The Fortezza Nuova is a fortress in the Venezia Nuova district of Livorno, built in the 16th century for the Medici family. Nowadays only the old walls are still standing and the area within the walls has been transformed into a fortress.
Fortezza Nuova Livorno
The address of the Fortezza Nuova is Via Degli Scali Della Fortezza N, – 57123 Livorno (tel. +39 0586 895034).
History and Description
The foundation stone of the fortress was laid on January 10, 1590, but it took almost 15 years to complete the work.
Several architects worked on its construction, including Bernardo Buontalenti and Don Giovanni de’ Medici.
The commission was given by Francesco I dei Medici and the construction of the Fortezza Nuova was part of much larger plans for the expansion of the city.
Buontalenti designed a city protected by a long wall, with five bastions at each corner. A number of canals were also dug.
Originally the old Baluardo di San Francesco and the Baluardo di Santa Barbara were incorporated into the construction of the Fortezza Nuova, but later the latter had to make room for the expansion of the districts of Venezia Nuova and San Marco. A second fortress, the Forte San Pietro, was also built next to the Fortezza Nuova.
The fortress would continue to be used for military purposes until the end of World War II. During the war, however, much of the constructions within the walls were destroyed by bombing.
In 1972, the city of Livorno had the fort restored and a park created within the walls. From the fortress one now has a beautiful panorama of the canals of Venezia Nuova and of the Piazza della Repubblica. It is connected to the city by a small bridge at the Scali della Fortezza Nuova and some movable bridges. In the moat there is a raveline.
Inside the fortress, one first walks underground for a while, until one reaches the former halls of the castle.