Livorno, Livorno and more Livorno, Part 2

This is the 2nd half of my post of picturesque Livorno, started yesterday.

Oh, how I wish I were able to be upon that boat in the video above, making its way through the canal!

Below, I am leaving the Venice section of the city and headed to the place where the town meets the sea.

Livorno is a huge and thriving port. There aren’t many cruise ships now, thanks to Covid, but I have no doubt they will be back. In the meantime, I really wanted to get on the yellow ship, bound for Sardegna. Maybe next summer, I hope.

Check out these bright orange and yellow buildings! The colors stuccoed onto buildings in Livorno are much stronger than the golds and ochres I am accustomed to in Florence. I like it!

Another look back at the canals in the city:

Oh how I wish I were on this boat!

So, then there is the historic “mercato centrale.” Wikipedia and I agree that this is one of the most interesting buildings in Livorno.

“It is one of the most interesting buildings in Livorno from the second half of the nineteenth century, greatly influenced by the great developments in iron and glass architecture.

“In Italy, the post-unification years were characterized by a campaign for the reorganization of services which also affected Livorno. Here, after a first conversion of buildings acquired in the state property, a more consistent commitment was made thanks to the push of the mayor Nicola Costella, and important public works were built: among these, the most impressive was the Food Market, designed by Angiolo Badaloni.

“The area chosen for the construction was inserted in the city center, along the Fosso Reale, in the area once occupied by the complex Medici fortified system and subsequently by an arena for daytime shows. The works began in 1889 – 1890 and quickly ended in 1894; at the time, however, there was no lack of criticisms related to the size and cost (about 4 million Lire ) of the work.

“It should be remembered that, according to the stories of the Livorno painter Filippelli, around 1909 the famous Amedeo Modigliani, returning from Paris, rented a large room in the upper floors of the building of the Market, at the corner of Via Gherardo del Testa, and carved some stone sculptures of heads. On his return to France, it is said that these works were thrown into the Fosso Reale ditch which, in 1984, was the scene of the famous discovery of some fake heads, made by some young people from Livorno.”

Angiolo Badaloni, Architect, completed in 1889-1894

Again quoting Wikipedia:

“The interior consists of a large hall and some smaller pavilions at the back, along via Buontalenti. The main hall, embellished with caryatids made by Lorenzo Gori, is covered by a light skylight, made by the Gambaro company and restored after the war following the damage suffered during the bombings of 1943: numerous metal trusses, with a floral design, mark the canopy located about 35 meters above the ground.

“The two large adjoining rooms were used for fish, 45 m long and 11.50 wide where there were 22 marble stalls and 10 shops, and the other for the sale of vegetables, eggs and poultry with 12 shops.

“The whole building is surrounded above the shops by rooms 6 meters high and is ventilated by large windows with shutters. The structure now has 200 counters and large underground warehouses, with 92 cellars, communicating directly with the Fosso Reale in front and connected to the street level by convenient ramps.

The market’s street sign, below, is battered. Like the city itself, I fear.

So, now you’ve seen the best of my trip to Livorno. A few last photos show the interesting things I noticed in this fine old city.

I was surprised to find this (one of 2 matching works) fountain in Livorno. I knew immediately they were copies of the two fountains created by Pietro Taccà, a loyal student and successor to Giambologna, found in Piazza della Santissima Annunziata in Florence.  I looked it up and discovered that
the fountains were intended for the Port of Livorno but Ferdinando II, the grandson to Ferdinando I, insisted that they remain in Florence in this square. Copies were made for the port of Livorno, to be located where originally intended.

This strange advertisement, spotted on a bus stop, was arresting. I wouldn’t let that dentist, who looks evil, stick that tool in my mouth, even if it is camouflaged as an iris! Weird!

Near the Parco Pertini is this nice sign, inviting us all to pedal our way around town on a shared bike. I like it. Pedaliamo: let’s pedal!


Here’s the entrance to the park:

Here and there, throughout the city, are palazzi attesting to a better, grander age in Livorno. The trim on this building was particularly appealing.

Above, my last picture for today, is an interesting street sign. One of the things I most enjoy about my travels around Italy is the local flavor one can catch. In Livorno, the street signs often look like the one above. It is both a street sign and a memorial to a well-respected city son: Piere Donnini, Engineer, both in 1842, died in 1897.

Livorno: well worth a visit! I can’t wait to go back with a local guide.

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