Today’s issue is a new-look Laviosainforma, the result of the fruitful collaboration with Antonella Alboni as Editor-in-Chief. Writer and advisor to the Carlo Laviosa Foundation, Antonella picked up the gauntlet of this new challenge and we wish her all the very best in her work. The aim of this new editorial format is to give…
Today’s issue is a new-look Laviosainforma, the result of the fruitful collaboration with Antonella Alboni as Editor-in-Chief. Writer and advisor to the Carlo Laviosa Foundation, Antonella picked up the gauntlet of this new challenge and we wish her all the very best in her work.
The aim of this new editorial format is to give more space to information, events and news from all the group’s branches, bringing a more balanced news-flow from the Carlo Laviosa Foundation which in the last two years had somewhat monopolised our magazine.
Special thanks go to Simona Manfredini, who for approximately a year now, has been working with the Foundation in order to give continuity to our great culture pages and information on the Foundation’s activities carried out by Serafino Fasulo for the last two years. Our thanks to Serafino, also.
In launching this new editorial version, we wish to create a space belonging to everyone. A space which is interesting to read and which motivates everyone to use it to announce news, tell their stories and communicate.
I hope that when we open Laviosainforma, we all feel that same light-heartedness I felt as a child when, as I returned from the newsagent, and opened the pages of my favourite comic.
Enjoy your reading
Laviosa WIN WALL
In March, at the Laviosa Chimica Mineraria we completed the LAVIOSA WIN WALL, a project that was developed in collaboration with the Carlo Laviosa Foundation and which was sponsored by the Municipality of Livorno. Everything started with the need to repair a perimeter wall that faces the road from which you enter the company. Our…
In March, at the Laviosa Chimica Mineraria we completed the LAVIOSA WIN WALL, a project that was developed in collaboration with the Carlo Laviosa Foundation and which was sponsored by the Municipality of Livorno.
Everything started with the need to repair a perimeter wall that faces the road from which you enter the company.
Our president, with a brilliant intuition, formulated an alternative idea: to restore the wall by covering it with photographic enlargements.
The originals of the photos were taken by members of the workshop held by Letizia Battaglia in Laviosa in June 2019, with the theme Photography and the world of work.
We have selected a series of photographs from the portfolio of each participant, a real collection that portrays views inside the Laviosa Minerals, in a typical day of work
With this gesture we have virtually opened the company gates and turned the wall stereotype upside down.
No longer wall as a closure, as a shelter from prying eyes, but as an invitation to dwell on what happens inside, to know and recognize the work of each, without whose expertise we could not have the finished product and the gratification that the customer reserve us when they prefer our company to the competition.
Once we selected the photographs we realized that we had a female wall; most of the workshop members were women, so our wall offers passers-by a different point of view, a reality not filtered by the male lens (photographers don’t want any!) and with a sensibility that speaks another language.
The Laviosa Win Wall allows us to make ourselves known in the territory in which we operate and we hope to raise, to the passer-by, the curiosity to ask who we are, what we do and who are those who work in the company. It is not always possible to enter the factories, for an infinite number of reasons, including safety, and photographing the factory interior seemed to us a good way to overcome the obstacle, especially now, in times of health emergency.
Last but not least, I have a very dear motivation: the Laviosa Win Wall is our way to be proud of who we are and what we do and to share our pride with the territory that hosts us and from which we draw the skills that allow us to do business.
It is the first step of a larger project that we carry on with the Carlo Laviosa Foundation, giving small but significant signs to get in harmony with the territory.
We are grateful to the Municipality of Livorno for granting us its patronage and have recognized our commitment. We hope to open a partnership with other companies that embrace with us this policy of small gestures to restore the balance, both aesthetic and functional and to restore dignity to the territory and help us to reformulate a different attitude on the way to do business.
We asked Dottor Laviosa how the Laviosa Winwall project came about and what it stands for.
It all began with a simple rationale: to give something back to the place we live in, in recognition of what our company is able to produce, right here.
The Winwall project came about by chance. The need to carry out maintenance works linked in with a recurrent idea of the Foundation which is to consider the places we work in as not necessarily unpleasant. From there, the intention becomes to create something beautiful and at the same time to nurture the idea of entering into the factory, going back to the concept of the “open” factory which has been around for at least twenty years.
Our Winwall does this in a different way, an immediate way and in my opinion the objective necessity lent itself to making something from the photographic material collected during the workshop with Letizia Battaglia, from mainly amateur photographers from Livorno.
