Livorno (Italy) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Livorno with descriptions, guides and maps.
City of Livorno (Italy)
Livorno is a city in Central Italy in the region of Tuscany. It is the largest Tuscan port and is located on the eastern side of the Ligurian Sea. Livorno is a city actually designed and built in the 16th century. It has no ancient medieval center like Florence, Pisa or Siena. It is a busy seaport that often acts as a staging ground or starting point for numerous tourists. However, Livorno has interesting sights and the city center is crisscrossed by canals, which even resemble Venice.
What to do (Livorno):
€130 per tour
See the main sights of the “City of Freedom” and take a boat trip through the beautiful canals.
Geography and climate
Livorno is located in western Tuscany on the coast of the Ligurian Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea). The city is near the delta of the Arno River. Livorno is connected to the river by canals. The area is mostly flat. The climate is a Mediterranean sea climate. Summers are warm and not as hot as the rest of Tuscany, and winters are mild with rare sub-zero temperatures. Most precipitation falls between October and December.
- The population is 158.4 thousand people.
- Area – 104 square kilometers.
- Language: Italian.
- Currency – euros.
- Visa – Schengen.
- Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
In the first half of the 11th century there was a tiny fishing village on the site of Livorno. In the 12th century the land belonged to Pisa. In the 14th century, the Pisans began to consolidate the settlement and then sold it to the Visconti family. Between 1407 and 1421 these territories belonged to Genoa. Florence then gained control of the mouth of the Arno.
Port of Livorno
The city of Livorno owes its appearance to the Medici family. It was this influential aristocratic family that decided to make the settlement a sea gateway to Tuscany, after the Bay of Pisa silted up. By the 17th century Livorno had become one of the largest commercial ports of the Mediterranean.
Further improvements to the city continued in the 18th century during the Habsburg rule of the Ligurian coast. During World War II, Livorno was severely damaged by bombing.
How to get there
The nearest airport is located in Pisa. There are regular bus and train services between Livorno and Pisa/Florence. Livorno also has ferry connections to Barcelona, Palermo and Bastia.
In Livorno you can taste delicious Italian and Tuscan cuisine. Thanks to its seaside position, Livorno’s gastronomy also includes plenty of fish and seafood. Here you can taste excellent risotto.
New Venice is Livorno’s most charming neighborhood, with numerous canals that you can take a boat ride through. This picturesque neighborhood was formed in the 17th century around the New Fort (Fortezza Nuova). It was once surrounded by moats and old city walls, which were later transformed into waterways linking the mouth of the River Arno and the port of Livorno.
The Mascagni is a promenade in the southern part of the city, a favorite stroll spot for visitors and locals alike. Here is a modern aquarium, which presents the marine life of the Mediterranean.
The port occupies the western part of the city and is one of the largest on the Mediterranean. The old part contains buildings dating back to the Medicean period.
The Old Fortress
The old fortress is located on the northern part of the old port. It was built in the first half of the 16th century. Its oldest part dates back to the early Middle Ages and is the oldest structure in Livorno. The small church of San Francesco in the fortress was built in 1530. The structure is open to the public.
The New Fortress
The new fortress was built in the middle of the 16th century. It has a typical pentagonal layout with a series of sharp merlons. The fort is an imposing defensive structure, surrounded on all sides by a canal.
Castello del Boccale
Castello del Boccale is a beautiful castle on the coast in medieval style. The original core of the castle is represented by a watchtower built in the 16th century by the Medici.
Monument on the Via Grande
Via Grande is the main street of Livorno, which connects the harbor and the Piazza della Repubblica. The most interesting attraction of the street is the monument, which is called the “Monument of the Four Moors”.
Piazza della Repubblica
The Piazza della Repubblica is Livorno’s central and largest square. It is a huge square not far from the New Fortress. In the square there are two marble statues of the last great dukes of Tuscany.
San Ferdinando is a Roman Catholic Baroque church built in the 17th century. Its main feature is the beautiful altar.
The Duomo or San Francesco Cathedral is a late Renaissance church located in the center of Piazza Grande.
Church of Sant’Andrea
Sant’Andrea is a neoclassical church built in the late 19th century.
€200 per tour
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Rome – a sightseeing tour of the major sites and the undiscovered ghetto
Trace the city’s path from Antiquity to modern times and learn about the inhabitants of the past and present
17 of Livorno’s best sights to see
Livorno, just south of Pisa, is one of the main economic centers of Tuscany. It is known primarily for its modern seaport, delightful canals and medieval fortifications.
Many tourists come here on cruise ships and see Livorno as just a stopover on their way to the more popular cities on the Apennine Peninsula. Instead of rushing through Livorno, stay here to experience the charms of this unremarkable Italian coastal town.
Fortezza Nuova – The New Fortress
Fortezza Nuova – The New Fortress. | Photo: wikimedia.
In the mid-to-late 1500s, in order to increase Livorno’s defensive capabilities, another fortification was built in addition to the existing one. To distinguish between these fortifications, they were called the Old and New Forts (Old and New Fortress).
