Saved

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It seems the Chiesa degli Olandesi, the Dutch church of Livorno, is saved! Restoration work has begun, which is fantastic.

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I will be very glad when I can post photos showing the change. When I visited, it was in a terrible state, a sanctuary for pigeons.

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See more photos from my visit here.

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At water level – the canals

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This is part two of our Livornese boat trip, see part one here.  With the Fortezza Vecchia behind us we enter the Quartiere Venezia, the oldest part of the city, built around a network of canals.

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Passing my favourite Venezia house, the Palazzo del Refugio, built in the 1750′s as a school for orphans.

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Two of the most unconventional gardens of Livorno.

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Next is the church of Santa Caterina. Here the lantern of the 63 m high cupola. Our guide Lucia scored cheap points from the fact that it’s eight metres higher than the leaning tower of Pisa, whereupon the Italian majority of the group cheered enthusiastically! (The bitter rivalry between Livorno and Pisa goes back centuries, but the wrangle is mostly for fun nowadays)

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Near-water-dining.

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Approaching the Fortezza Nuova

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passing Pontino

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with its quaint och brightly coloured cantine.

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After having rounded the Fortezza Nuova we enter the darkness under Piazza della Repubblica, a large square which is also a bridge over the canal. A few beautiful grates like this one act like skylights for the boaters underneath.

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Coming out into the daylight again,

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steering ahead on the Fosso Reale, the canal that once was a moat around the fortified city. Coming up is the Mercato Centrale, the covered market.

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This part of the canal is lined with grand and beautiful palazzi. Palazzo Maurogordato is in a sad state of neglect but under renovation.

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The streets by the canals have cellars, cantine, which are used for storage, as workshops or boat houses. Some have their own jetty and garden furniture. I hope to some time be invited in to one of these, I am very curious to see what they look like inside!

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In this cantina a number of civilians sought protection during one the massive bombings of Livorno. They were all killed. The wounds of the war are still very much present in this town.

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Back in the port again this boat trip has come to its end. I hope you enjoyed it!

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