In future, for our Foundation, I would like to find these simple sparks of inspiration which leave their mark. I believe that the most impactful things are those which are part of our everyday life.
It’s not difficult to have a good idea, what is difficult is to carry it through and I would say the Winwall project possesses just that characteristic.
A word from Piero Starita
Winwall is a wall, a transparent wall, showing what’s inside.
For forty years, I’ve worked inside, I’ve lived the industry; today I have a dream and my dream is that the industry becomes a credit to its host territory: and this, in my view, is the meaning of this project.
The industry must bring social value not just in terms of employment or the added value it can bring to a territory but also in terms of the cultural and aesthetic impact it has on its territory.
backstage photos: Ambra Conca – WinWall photos: various artist
LAVIOSA AROUND THE WORLD
News from Turkey
Our company is looking to the future and Turkey is expanding and becoming ever more strategic both in geographical terms as the bridge between Europe and Asia and in terms of our renowned and precious white, Black Sea bentonite from Turkey, appreciated the world over. 2020 Investment works on the Fasta plant In October 2020…
Our company is looking to the future and Turkey is expanding and becoming ever more strategic both in geographical terms as the bridge between Europe and Asia and in terms of our renowned and precious white, Black Sea bentonite from Turkey, appreciated the world over.
2020 Investment works on the Fasta plant
In October 2020 we completed investment works for natural gas allowing for 20% savings on gas costs compared to the previous supplies from Socar.
Business social compliance initiative BSCI certification (2020 audit)
In March 2020 we passed the BSCI audit with the highest score A from the range of A, B, C passes. This certification is useful for improving our reputation with our consumers as a reputable and ethical company, allowing for competitive advantage and improved relations with our suppliers.
The audit also meant we were able to have a consistent and transparent approach to our work, highlighting best practice as well as improving commercial resilience to changes in the industry and the market place. The evaluation criteria were structured as follows:
Amfori BSCI audits measure a manufacturer by the values and principals laid out in the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct and applied through 13 interrelated Performance Areas:
- Social management systems and cascade effect
- Workers Involvement and Protection
- The Rights of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
- No Discrimination
- Fair Remuneration
- Decent Working Hours
- Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)
- No Child Labour
- Special Protection for Young Workers
- No Precarious Employment
- No Bonded Labour
- Protection of the Environment
- Ethical Business Behaviour
Obtaining this certificate has most certainly permitted us to win new, important clients both in Europe and around the world.
Coronavirus safety regulations 2020
To combat the coronavirus pandemic, we have taken a series of important actions:
- Installed thermal cameras at the office and canteen entrances to measure the body temperature of visitors and employees on entering and leaving the premises. Anyone found to have a temperature over 37.5 is taken to hospital.
- Visitors sign a coronavirus procedure
- Full disinfection of the premises every weekend
- All staff have received coronavirus information
- 3 disinfection points created
- Compulsory use of masks for staff
- Seating with a 2 metre distance between each person in the dining area
- 2 metre social distancing imposed in changing rooms
- 2 metre distance seating between each person in the meeting room
- Warning notices for masks and social distancing posted
Second oven line layout 2021 – 2022 Capex investment
Over the last three years, thanks to a number of important investments and preventative, maintenance measures, our manufacturing capacity has increased from a little over 30,000 tons to more than 53,000 tons.
Excellent sales performance has seen demand continue to rise and therefore from 2022, so as to stay in line with our customers’ current and future needs, it is necessary to begin the preliminary stage study of the layout for the second oven line, allowing us to increase and thereby double our production capacity to around 100,000 tons.
LAVIOSA AROUND THE WORLD
News from mining
Also this year we were very busy in activities related to the mining and scouting of new deposits, in all the geographical areas where we are present. In India, the two mines LI4 and LI6 are fully operative: their joint use, in different proportions, allows us to create products of every quality required by the…
Also this year we were very busy in activities related to the mining and scouting of new deposits, in all the geographical areas where we are present.
In India, the two mines LI4 and LI6 are fully operative: their joint use, in different proportions, allows us to create products of every quality required by the Market. At the same time, the scouting activity continues, with the recent approval to invest in the identification of the deposit that will represent our future LI7.
In Turkey, the Bakirgoel mine is now standardly operative with constantly increasing volumes. This convinced us to start identifying and opening a second pit, within the same vast concession.
In France, we have just obtained authorization for the exploitation, finally and officially under the name of Laviosa France, of the Turonian Limestone Quarry in Curcay-sur-Dive, where we extract the largely most important raw material for the Cersay and Etrechy plants. In addition to this, we have already obtained the authorization for the extraction of bentonite from the deposit of Vexin-sur-Epte.
