elba logo, Toremar ferry, port of Livorno
For the whole year 2014 we have seen this logo on the Toremar ferries: it celebrates the bicentennial of the exile of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Elba island.
Liburna ferry, IMO 8706727, port of Livorno
It seem that a lot of money was spent by the municipalities of the island to promote this event, with the expectation of an increased influx of tourists which has not happened until now.

External links: Napoleon (Wikipedia) - Italian Island of Elba Clings to Napoleon’s Legacy (The New York Times) - Le jardin de Napoléon sur l'île d'Elbe est en friche! (Le Figaro, in French)
Search labels: ferry

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Two gulls on a lamp post, Porto Mediceo, Livorno
“We need to make an effort: the dogs are winning!”

Search labels: gull - lamp post

Monday, January 19, 2015

Beyond the Horizon

Meloria islets, FSRU Toscana, IMO 9253284, off Livorno coast
We have already seen that the “FSRU Toscana” is a huge Floating Storage Regasification Unit anchored 22 km off the Tuscan coast. You do not see her from the coastline, because the ship is beyond the horizon at sea level, but you can easily spot her from the 300 meters of the hill of Montenero. The quality of the image is really lousy, just keep in mind that the thing is 22 km away...

See also: FSRU Toscana - The Two Melorias
External link: Horizon (Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Artusi's Minestrone

Pellegrino Artusi (1820-1911) was an Italian businessman and writer, best known as the author of the cookbook “La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiare bene” (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well). He was not a cook, but his merit was in codifying and classifying Italy’s great tradition of domestic cuisine, the result of so many regional and local varieties. His cookbook, often embellished with detailed prose about daily life and historical trivia, should be considered a unifying tool of sorts for the gastronomic and linguistic patrimony of our country.
Bust on the grave of Pellegrino Artusi by Italo Vagnetti, Porte Sante Cemetery, San Miniato al Monte, Florence,
Bust on the grave of Pellegrino Artusi, by Italo Vagnetti
Porte Sante Cemetery
San Miniato al Monte, Florence

“Of particular interest is the story told by Artusi himself regarding a bad experience which occurred during the summer in Livorno in 1855, when Artusi came in contact with cholera, the infective disease that in that era took many lives in Italy. Once in Livorno, Artusi went to a restaurant to have dinner. After eating minestrone, he decided to rent a room in the building belonging to one Domenici. As Artusi would later recount, he spent the whole night suffering from horrible stomach pains, which he blamed on the minestrone he had eaten. The next day, returning to Florence, he got the news that Livorno had been hit by cholera and that Domenici had been a victim. It was only then that he realized what had happened: it had not been the minestrone that made him ill, but the early symptoms of the disease. The event inspired Artusi to write an excellent recipe for minestrone.”

External links: Pellegrino Artusi (Wikipedia) - Artusi's Minestrone Recipe (About Food)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Red Sky at Night

Red sky at night, Livorno
“Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.
  Red sky at night, sailor's delight.”
(Picture taken on January 2nd)
By the way, it is almost the same in Italian:

Rosso di sera, bel tempo si spera,
rosso di mattina, mal tempo si avvicina.
(Red at night, good weather is hoped,
red in the morning, bad weather approaches.)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sorry, love...

Scusa amore ti amo, Fuck the police, toilet seat, Livorno
“Scusa amore ti amo” (Sorry, love, I love you) has been written almost over an old stenciled “Fuck the police”. We were not able to ascertain if the toilet seat and its garish cover are part of the message.

See also: Fuck the Police
Search labels: graffiti

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wooden Reels

Strange chairs and tables outside the aquarium, Livorno
Bamboo chairs and wooden reels recycled as tables, outside the aquarium...

See also: Acquario di Livorno

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Ondalunga sailboat, port of Livorno
I was checking the works for the new Elba pier when I saw this sailboat coming back to the marina inside the Porto Mediceo. Little did I know that the skipper of the “Ondalunga” was an old friend of mine trying his new boat: I only recognized him looking at the larger images at home. In background the 294-meter cruise ship “Norwegian Jade”.

See also: Norwegian Jade - A Longer Elba Pier - Theme Day: People at Work
Search labels: sailboat - cruise ship

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Corner Balconies

Corner building Via San Carlo / Borgo dei Cappuccini, Livorno
Building on the corner of Via San Carlo with Borgo dei Cappuccini.

Search labels: corner

Monday, January 12, 2015

Twin Gates

Ornate gate, Via Pacinotti, Livorno
Ornate gate, Via Roma, Livorno
These gates may not be identical twins, but I am quite sure that at least their decorations are related closely. The dark one is in Via Antonio Pacinotti and it looks quite pristine. The second gate is in Via Roma and it is probably missing the central part. We have already seen it a few months ago about its hippogriffs.

