Through the Eyes of a Local: Gabriele and his Sunny Livorno

Best of Livorno

Best of Livorno

Canals of Livorno by Gabriele.

So, this is the part where we will hear all the secret and unbeaten paths that we have to take in Livorno. Do you have your notebook with you, Dear Reader?

What are the things that you love about your city the most? Do you have some traditions or activities that are directly linked to Livorno?

There are a lot of things that I love about Livorno! Some of them can be related to the climate: it is very warm during winters and not so hot on summers. Another thing is the general attitude of the people living here. Here you can find Dolce Vivere,  which can be translated like sweet living, sort of lifestyle. The third thing that I love are the inhabitants of the city: they can be very friendly and very kind; they can help you even if they didn’t know you before; also they can be very wise.

Livorno has a very strong identity, especially the traditions coming from the early days of the city. Many of which are linked with city’s canals that nowadays still surround the old fortress and the old city center, the heart of Livorno. There is a Rowing Championship, where all the districts of the city participate in a competition, named Palio Marinaro to win the Cencio, which is a banner painted by hand. The districts that arrive from first to fourth in the Palio Marinaro competition, win the right to participate in Palio dell’Antenna. But from the 90s, this tradition began to face some difficulties, mainly because the times are changing and people seems to have less and less interest in this kind of events.

Canals everywhere! Beautiful shot by Gabriele.

What are your personal favorite places in Livorno? 

I have two favorite places in Livorno. One is the Lungomare, a long boulevard that skirts the sea, and in particular, I love the Terrazza Mascagni, a big marble terrace which faces the sea.

The second place, that I prefer is the Monumento a Ciano, which is a destroyed mausoleum dedicated to one of the fascist hierarch Costanzo Ciano. The building was never been finished and was looted even before the end of WWII. Now it is closed because it is very dangerous, but several years ago you could go to the top of the building and admire the entire city from above. If you were lucky you could even see the Corse and the French coast in the distance.

The Ligurian Sea through the lens of Gabriele.

What could you say about the people of Livorno in general? What are your strengths as a community?

Livorno has a backstory of tolerance and inclusion. It was founded to be the port city by Franco of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and in order to encourage people to live here, they wrote a code of laws which purpose was to include everyone and due to this, we are pretty helpful people. And though sometimes people of Livorno could be very rude and straightforward, it is only an external behavior, because inside you can find a very kind community that helps everyone.

Could you name the unique feature of Livorno? Is it in some way extraordinary from the other cities you have visited?

The unique feature of Livorno is its weather. And the secret of that is the location. Livorno is situated on a place, where winds can hit both – very strongly, but also very kindly. It is a place where the temperature is unbelievable all year long. It never goes under 5-6° Celsius during winter, and never over 32-33° Celsius during the summer!

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