In Sardinia, the mining activity in Monte Furros and Monte Idda mines is proceeding quickly according to our mining plans while the Rio Bau Nurri and Santa Maria III deposits are reaching their final cycle, which will end with the completion of the restoration projects and the return of the areas to the original communities. On the other hand, we have almost completed the documentation necessary for the request of two important new concessions: one with both clumping and absorbent material; the other with clumping material. We are working to guarantee that these two deposits accompany us for the next twenty years in the production of the Villaspeciosa plant.
The fronts on which we are working are therefore many and the activities engage us throughout the year, despite the sanitary crisis. Thanks to the efforts of our international team, made up of Mahir, Enrico, Luca, Christophe and Purvaraj, we have achieved good results so far, confident that we will achieve even better ones.
The Carlo Laviosa Foundation: serving culture and the world of work
Created by Ernesto Laviosa in Livorno in 2006, the Carlo Laviosa Foundation is an independent, non-profit, third sector organisation whose aim is to discover more about the world of work in all its manifestations. The Foundation exists to explore the cultural and social links between the individual, enterprise and society, while giving particular attention to…
Created by Ernesto Laviosa in Livorno in 2006, the Carlo Laviosa Foundation is an independent, non-profit, third sector organisation whose aim is to discover more about the world of work in all its manifestations.
The Foundation exists to explore the cultural and social links between the individual, enterprise and society, while giving particular attention to the young, their training, approach to and insertion into the world of work.
In line with its founding objectives which bind it to opening itself to the public at large, the Carlo Laviosa Foundation has chosen the art of photography as its principal, narrative language; a view of contemporary life for a wide and varied audience.
Since 2016 the Foundation has been contributing in a constant and concrete way to awakening curiosity, stimulating debate and deepening the exploration of the wider world of work through:
Work is the theme at the heart of our competition “Photography and the World of Work”, which illustrates a different domain of production every year, exploring and deepening our perspective of a specific area of activity.
A creative and unconventional view of the reality of shipyards, with a focus on sailing, kicked off the first leg of “Photography and the World of Work”, continuing in the Autumn of 2019 with the subject of human life on a planetary scale: “How industry interacts with the landscape and social life”, to reach 2020 without interruption, focusing on “Work in Livorno DESPITE Covid 19”, highlighting the work of those people who have given us all the possibility to continue receiving essential services for daily life.
The fourth edition of the competition (23rd March to 16th May 2021) entitled “We will travel again: working in tourism – between tradition and new forms of hospitality” requires the photographers to explore the theme of tourism and the activities of hospitality and innovative enterprises from cultural and green tourism to the many non-conformist offers of travel and hospitality. At the heart of the competition is a sector which, through a comprehensive and diverse range of offers, defines our cultural identity and is kept alive by millions of workers and thousands of businesses who find themselves in crisis today due to the pandemic. Through the eyes of professional and amateur photographers we are looking for a testimony of work in tourism, not excluding a vision of what the artists would not like to lose from the world of hospitality or some critical or ironic hint but which nevertheless focuses attention on the human capital essential to Italy’s immense productive capacity, in the shape of tourism.
As usual, for 2021 the photographs chosen in the competition will be exhibited at the Granai di Villa Mimbelli in Livorno, from 20th June to 5th September at the exhibition “We will travel again: working in tourism – between tradition and new forms of hospitality”.
The best images from the 2020 competition were the exception that year due to the Covid situation, forming a special, open-air installation in the heart of Livorno (piazza del luogo Pio – La Venezia quarter). The photographic fruits of our second competition were also exhibited in the gallery-bookshop “Tour de Babel” in the Marais district of Paris, France.
Exhibitions of great photographers
Every year the Carlo Laviosa Foundation dedicates a photographic exhibition to a protagonist of the international culture scene.
Our first star guest was Letizia Battaglia, one of the sharpest and most extraordinary observers of our time, whose work was exhibited in 2019 through 50 images giving a 360° view of the artist.
The next important exhibition, initially planned for 2020 but postponed to the end of September 2021 due to Covid, is “Life’s a beach”, dedicated to the great British photographer Martin Parr and organised in collaboration with the famous Magnum agency in Paris, France.
Designed to introduce young people to serious journalistic investigation and to develop awareness and knowledge of the world of work, through photography. The first didactic and creative workshop group had Ivo Saglietti, three-times World Press Award winning photographer and one of Italy’s most appreciated photo-reporters, as their tutor.
