As we were: almost the same, especially at the sea. Thus the family films in Super8 brought back to life become the madeleine of Livorno

Children skipping barefoot on dog teeth as on an English lawn, the selection accurate of the rock as if it were an interior showroom – the one made up of a chaise longue, which here gladly translates into gislonga, the one done in the chair -, the relative positions a little circus a little Comaneci suitable for sunbathing with the right angle of the rays, whether the right arm has an imperceptibly more ocher pantone. And then the comings and goings on the serpentine of theAurelia peeking the cliff of the Romito, the parapets of the Medici canals of Venice garbage of people waiting to see the goiter of their district pass: they left the Voltone! Livorno is back, now that it is reborn, like all summers, Livorno is back on the old films but not those of the films, it has nothing to do with overtaking this time, it has nothing to do with it Virzì, it has nothing to do with it Rich, very rich … practically in underwear (well yes). Livorno at the height of authenticity: that of family movies, abandoned in the cellar or covered by the wedding album or the first birthday of a child who is no longer a child, which 8m – reference for the restoration and digitization of tapes in 8 and 16 millimeters and in Super8 – he collected together with the Municipality in a playlist available on youtube, on facebook and on the channel

It is a retrospective of the city making a double effect. On the one hand, only black and white reveals the past years – many, dozens – of images that have all the connotations of the present. On the other hand, it releases smells, flavors and colors that you can only imagine of a time that no longer exists, like all the madeleines who paint years that looked better and maybe were worse or vice versa. Or even years that have never been lived but, seen from here, they seem the best there is, there golden age syndrome that he told Woody Allen in a movie from a few years ago. In these recovered and framed films it cannot be said, even with all love, that Livorno will become Paris nor does the leap into the past allow you to meet From there e Toulouse Lautrec.

But you can see Bianchine and 600 whizzing – so to speak – near the Tower of Calafuria, and not swarms of scooters of all sizes driven by drivers aged 18 to 99 as happens today. Forty years have revolutionized swimwear, even in the sense of swimwear. Long-sleeved shirt, jacket folded over one arm, trousers up to the instep: a wretch is very reminiscent of a Tuareg as he descends towards the Flat rocks or around Trays, two strokes of cliff of the Romito which in Livorno is synonymous with free sea, albeit painful due to the peeling of the feet and knees resulting from the ups and downs. Today, it would not even be necessary to say it, whoever arrives on the rocks of the Romito is semi-naked at the limit of the penal code, the shirt wears it only because somewhere there is a mother who recommends covering up “otherwise take a pettata”.

Or the bathing establishments, concrete and rocks, for a fee, however expensive, where families (as in the stories of the people of the South) move home, icebox that is, the cooler, which outclasses the bar-restaurant. The sofa is missing but there is the gabion, at the time of Armando Picchi and now, at the time of Merry. The old videos recovered show, also equal to their grandchildren today, the bathers at the Pancaldi, indeed on Pancaldi (in Livorno the fact that you walk on it is grammatically enhanced): the difficult ascent to the rough sea, the girl proud of her pink fins, on a ladder another climbs from the water that looks like a cricket, the mother a little more uncertain, nice way to say it would take a hoist.

In a city that goes to the sea on the rocks and knows – indeed recognizes – the bathroom only where do not touch the thread of summer time is that of the dips, of which a rich sample collection is recovered: head, and oh well, candle, ok, with the donut, risky, or even at the launch of the ship, when the ladies with the freshly made perm recline with their webbed hands to get wet not over the gorge and possibly without a splash. Or: with the whistle or without ?, how do you hear asking – that is, screaming – from the top of the rock, or from the springboard of the establishment. Over the years there has been a notable evolution that the films do not document and this article will certainly not reveal the existence of the catalog of dip styles that in Livorno are used to make a show, already from the names: siuski, shizzan, military, camel. Vince who makes more sketches, an Olympics in reverse.

What comes from these old footage is the story of all seaside towns, who live according to the sea, who breathe only when they can go to the sea and in the meantime, in the other six months, they can only wait. It is very much the history of Livorno. It is the story of a lost time, of roots that seem to have been taken away by some storm, of rites that have disappeared by decision of no one: it is almost touching to see people explode on the walls of the Chanel medicei for the night rowing boat race, with an ear to the speaker to know where the stopwatch stopped after the tour of the ditches. Are the goiters, those who then – during the day, a few weeks later – compete in the open sea in an epic, almost British challenge, a kind of Henley with salt water and with many more boats. Indeed barges, in addition to fixed seats, which slaughter each other in an exhausting naval battle, 8 kilometers from Torre della Meloria, there in the middle of the sea, at Porto Mediceo, in the heart of the city. And finally the Palio marinaro, which is a bit like the championship, the only one that counts, the regatta in front of the Mascagni Terrace, with two or three turns around the buoys that appear and disappear behind the waves, the spectators with the eight o’clock sun in their faces, toasted by the July sun.

Here it is, still in the vintage videos, the Terrace, the place towards which the compass needle points when you do not know what to do, where to go, how to fill the time: the wind in your face, the children playing with chess on the tiles on the ground, or with skates, or with pedal cars, the nearby ships that enter the port slowly slowly, the spouses who come to take pictures, the Amerigo Vespucci stop at the quay and – but behold the case – it is bad weather. Childhood, first loves, life choices: the images of the moving and immobile landscape seem fizzy, all the same in the time that passes in leaps of ten or twenty years. It seems like yesterday, but a day of libeccio was enough to take away yesterday’s things.


Tide of Analog
Dove | Livù Tv – –
Assembly | Michele Lezza
Music | Simone Di Maggio
Graphics | Umberto Staila