The New Fort has a pentagonal shape typical for defensive fortresses of that time and is an imposing structure surrounded on all sides by jagged walls and a canal.
Many of its defenses, such as the gun ports, have survived intact to this day. In the center of the fort today there is a beautiful garden. Visitors to Fortezza Nuova have the opportunity to walk around the fortress, explore several passageways and walk along the battlements to admire the beautiful view of the canals and the city.
Address: Fortezza Nuova, Scali della Fortezza Nuova, Livorno, Italy.
Port of Livorno
Port of Livorno. | Photo: wikimedia.
The port of Livorno, which stretches from the quiet harbor to the Emissario Canal, which eventually joins the Arno River, is impressive in its monumentality. It is one of the busiest and most productive ports in Italy.
The number of commercial and passenger terminals housed here is astounding. A stroll around this giant port gives you a chance to see how an enterprise of this scale works and to admire the huge cruise liners docking and unloading their thousands of passengers.
The address is Porto di Livorno, Calata Sgarallino, Livorno, Italy.
The canal-strewn area near Fortezza Nuova is affectionately called New Venice by the locals. If you ask the city’s natives what to see in Livorno, this is the first place you’ll be directed.
You can stroll along the Scali della Ancore along the central canal, cross it over the Via della Venezia bridge, admire the beautiful water “highways” and the small sailing and motorboats anchored along the banks of the canals.
Continue towards the Scali del Refugio and you will see the stunning Church of St. Catherine. Now it’s time to head to the New Fortress. We have described only one possible route for your journey. The streets and canals in Nova Venezia are in fact many and it is a charming area to explore for a long time, discovering something new each time.
Address: Venezia Nuova, Livorno, Italy.
A monument to the four Moors.
This wide street stretches from the traffic circle near the port to the impressive Piazza della Repubblica. There are many stores and restaurants along it, as well as several important buildings and squares.
At the western end of the street you will find the Quattro Mori (Four Moors) monument, one of Livorno’s main landmarks, and in the middle is Piazza Grande, on which stands the Cathedral of St. Francis. Being located in the center of the city, Via Grande serves as a starting point for many excursions.
Address: Via Grande, 57123 Livorno LI, Italy.
Terrazza Mascagni Promenade
Terrazza Mascagni promenade.| Photo: wikimedia.
Since Livorno is on the coast, it goes without saying that there are several promenades in this city that offer amazing views of the sea. One of them is Terrazza Mascagni, just south of Livorno’s main commercial port.
This promenade, which reaches out into the sea with its beautiful cobbled stone paths, tree-shaded areas and the comparatively small but magnificent Aquarium, is a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike. Terrazza Mascagni is ideal for watching the sunset and a leisurely evening stroll.
Address: Terrazza Mascagni, Viale Italia, Livorno, Italy.
A stroll along the Via Italiana, stretching along the sea from the port to Bartolini Park, will give you the opportunity to admire both the amazing coastal scenery and the architecture of Livorno. The most beautiful part of this street is close to the harbor of Ardenza, where you will pass rows of small fishing boats and find yourself in the stunningly landscaped area of the park.
Along the way you will meet several bars and restaurants serving fine Italian cuisine. The fantastic sea views and the invigorating sea air make Via Italia the ideal place for a sunny morning stroll.
Address: Viale Italia, Livorno, LI, Italy.
Mercato Centrale – Central Market
Mercato Centrale – Central Market | Photo: wikimedia.
If you want to immerse yourself in the measured flow of life of the “natives” of Livorno, go to the local market, the Mercato Centrale. Its huge building on Scali Aurelio Staffi stands out among the surrounding buildings.
Inside there are 34 stores and more than 200 different stalls selling everything – meat, poultry, eggs, ham, cheese, bread, wine… The sights, sounds and smells of the place are divine and you literally won’t know which way to look. In addition to the main pavilion in the market area, there is also an open area where they sell clothes, accessories and other local products.
Address: Mercato Centrale, Via Buontalenti, Livorno, Italy.
Piazza della Repubblica
Piazza della Repubblica | Photo: Francisco Anzola / Flickr.
Livorno has several impressive squares, but Piazza della Repubblica is certainly the most beautiful and largest of them all. You will find this huge square near the Fortezza Nuova canal that runs parallel to Via Giuseppe-Garibaldi.
There are two ornamental marble statues at either end of the square, which is shaped like a large oval, and the surrounding buildings are beautifully varied in color and style. There are several noteworthy art galleries as well as many good restaurants. Piazza della Repubblica is a great place to relax and enjoy the culture and silence.
Address: Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza della Repubblica, Livorno, Italy.
Museo del Fattori
The Museo di Fattori.
Located in the historic Villa Mimbelli, surrounded by splendid gardens, the Civivo was opened in 1994. The museum has a rich and interesting collection of works of art. There are works by famous artists, including Giovanni Fattori and other members of the Macchiallo group.