The training course concluded with the exhibition “Volunteering” (at the Granai di Villa Mimbelli from 7/12/2019 to 5/1/2020).
Training young talent
The Carlo Laviosa Foundation had the pleasure of welcoming Letizia Battaglia for the “Landscape, passion and contamination” workshop. From the work with the famous Sicilian photographer sprung the images for the “Laviosa WinWall” project, created in 2021.
In addition to the 3 intensive days with Letizia Battaglia were the sessions with Marco Barsanti, dedicated to the photo editing programmes “Lightroom” and “Photoshop”.
In the Comune di Livorno local administration, the Carlo Laviosa Foundation has a committed partner contributing spaces, resources and skills to the Foundation’s initiatives. Thanks to the municipality’s appreciation of the Foundation’s actions, every event (competitions and exhibitions) takes place at the Granai di Villa Mimbelli or other prestigious locations in the city. Didactic courses and photographic workshops are generally held in the Biblioteca (library) of the Villa Mimbelli.
Every initiative of the foundation is accompanied by the publication of a high quality catalogue, carefully put together in terms of content and graphics in order to produce a limited edition, high-end editorial creation.
To highlight the importance the Carlo Laviosa Foundation gives to communicating its core values, it is dedicated to filling the rich, culture pages of the quarterly online Laviosa Informa periodical with reportages, articles and information, releasing an limited annual, numbered, printed version.
The link between the Laviosa Foundation and the worlds of culture, research, study and learning can also be seen in the support given to and promotion of Biblioteca Selene Sarteschi, an extraordinary, private collection of over 2,800 volumes of Italian literature, including an opulent section devoted to Dante and the “Trecentisti” artists. In honour of the 700th anniversary of the death of the great poet, the library will be opened to the public and from this year scholars and researchers will have access to these rare sources of cultural learning.
And finally, once again highlighting its connection to and profound engagement in the life of Livorno and everything giving value to local energies, the Laviosa Foundation supports and promotes “Corriprimavera” the Springtime 11 km run, an historical event, known all over Italy.
This is our brief presentation of the Carlo Laviosa Foundation; who we are, our ideas and the propositions we hope will contribute to generating ever more public interest, curiosity and involvement because only an informed and interested public can determine a new season for culture, society and business in Italy. This is the dream driving our initiatives.
WE WILL TRAVEL AGAIN: working in tourism – between tradition and new forms of hospitality – the 4th “Photography and the world of work” competition
Once upon a time there was tourism. Grand hotels in places of renown, guests in evening dress, waiters in uniform or luxury, Mediterranean cruises spring to mind, but also the small hotels with a panoramic view and local cuisine, the bed and breakfast booked from one year to the next, home-from-home, « same beach, same sea »….
Once upon a time there was tourism.
Grand hotels in places of renown, guests in evening dress, waiters in uniform or luxury, Mediterranean cruises spring to mind, but also the small hotels with a panoramic view and local cuisine, the bed and breakfast booked from one year to the next, home-from-home, « same beach, same sea ». Yet tourism, which was just that for so long, has changed along with the rest of society, indulging and sometimes anticipating the public’s ever wider and more curious needs, giving rise to new and captivating experiences: from adventure tourism, themed resorts, green and new age tourism to role-play campsites, right down to the « sharing » economy which, in tourism, gave us some of the most striking phenomena of recent times. And for your pleasure, we can share: the loft in Milan, the bijou apartment in Mondello or why not, the 67-footer equipped with Master cabin and moored in Argentario.
For each one of these situations, armies of people conceived them, animated them, kept them alive, renewed, defended and loved them. Waiters, cleaners, directors, cooks, host families, all those who, even with just a room to spare, became both hosts and guests; village entertainers, tour operators, suppliers, designers; the list is endless.
Then the latest, dark episode descended upon us, the protagonist of which is a cruel virus, erasing tourism in the blink of an eye, frustrating people’s goals, bringing tour operators to their knees, shrinking our horizons to new confines.
Once upon a time there was tourism: full stop.
Will it return? Of course. Luckily, it is difficult to confine people’s curiosity, the desire to know, to be astounded or simply to rest after a year of effort. We can only imagine what it will look like. Maybe it will be local tourism, at least for a while; for sure it will be green because if we have understood one thing, we have understood that to save ourselves, even from pandemics, we need to include saving the environment.
So we are asking the photographers to cast their eyes over this situation and to describe the sentimental, the critical, ironic and the grotesque. And why not, through the force or the subtlety of an image, to suggest what it might become. So that Art might help us to understand that which escapes rational thinking, that it might accompany us and support us in difficult times.
