Cisternone upstairs

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My visit to the Cisternone didn’t end inside the water cistern. I was also allowed up on the roof, under the great half sphere which gives the building its characteristic look.

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Up there is a terrace with great views over Viale Carducci and Via de Larderel.

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But what is most special about it is that the sphere serves as a giant ear, or an amplifier. Every sound is being reinforced. What you hear nowadays is of course the traffic. But in the mid 1800’s, when the Cisternone was new, you could hear the sea resonating in the sphere. Fascinating.

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The grand tour was still not over. Now to the attic! Usually the most interesting part of an interesting building, and this one was certainly no exception.

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Like below in the cistern, a few arched windows, along with some lanterns, provided the light. The top of the vaults form these humps, reminding me both of almond pies and the crown of Brigittine nuns. But that’s just me.

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This lantern mirroring another lantern, looking like a mad eye was Teaser number 3. Not the easiest enigma to solve!

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Under each of the cross centers there is a secret.

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A hand carved sand stone flower! Visible only from the cistern below. That is, if it’s bright enough down there to see anything at all…

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This is not the most straightforward building to show in a few photographs. But I found this photo of a model of the structure that might give a clearer view. Next time we’ll see the custodians’ apartments and take a walk on the roof! Well, almost.

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4 comments on “Cisternone upstairs

  1. elektrifierad vattennymf says:

    Jösses, vilka vackra och fantasieggande detaljer! Man blir ju mållös.
    Att kosta på en teknisk byggnad sådana utsökta exter- och interiörer visar väl på människans vidunderliga förmåga att skapa skönhet, harmoni och funktion.

    Mera, mera!

  2. bastuba says:

    The very idea to amplify the sound of the sea sounds so very appropriate for a water cistern! Such a wonderful building. What buildings today have the same care for details?

    • CS says:

      Not many, that’s for sure. And wouldn’t one want to stand on the terrace under the sphere on Livorno’s yearly no car traffic day so one could hear the sea? If they had such a day…

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