Living in Livorno on a long-term basis opens your eyes to what lies behind the city's most obvious attractions and places of interest. There are nearly 160,000 people living here, so to start with there have to be plenty of schools. All levels of compulsory schooling are provided for in Livorno, and although the nearest university is in Pisa (just a few miles away), a new faculty - the Polo Logistica - is situated in Livorno itself offering courses to do with port logistics.
24th October 2010 The olive harvest in Italy is carried out in October and November and it is common knowledge that if you are invited to lunch by friends who have olive trees at this time of year, you will probably be roped in to help with the olive picking!
When I found out that my friend Jessica was in town to harvest her trees, I willingly volunteered to help, having never been involved in this very Tuscan autumn chore before.
26th March 2013 You would be forgiven for thinking that the porcini season has come early when you see the locals sniffing around the countryside. But no, this time of the year it is the elusive but tender wild asparagus that gets people out of the house.
We overlook a little green wooded area on the other side of the road, and every few days I see people, with the excuse of just being out for a leisurely passeggiata, carefully surveying the area just by the bend and jumping across the little ditch and leaning into the woods. Blink and you'd miss it, but when they come back out again, looking completely innocent, mind you, they carry another couple of prized wild asparagus stems in their hand.