The Mascagni Terrace in Livorno

Sea storms often invade the shiny checkerboard floor of the Mascagni Terrace, in Livorno. This brave terrace – defenseless in front of waves’ eternal impetus – needs protection and constant care.

It is deserted in the early morning. You have to wait a while for someone to arrive, as Giorgio Caproni – a Livorno native – explained to his own soul with his poem, “The last prayer”: “You will arrive in Livorno /
you will see, before daylight.
// No one will be there
/ yet, but one
/ by one look at the people come out
/ of every front door, and wait 
/ (while the pavement smells of fish
/ and night)…”

Piazza Mascagni was built in 1925, according to a design by Enrico Salvais, in an area that until 1896 had been the location of an amusement park called “Eden”, where the first public cinema show in Italy was held. Then, after the Second World War, the area was leveled off and expanded north.

But the unstoppable sea invaded this defenseless space over and over, causing serious damage. In the early 1990s, a long-awaited restoration brought it back to its original beauty. Even the music Gazebo by Ghino Venturi, built in the 1930s and destroyed during wartime bombings, was recreated.

Now, every day the terrace fills with people, happy to look out at the see, and hopeful that the waves will be kind to this fragile corner dedicated to urban rest.

This is Livorno’s best side, the one that had Pier Paolo Pasolini say, every time he had to leave: “I leave my heart on its huge seafront, full of kids and sailors, free and happy”.

Photos via:

The Mascagni Terrace in Livorno

Viale Italia


Most Read

The Great War Museum: history at high altitude

Author: Barbara PalladinoTranslation by Michelle NebioloOn the top of the Marmolada, at 3,000 meters of altitude, you’ll find the Marmolada Great War...

Palazzo Giordano Apostoli: neo-gothic inspiration

Palazzo Giordano Apostoli is located in Sassari’s central Piazza d’Italia. It was built by will of Giuseppe Giordano Apostoli in 1877, in...

Move To The Top takes you to the roof of the Dolomites

Author: Barbara PalladinoTranslation by Michelle Nebiolo On 4 July 2020, the cableway to Malga Ciapèla will re-open. Its short,...

Tenute La Montina, the realm of Franciacorta

Author: Barbara PalladinoTranslation by Michelle NebioloTenute La Montina is located in Monticelli Brusati (BS), in the north-east of Franciacorta, next to an ample...