Livorno is the capital of the province of the same name in Tuscany. It is the second largest port on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city is located on the northwest coast of the province and has about 160 thousand inhabitants. Although originally just a small fishing village, Livorno is currently Italy’s second-largest container port. In English, Livorno is generally referred to as “Leghorn”.
Livorno travel guide
Region: Tuscany. Province: Livorno. zip code: from 57121 to 57128. Area code: 0586.
Public transportation: The nearest airport is the Galileo Galilei Airport of Pisa. The city’s central train station is simply called Livorno Centrale. In addition to this station, there are a number of smaller stations in the city. There is a direct connection to Pisa. Rome and Florence are also easily reached by train. The public transport within the city consists of 13 bus lines. It is provided by the company CTT Nord.
What to see
One of the main attractions is the Terrazza Mascagni, a long coastal walkway of chessboard tiles. Both the Accademia Navale and the Acquarium are located along this lungomare.
The oldest part of Livorno’s busy harbor is known as the Porto Mediceo. It is one of Italy’s biggest ports, with cruise ships and ferries to Corsica, Elba and Sardinia coming and going.
The “Old Fortress” (Fortezza Vecchia) was built in the 16th century, although for its construction parts of an even more ancient castle were used. Inside the fortress it is possible to visit the San Francesco Church and the Mastio di Matilde. The harbor view from the latter is magnificent.
The main square of Livorno is called Piazza Cavour.
The district known as Venezia Nuova is located between the Fortezza Nuova and the old part of the city. It was founded in 1620 and, as the name inplies, charcacterized by canals criss-crossing one another. Highlights are the Piazza della Repubblica and the Santa Caterina Church.
A 30 minute car ride outside the city center you can visit the Santa Maria delle Grazie Sanctuary. The main attraction of this church is a venerated effigy known as the Madonna di Montenero.
The 19th century Villa Mimbelli is the seat of the Museo Civico. This museum pays particular attention to a group of mid-19th century painters known as the Macchiaioli. One of the leaders of this movement was Giovanni Fattori, and the exhibition includes ones of his most famous works, Mandrie Maremmane.
The Chiesa degli Olandesi is an abandoned church with a beautiful facade.
The best known market of the city is known as the Mercato Centrale. It comprises over 200 stalls and is open every day except Sunday.
A brief history of Livorno
Livorno’s growth form a small fishing village to a big container port is due to Cosimo I, who, after Pisa silted up in the 16th century, chose the city as the new main harbor of Tuscany.
It took the English architect Sir Robert Dudley almost 15 years (1607-1621) to build the great seawall that protected the port.
In 1608, Livorno was declared a free port, where all merchants, regardless of race or nationality, could sell their wares. Many people, persecuted for their beliefs, fled to Livorno. It may well be that the left-wing image of the city was born here.
By car to Livorno
By car: Since the city is located along the coast both the E80 and the ancient Roman road of lords SS1 (Via Aurelia) pass it. Both roads lead from Rome to the French border. The Firenze-Pisa-Livorno highway brings one to the Tuscan capital. The more scenic SS67 follows the same route.