Competition 2021 information
FIAF Recommendation no.2021M01
The fourth edition of the competition “Photography and the World of Work”, is realised by the Carlo Laviosa Foundation in collaboration with the municipality of the Comune di Livorno, with the promotional support of the Fotoclub Nove, a FIAF 2283 affiliated association.
To Take Part: the competition is open to professional and amateur photographers aged 18 and over and accepts single images (up to a maximum of 3 photos per participant) or a visual, narrative project consisting of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 photos.
To enrol: go to https://fondazionelaviosa.com click on “Torneremo a viaggiare” (on the Home Page or Cosa facciamo/concorsi) and complete the participation form, sending the photos via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Enrolment fees – 30 euros (25 euros for FIAF members).
The Jury: For this edition we have a distinguished jury, with Letizia Battaglia, renowned international photographer and honorary citizen of Livorno, as its President, Federica Berzioli, director of “Il Fotografo” magazine; Giacomo Bretzel, professional photographer; Maddalena Fossati, director of Condè Nast Traveller; Giovanni Laviosa, president of the Carlo Laviosa Foundation; Simone Lenzi, councilor for culture at the Comune di Livorno; Angelo Loy, documentary director and president of the Fondazione Giuseppe Loy and Carlo Lucarelli AFI EFI EFIAP, FIAF regional delegate for Tuscany. The jury is overseen by Simona Manfredini (Carlo Laviosa Foundation) and Alessandro Paron (TST Art Gallery).
The Prizes: 1st cash prize (for a single image or photographic narrative): 4,000 €; 2nd cash prize for a single image: 2,500 €; 2nd cash prize for a photographic narrative: 2,500 €; 3rd cash prize for a single image: 1,000 €; 3rd cash prize for a photographic narrative: 1,000 €.
Deadline: competition entries close at midnight on May 16th.
Final Exhibition: “We will travel again: working in tourism – between tradition and new forms of hospitality”, closes with an exhibition organised at the Granai di Villa Mimbelli in Livorno, from 20th June to 5th September 2021 and on inauguration day the winners’ prize-giving ceremony will take place.
On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the Moby Prince ferry disaster, in the port of Livorno on April 10th 1991, the cultural association “Effetto Collaterale”, has launched “Documenta 30” a widespread and popular initiative dedicated to the memory of the 140 victims of the disaster, supported by a wide network of organisations: Avis…
On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the Moby Prince ferry disaster, in the port of Livorno on April 10th 1991, the cultural association “Effetto Collaterale”, has launched “Documenta 30” a widespread and popular initiative dedicated to the memory of the 140 victims of the disaster, supported by a wide network of organisations: Avis Livorno, Coordinamento #IoSono141, Ctt Nord, Fondazione Carlo Laviosa, Libreria Mondadori, Mercato Ortofrutticolo, Unicoop Tirreno and the municipality Comune e Provincia di Livorno.
Due to Covid restrictions, the event took place throughout April and May across a number of cultural activities and installations. The first was “140×140”, a participative, public art call to keep the memory of those who died on the Moby Prince, alive. The call, made by the association “Effetto Collaterale” and the Livorno artist collective Uovo alla Pop, was very successful with over 100 citizens and associations enrolling. Using a small D.I.Y kit participants themselves crafted a poster including the name and age of one of the 140 victims who died that night. From 9th to 18th April, the posters were put up around the city, in memory of each one of the 140 victims.
“We are so happy at the enormous participation in “140×140”, the first public, art call in Livorno. In just a few days, underlines Francesca Talozzi of the “Effetto Collaterale” association who came up with the idea along with Uovo alla Pop – through word-of-mouth many citizens answered the call, making the campaign message their own: caring for the name and memory of one of the 140 victims. An act of creation and a manifestation of responsibility by so many citizens made the memory of the Moby Prince more personal, deeper and rooted. Some family members of the victims also joined the initiative and we moved to thank us. But it is we who thank them wholeheartedly for taking part in the event and for the strength they have shown over the last thirty years in their battle for justice and truth”.
In addition, in May, in four different spaces around Livorno a series of photographic and audio-visual installations, labs, readings and exhibitions will remember the disaster. Amongst these, the projection of video interviews with the town’s people sharing their memories of the disaster and an exhibition from the archives of the photographic association 140 showing images of the disaster taken by the photographer Novi and others. Finally, at the ex – “Magazzino Ebraico” or Jewish Warehouse at the Scali della Fortezza Nuova, Livorno an installation exhibiting the disaster victims’ belongings, returned after and handed over from the Maritime Police to the President of the 140 association, Loris Rispoli.
