Dreaming of the Corsairs. Livorno and its sea in the Alinari Archives
  • From Fri 30 June to Sun 8 October

Visit Livorno / Events / Dreaming of the Corsairs. Livorno and its sea in the Alinari Archives

Dreaming of the Corsairs. Livorno and its sea in the Alinari Archives

Opening hours: from Monday to Friday 10-20, Saturday and Sunday 10-22. Extended hours until 24 during Effetto Venezia (August 2-3-4-5-6).

Tickets: Full price 6 euros, reduced price 4 euros, reduced price for schools 2 euros, guided tour 2.50 euros. Possibility of purchasing an open ticket, also available online.

Guided tours: Guided tours by reservation at guaranteed times on Saturdays at 18 and 19 without reservation. Guided tour cost 2.50 euros.

For information and reservations: Museo della Città di Livorno Piazza del Luogo Pio 19. Tel. 0586-824551. museodellacitta@comune.livorno.it


“Dreaming of the Corsairs: Livorno and its sea in the Alinari Archives.” It is the photographic exhibition that will open at the City Museum of Livorno, Cultural Center of the Bottini dell’Olio, from June 30th (opening at 6:30 pm) to October 8th, 2023.

Promoted and organized by the Municipality of Livorno, the exhibition is curated by the Alinari Foundation for Photography with the sponsorship of the Tuscany Region, together with the Municipality of Livorno. Curator Rita Scartoni from Alinari, Catalog by Sillabe.

On display are works from the precious Alinari Archives, one of the largest and oldest photographic collections in the world. The heritage includes over five million pieces, many of which are unique, dating from 1841 to the present day, collected in hundreds of archives and collections of great significance for the history of photography, not only in Italy. In December 2019, this archive became public thanks to its acquisition by the Tuscany Region, an operation of cultural policy and investment among the most important in recent years, which saved it from dispersion and fragmentation, guaranteeing its preservation and accessibility.

The connection between the city of the 4 Moors and its sea is told through a century (spanning the 19th and 20th centuries) of photographers and photographs. Starting from the daguerreotype of the Water Customs, attributed to Aristide Castelli from circa 1845. Livorno early welcomed the invention of photography, as in 1843, just 4 years after the discovery of the daguerreotype, Giuseppe Marzocchini opened the first photographic studio in Tuscany right in Livorno. The exciting exhibition will feature photos of beach resorts and bathers, storms at sea, various ships, divers, and other maritime-related trades, captured by Livornese photographers (or entire dynasties of photographers).

Names like Bettini and Miniati will not leave photography enthusiasts indifferent and will surprise visitors with their charm as they see their images for the first time.

Impressive are the hand-colored slides by the Florentine scientist Giorgio Roster during his stays on the island of Elba in the second half of the 19th century, as well as other amateur photographs of summer vacations dating back to the 1920s and 1930s taken on Elba.

As for the title, what does it refer to? To an enchanting photo by Michele Vestrini from 1958, depicting a child from behind, sitting on a parapet of the Mascagni Terrace; in front of him, in the vastness of the open sea, the famous ship “Vespucci” with its sails unfurled. Or maybe, the corsairs?

Dreaming of the Corsairs. Livorno and its sea in the Alinari Archives
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