The museum’s collection, spanning several hundred years of history, gives a new perspective on the various forms and styles of artistic creation. The Livorno Museum will certainly be of interest to all art lovers.
Address: Villa Mimbelli – Museo Civico Giovanni Fattori, Via San Jacopo In Acquaviva, Livorno, Italy.
The Melorie Islands | Photo: Filippo Gini / Flickr.
The Meloria, about 6 kilometers off the west coast of Livorno, is a series of rocky islands. Two islands stand out in this ridge, both tiny, yet on both you can find interesting structures.
On the south island rises a modern lighthouse, while the north island is adorned by an old tower built in the 1500s. Rent a boat at the port of Livorno and sail there: you can sunbathe on the rocks or scuba dive in the clear and relatively shallow waters. Since 2010, the area is a protected conservation area.
Address: Meloria, Livorno, Italy.
Church of St. Ferdinand
Church of St. Ferdinand.| Photo: wikimedia.
Livorno has several beautiful churches, but the most famous is Chiesa di San Ferdinando, located on Via della Venezia, near the port and New Venice. Serving as a fine example of Baroque architecture, this church has a simple exterior design with an unfinished facade.
In complete contrast to the modest exterior is the stunning Baroque interior. The central basilica is richly decorated with works of art, and the columns and arches are lined with stucco. The marble floor is covered with a beautiful pattern, and the central altar has a lot of magnificent sculptures and bas-reliefs of religious themes.
Address: Church of San Ferdinando, Piazza Anita Garibaldi, Livorno, Italy.
Fortezza Veccia – the Old Fortress
Fortezza Veccia, the Old Fortress. | Photo: wikimedia.
This defensive structure was built by Antonio da Sangallo for the Medici family in the early 1500s. The old fortress, located in the port area near the New Fortress, has been a symbol of the city’s power for hundreds of years.
The fort and its grounds are now open to the public. From the fortress towers and battlements there is a fantastic view of the port and harbor. The fortress has a small but beautiful church of St. Francis, which was built much later than the fortress itself.
Address: Fortezza Vecchia, Piazzale dei Marmi, Livorno, Italy.
The town of Montenero and its funicular
The town of Montenero and its funicular railway.
South of Livorno is the small town of Montenero, nestled on the side of a high hill. Here, as a rule, come only those who want to take a break from the crowds of tourists and to observe the life of a traditional Italian small town in all its glory.
Montenero’s only attraction is the charming funicular railway which for years has been taking passengers to the Madonna della Grazia sanctuary about 500 meters above. This religious sanctuary has amazing architecture and offers a magnificent view of the coast.
Address: Funicolare di Montenero, Via delle Pianacce, Livorno, Italy.
Along the SS1 highway, about 25-30 minutes south of Livorno, you will find the enchanting coastal town of Calafuria. Calafuria itself has nothing to offer but a few campsites and boarding houses, but its stunning coastline is full of delightful rocky niches and hidden beaches. Residents of Livorno often come here to relax away from the tourists. The scenery here is fantastic, and the rocky stretches of coastline are gorgeous.
Address: Costiera di Calafuria, Via del Littorale, Livorno, Italy.
Beaches of Livorno
The beautiful Via Italiana, which begins at the Livorno waterfront, stretches along the coast to the south. Along this street are parks and beautiful beaches that start at the edge of the city. Walking paths lead to secluded rocky coves and picturesque promontories.
Look at Scoli Piatti, a rocky cove near Antignano, one of the most beautiful places on this seashore. South of Antignano is Costiera di Calafuria (Calafuria coast) with magnificent beaches and clear water for diving.
Between Livorno and Piombino you will find many farms and small cottage industries specializing in local delicacies – olive oil, fruits, berries, almonds and freshly baked Tuscan bread. You can visit these farms and taste and buy their products as you explore the coast.
The address is Torre di Calafuria, Strada Statale 1, Livorno, Italy.
Parterre Park | Photo: wikimedia.
This lush public park was laid out in the mid-nineteenth century to develop a deserted area around the city’s large body of water. Today it is a peaceful green oasis with tall palm trees, statues of mythological gods and nymphs, fountains and… lots of local dog-eaters.
The slowly expanding collection of open-air animal-themed art objects is reminiscent of the exotic animals kept here in the late 19th century, during the park’s heyday. Among them is a dancing bear named Gigi, of which the local singer Bobo Rondelli wrote a song in 1993.
Address: Parco Pertini “PARTERRE”, Livorno, Italy.
S. Caterina Church
Church of Santa Caterina.| Photo: wikimedia.
This early 18th-century Dominican church with thick stone walls and a dome visible from afar stands “on guard” on the west side of the Piazza dei Domenicani. It was built by order of the Medici. Unfortunately, the money for construction ran out quickly, and the façade of the church was never faced with marble. The main altar of St. Catherine is decorated with a painting by Giorgio Vasari “Coronation of the Virgin”.
Address: Church of St. Catherine, Piazza Dei Domenicani, Livorno, Italy.