Along with the installation, the association will publish a catalogue of photos of the objects belonging to the 140 Moby Prince victims. The photos taken by Attilo Zavatta, young photographer from Livorno, are simple yet full of meaning.
“By showing responsibility and by remembering, explains Francesca Talozzi – through the photographs of simple, everyday objects, our intention is to document what remains of the disaster, leaving the story of each artefact to everyone who sees them. An intimate yet shared story. A story which is part of all of our lives”.
L’associazione Effetto Collaterale lavora dal 2012 sulla memoria della strage del Moby Prince attraverso il linguaggio teatrale, performativo e installativo coinvolgendo in prima persona i cittadini nel loro ruolo di “attivisti della memoria”. L’idea di Documenta nasce nel 2019, con la prima installazione in Fortezza Nuova.
Documenta 30, explains Francesca Talozzi, is about bringing back memories which through art and culture, we have given over to the inhabitants to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the disaster. Remembering in order not to forget what happened thirty years ago, just a few metres away from the port of Livorno and to continue demanding truth and justice regarding the greatest maritime tragedy in Italian history. This year – Talozzi continues – Documenta took a great step by becoming a network project everyone can join from citizens to many associations, cultural centres, municipal entities and institutions (including the Carlo Laviosa Foundation). Their adhesion to the project has been passionate and impactful, a sign of how the memory of the disaster has become part of everyone’s heritage and not simply “a private matter” regarding the families who for thirty years now, have been fighting for justice.
Oil and olive tree
There are about eight hundred olive trees inside the Laviosa’s farm and their grace would be enough to guarantee them a place of honour on this planet. The laws of evolution have been generous enough to have given the tree of the garden of Gethsemane fruits, whose oil accompanies Italian cuisine in all its many…
There are about eight hundred olive trees inside the Laviosa’s farm and their grace would be enough to guarantee them a place of honour on this planet. The laws of evolution have been generous enough to have given the tree of the garden of Gethsemane fruits, whose oil accompanies Italian cuisine in all its many expressions.
Half of the olive trees in the Laviosa’s farm are about a hundred years old. Considering how ancient olive trees can get a hundred years old is a relatively young age. In Italy as well as in the Mediterranean area, countless of millennia-old and still fruitful plants have been recorded.
It was Carlo Laviosa, grandfather of Giovanni, our current president, who restored the olive grove on his property in the Pisan hills when the estate was purchased in 1952. Since then the Laviosa’s family has always produced oil, partly for family use and partly intended for sale.
Each olive tree produces just over a litre of oil, leaving a small margin for a niche marketing of this product for which ancient methods of production are still followed.
The care taking by the Laviosa’s in the packaging of the olive oil has also shown great respect for the environment. All the cartons used come from recycled materials, with a particular eye to robustness which makes them suitable to be shipped without the need for additional protection. The boxes have no labels or prints and can be reused.
Inside we find an elegant, thick, and dark glass bottle. Oil containers should shield its contents from light preventing any alteration in colour and taste.
The attention to detail underlines the sensitivity towards a millenary product and the respect for the nature of these lands. Traditions have made it possible for Italian, and in particular Tuscan, oil to be the most appreciated of all the productions of the Mediterranean.
A prestigious product, which has a close link to its land, giving life to landscapes that distinguish our territory.
Each olive tree tells us a story and each hand that takes care of it will pass it on.
The Laviosa’s family has taken it upon themselves to deliver the olive grove to future generations, harvesting not only olives but endless tales.
The olive tree patient journey
When writing about the olive trees of Fauglia, my curiosity pushed me on a virtual journey in the Mediterranean basin where the first olive trees appeared six thousand years ago.
Around the fifth century BC, Thucydides narrated that the people of the Mediterranean came out of barbarism when they began to cultivate olives and vines.
In the Greek world it seems that the goddess Athena made the first olive tree appear on the Acropolis during a dispute with Poseidon for dominance over the city. Zeus decreed that it was a very useful gift to the Athenians and all the olive trees descended from that first tree were considered sacred. (with consequent death penalty to those who had the unfortunate idea to shoot down one).
Greeks have to thank Athena if they were allowed to extend the cultivation of the olive tree where it was possible.
From Crete, the oil was exported to Egypt, where it was used for cosmetics as well as for food. And it is precisely in Crete that we can find one of the oldest olive trees in the world, whose age is between 2000 and four 4000 years. Science fails to be more precise and obviously olive trees do not appreciate letting their exact age be known, making it difficult to ascertain. However, it is enough to know that Cretan scholars consider the olive tree to be 4000 years old (could it be otherwise?) And that the plant in question is beautiful and still fruitful.