See also: A Hippogriff

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New and Old

Dogana d'acqua, new building, Livorno
We have already seen last month that the glass panes of the new Dogana d'acqua try to reproduce the likeness of the old building. You can check if the effect works, confronting the above image with the old postcard below.
Old postcard, Dogana d'acqua, Canale dei Navicelli, Livorno
Dogana d'acqua, Canale dei Navicelli, 1902

(Postcard digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)

See also: Glass Panes - PIUSS - Scali Cerere Footbridge - Customs on the Water - Dogana d'acqua - Canale dei Navicelli - Leopoldine Walls
External links: Canale dei Navicelli (Wikipedia)
Search labels: postcard

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Coin department store, Piazza Attias, Livorno
The building of the Coin department store in Piazza Attias, which you can also see here in a recent night shot. The headquarters of the group are in Mestre, Venice, and Coin is the Venetian form for Cohen.

See also: Piazza Attias - The Big Red A - The New Attias - A Like Attias - Attias at Night
External links: Coin (Wikipedia)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Nativity Scene on the Parvis

Nativity scene on the parvis of the Sanctuary of Montenero, Livorno
Unfortunately, we are a bit late in showing you this nativity scene on the parvis of the Sanctuary of Montenero.

See also: Nativity Scene - Christmas in Florence
Exernal links: Sanctuary of Montenero (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Princimar Truth

Princimar Truth, IMO 9318072, port of Livorno
It was the last day of 2014: the 274-meter oil tanker “Princimar Truth” had already left the port, still escorted by two tugs, and a pilot boat was coming along
Princimar Truth, IMO 9318072, port of Livorno
The two pilots on board had to climb down to their boat using a Jacob's ladder for the lower part of their descent.

External links: Jacob's ladder (Wikipedia)
Search labels: pilot - tug

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Befana, Montenero, Livorno
Today is the feast of the Epiphany and we have found a real “Befana” for you in Montenero!

External links: Befana - Epiphany (Wikipedia)
See also: Montenero

Monday, January 5, 2015

Marble Bench

Marble bench and fountain, Piazza Grande, Livorno
Our “Benches of Livorno” may not be the seminal work we touted, but it is useful to show you the new benches in Piazza Grande before their installation. Sadly, the new pavement already shows traces of used chewing gum spots, one of the many “plagues” that afflict our city.

See also: Benches of Livorno - A New Piazza Grande? - Works around the Cathedral

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Livorno's Lungomare

Viale Italia, Terrazza Mascagni, Livorno
Our “lungomare” is completely wrong: you have to walk on the side of a heavily trafficked Viale Italia while the seafront, beyond some green, is occupied by a crowded parking. Cars on their way to the parking obviously cross your waking path almost continuously, as do the ones coming back to the street.
Viale Regina Margherita, old postcard, Livorno
It was a nice arrangment when there were only horses and buggies, it is a folly with cars, bus and scooters speeding along the boulevard. The funny thing is that the whole place was renewed a few years ago, but the sea air was left to the parked cars while the promenade still enjoys the emissions of the passing vehicles.
Viale Regina Margherita, old postcard, Livorno
Before the advent of the Republic in 1946, Viale Italia was called Viale Regina Margherita in honor of the Queen Margherita of Savoy, the one made world-wide famous by the pizza. The boulevard has always been Livorno's promenade as shown in these postcards (1917 top, 1927 bottom).

(Postcards digitized from the collection of Antonio Cantelli)
Search labels: postcard
See also: Flying over Livorno

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sunset over the Avvisatore

Sunset over the Avvisatore, port of Livorno
“Nobody of any real culture, for instance, ever talks nowadays about the beauty of a sunset. Sunsets are quite old-fashioned. They belong to the time when Turner was the last note in art. To admire them is a distinct sign of provincialism of temperament. Upon the other hand they go on. Yesterday evening Mrs. Arundel insisted on my going to the window, and looking at the glorious sky, as she called it. She is one of those absurdly pretty Philistines to whom one can deny nothing. And what was it? It was simply a very second-rate Turner, a Turner of a bad period, with all the painter's worst faults exaggerated and overemphasised.”
(Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying, 1889)

See also: Pink Sky - Easter Eve - The Looming Tower
External links: The Decay of Lying: Truth or Fallacy? (The Victorian Web)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Two Fools

Graffiti, scali Cerere, Livorno
Scali Cerere: “2 folli non fanno uno sano, ma sanno tenersi la mano” (2 fools doesn't make one wise, but they can hold their hands).

Search labels: graffiti

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Theme Day: Best of 2014

Effetto Venezia 2014, Scali Rosciano, Livorno
My real favorite would have been “Mediterranean”, but I posted it only a few days ago and, furthermore, it is an old 2012 photo. Then, my choice is this picture taken at “Effetto Venezia”, the more recent of a “from behind” series.

Happy New Year to All of You!

See also: Theme Day: Best of 2009 - Theme Day: Best of 2010 - Theme Day: Best of 2013
Search labels: from behind - Effetto Venezia