Edison Bookstore Opening in Livorno's old Teatro Lazzeri

Teatro Lazzeri during restoration earlier this yearTeatro Lazzeri during restoration earlier this year27 Nov 08 When the Edison Bookstore - an Italian chain - opens in Livorno next week, there will no doubt be mixed feelings. On the one hand, it will be making good use of the lovely old Lazzeri Theatre, abandoned for many years and now back in good shape after months of renovation work. On the other, the new shop will be stiff competition for Livorno's long-established local bookshops like Belforte (already forced to reduce its shop space and see an electronic game shop open next door), and Gaia Scienza, among others.

It's hot in Livorno, but you should try Florence!

1 August 2009, Cat Seeking Shade in the Wheel of a Truck, Port of Livorno: Photo by Sarah Thompson, Livorno Now1 August 2009, Cat Seeking Shade in the Wheel of a Truck, Port of Livorno: Photo by Sarah Thompson, Livorno Now24 July 2009 It is VERY hot at the moment. You could say we are having a bit of a heatwave, with temperatures here in Livorno still at 30°C even at 7pm today. However, having been to Florence yesterday, we can be truly thankful for our Livornese coastal climate, because Florence is sweltering in temperatures of over 40°C at the moment.

Livorno Chosen as Venue for the Italia Wave Festival 2008

International Line-up includes The Verve, The Chemical Brothers, The Wombats, and Gnarls Barkely

Scene from the 2007 Italia Wave FestivalScene from the 2007 Italia Wave FestivalThis year's important Italia Wave Festival will take place here in Livorno from 16th to 19th July. In previous years this annual festival of music and culture has taken place in Arezzo and in Florence, but this year the city of Livorno has been chosen as the venue because of its lively summer seaside atmosphere.

Livorno's Little Venice Comes to Life for Effetto Venezia 2008

Effetto Venezia 2007Effetto Venezia 2007Once again this year Livorno’s old Venezia district will host the annual Effetto Venezia festival that, since it began twenty three years ago , has built up a reputation for the high standards of its events and organisation. The festival takes place over a period of ten days and this year it all begins on 1st August.

Olive Oil Treats on a Sunday Afternoon

Olive oil at the 2010 VerdeOro fair in Rosignano MarittimoOlive oil at the 2010 VerdeOro fair in Rosignano MarittimoLast year's VerdeOro Olive Oil event was so much fun that we just had to go back again for the 2010 edition. Despite a biting wind that pursued us all afternoon, the sun shone brightly over Rosignano Marittimo and the scene was chilly but cheerful.

Olive Oil Tasting

Years ago, when I first came to Italy, I didn't understand the fuss about tasting olive oil. Sampling pieces of bread drizzled with Tuscan Extra Virgin didn't really appeal to me. But in those days I still had a lot to learn!

Olive Picking in Limoncino

Olive picking with JessicaOlive picking with Jessica24th 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.

Premio Combat - the international contemporary art competition - in its 5th year

An entry to the Premio Combat 2014, by Nigerian artist MoyatAn entry to the Premio Combat 2014, by Nigerian artist MoyatThe Premio Combat contemporary art competition, now into its fifth year, was conceived in 2010 by Livornese art enthusiast and curator Paolo Batoni (Blobart) and already it has become the second most important contemporary art prize in Italy in terms of numbers of participants. It is also an increasingly important event for Livorno, a contemporary city with a wealth of talented local artists that deserves to become a centre of contemporary art in Italy.

Premio Combat 2012 - deadline for entries 21st April

Jeanne H - entry to Premio Combat 2012 by Silvia MenicagliJeanne H - entry to Premio Combat 2012 by Silvia Menicagli26th March 2012
This annual art prize, Premio Combat, now into its third edition, is open to any contemporary artist, graphic designer or photographer worldwide. It is organized by cultural association and contemporary art gallery, Blob ART, in Livorno.

The competition aims to investigate the most interesting ideas in international contemporary art,  "to go to the frontline to search for different trends in the international art world and to document at the same time the new artistic languages as they develop".

The deadline for entries to the competition is 21st April 2012, and there are three categories: Painting, Graphic Arts, and Photography. Seventy works will be selected to form an exhibition of finalists that will take place from 22-30th June at the prestigious Granai gallery, a section of the Museo Fattori art gallery in Villa Mimbelli, Livorno, and the final award ceremony will take place at the end of this exhibition, on 30th June 2012 (see website for full details).

Ramona's Restoration Project: From Lazaretto to B&B

The Old Lazaretto Ready to be Plastered (18th January 2008)The Old Lazaretto Ready to be Plastered (18th January 2008)In Livorno at the moment there are lots of building sites, but there is one in particular which deserves special attention: a project involving the renovation of an unusual old building that is now reaching its final phases. It is found in a tranquil spot away from the busy town centre, near Villa Corridi, in an enviable position overlooking the whole of the city and the sea beyond.

Sagra di Suvereto - Wild Boar and Lots More in a Medieval Town

The Medieval Streets of SuveretoThe Medieval Streets of SuveretoThe Sagra di Suvereto, otherwise known as the Sagra del Cinghiale or wild boar fete, is held every year in December in the medieval town of Suvereto which is about an hour's drive south of Livorno. This year (2007) is the 40th anniversary of the Sagra and many special events are being held to celebrate.

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