Speaking of Greek olive trees, did you know that Ulysses used an olive beam to blind the Cyclops? And do you remember that Ulysses’ bed was built by himself inside an olive tree?
Of course, the olive trees also came to us and it was with the dominion of Rome in the Mediterranean that we witnessed the full spread of crops, from the North African coasts to the Pillars of Hercules.
Around Puglia as well, we can find several millenary olive trees, in Borgagne and Vernole, both in the province of Lecce and the region has requested for their olive groves to become part of the Unesco’s heritage.
In Lazio, more precisely in Palombara Sabina, we can admire a 3000-year-old olive tree while the olive tree of Luras, in Gallura, would have been 4000 years old. However, in this case we are talking about a wild olive tree, or rather, an ‘olivastro’. It is a truly impressive specimen: eight meters high by twelve meters in circumference. According to the ancient legends narrated by the inhabitants of Santo Baltolu di Carana, the olive tree was considered a refuge for evil spirits.
Passing from the profane to the sacred, the Old Testament tells of the universal flood. We find a dove that returns to Noah’s ark holding a fresh olive leaf in its beak and from here it became a symbol of peace still present in the Liturgy of Sunday Palms.
In ancient times, the olive tree was considered immortal. This is probably due to the extraordinary ability of this plant to reproduce. Once the mother plant died, the new plant grows from the collar at the base of the old trunk.
The longevity of the olive tree can be compared to that of a wise lady, living a long life filled with all kinds of adventures and misadventures both in times of war and peace.
Olive trees have also seen adventures in the discovery of the ‘new world’. Spanish colonists exported the olive tree, first to Cuba, around the 1520, then to California.
In the southern Americas, the olive tree was first brought to Chile and then to Argentina, again by the Spaniards.
In the mid-1600s the Dutch planted olive trees in South Africa and at the beginning of the nineteenth century they also exported them in southern Australia, where a favourable environment for the growing of these trees was found.
Concluding the great journey of this plant, a trip to China could not be missing. It was Mao Tze Tung himself, during a visit to Albania, who noticed the ability of this plant to grow on uncomfortable, arid and stony slopes.
The Albanian made a gift to China of a thousand olive trees that were planted in the province of Xi Chiang, where they are still cultivated today.
It should not come as a surprise that legends have flourished around this ancient plant and I hope more tales will continue to be told.
For this article, I documented myself online and, if interested I would like to point out, the archives of the Accademia dei Georgofili in which there is a vast documentation full of pleasant notes also for not insiders.
THE COLUMNTHE PLUCKY WOMEN OF LIVORNO
Getting to know them in order to build a better world
This column comes out of our curiosity for the women of today, like those of the past, who have left their mark, often little recognised, on the life of Livorno. From their stories new stories are born, in their footsteps we can make a new journey, a new way of existing in the world of work, in culture and in society.
by Jenny Del Chiocca
This column comes out of our curiosity for the women of today, like those of the past, who have left their mark, often little recognised, on the life of Livorno. From their stories new stories are born, in their footsteps we can make a new journey, a new way of existing in the world of work, in culture and in society.
by Jenny Del Chiocca
Angelica Palli Bartolomei
A nineteenth century female figure: between the Risorgimento and modernity
“There was a fine gathering in the Vieusseux household this evening, to celebrate the young lady Palli of Livorno, daughter of a wealthy, Greek merchant from Epirus. This child possesses a singular talent and a particular leaning toward poetry: she has spirit and an agreeable nature. Though not a beauty, her form is lively, sculpted. Quite Greek. Black hair, black eyes; an attractive figure. She improvised two scenes: one between Hippolytus and Fedra, in blank, Italian verse and another admirable scene between Dido and Aeneas, in rhyming Alexandrian verse. Among the evening’s guests was the renowned French printer and bookseller, Firmin Didot.”
Thus, Mario Pieri, a guest at the Florentine evening on 3rd May in 1824, gives us an intricate glimpse of Angelica Palli, making her so much more interesting to our contemporary eyes than the eternal, gracious portrait in which the face reflects the artistic canons of the emerging, bourgeois, merchant class of Livorno into which she was born on 22nd November 1798. Angelica was the first woman to be invited into the prestigious Vieusseux salons, where the unwritten but faithfully respected, misogynistic rules of the period meant that such a place was open only to men of wit and learning and yet here we see her full of self-confidence attracting the attention of a group of men not generally generous towards the intellectual whims of the female sex.
We should be surprised but if we glance at her happy youth in Livorno, where the Palli family had settled on their arrival from Greece, creating a flourishing trade, our surprise vanishes when we realise the careful and catholic education she received, far removed from that which her female peers were given to teach them to become good wives and mothers.
In opposition to this, Panajotti Palli, faithful to the cosmopolitan model, wanted a solid, classical education for his daughter, including the in-depth study of languages, so different to the typical education of the time. Added to this, was the family’s political involvement in the Greek movement for independence from the Ottoman Empire, opening the doors of the family home to Greek patriots, making Angelica one of the women of the Risorgimento who were determined to make a place for themselves in the complicated history of time, rejecting the stereotypes that felt more suffocating to them than the laces of the corsets they wore under their crinolines.
So, neither are we surprised at her emotional choice, when she fell in love with Gian Paolo Bartolomei, twelve years her junior, born into from a very wealthy, influential Corsican family which had also settled in Livorno. Rejected by her loved-one’s parents, also because of different religious beliefs, the pair eloped on a daring voyage to the South, described by Angelica in some of her picturesque and affectionate, observations to her “dear papa”, in her hope to reassure him of their fate, finally arriving in Corfu where, thanks to a papal dispensation, the couple were joined in matrimony and where their son Lucianino would later be born.
Their return to Livorno is the beginning of a period in which Angelica is the true and indisputable protagonist of Tuscan and national cultural, social and political life. From the magnificent “Palazzo Bartolommei” on the steps on the “Scali del Pesce”, sadly demolished after the Second World War, Angelica welcomed the most fervent Mazzinians, such as Domenico Guerrazzi and later also including Lamartine, Niccolini and Manzoni – who in 1827 described her in poetic verse as “a daughter of heaven, the new Sappho” and by many others as a “luminary” of the era, including by the famous Egyptologist Champollion with whom Angelica corresponded closely.
The Venetian evenings organised openly and with panache, were by now famous, attracting considerable attention and indeed numerous, confidential police reports from the time mentioned them as being suspicious and the object of close surveillance. Today we see more proof of the strong harmony between Angelica and
Giampaolo, beyond the deep feelings they had for one another, in the faith they placed in the emancipation of the people and in their desire to be active and central players and to this shared goal they invested not just their passion but also large sums of their patrimony.
Angelica’s strength of character revealed itself all the more when in 1848 she joined her husband and a battalion from Livorno he mustered at his own expense (and soon disbanded), on the front.
In 1854 Giampaolo passed away, leaving Angelica near penniless and so she moved to Turin where in the home of Contrada della Zecca, she received intellectuals and exiles as well as going back to her literary activities collaborating amongst other things with the journal L’Euterpe’ published in Livorno, to where she returned in 1858.
Her return was joyless, far removed from the splendour of times past.
While with great dignity she found herself obliged to earn a living by giving private lessons, her spirit remained indomitable – an undeniable trait – and once again, in political activism, she found the linchpin giving meaning to her life.
Thus in 1859 she founded and directed the periodical “Il Romito”, in which apart from literary criticism, also political ideas close to those of Cavour were published. Further to this, in 1861 she requests the authorisation to open a girls’ school, based on the teachings of Enrico Mayer who, like Angelica, belonged to the “Accademia Labronica”.
Two years from her death on March 6th 1875 Francesco Domenico Falcucci, puts to print a commemoration of Angelica’s life, in which he remembers her as
“the most illustrious woman in Livorno’s history…whose intellect never forsook the merits of the soul and together in such beautiful harmony they imparted splendid vigour”.
Angelica Palli – how modern she appears to us; we who possess the means to weigh up just how divisive and difficult a woman’s path in society can be. Simply put, in her the modern cornerstones of the intellectual are united: the versatility, vitality, integrity, passion and belief in the principals of freedom that have inspired life itself.
Not only celebrated in Livorno, Angelica Palli is also commemorated in the charming, small town of Fauglia where still today, on the façade of the simple house at number 47, Corso della Repubblica, one can see a plaque in her name, dated 1892, eighteen years before her passing, where she is remembered as “a scholar and poet lauded by the greatest thinkers of her time”. Fauglia is where Palli would stay for the Summer in Tuscany, on her return from her difficult sojourn in Turin, looking for the peace and quiet necessary to nurture her own literary and political passions whilst studying the problems pertaining to the education of women, to which she dedicated much of her energy in the last years of her life.