The Four Moors - a symbol of Livorno Overlooking the old Medici Port, right at the port end of Via Grande, you cannot fail to notice the statue known as I Quattro Mori (‘the four moors’) which is undoubtedly Livorno’s most famous landmark. The monument, which is a symbol of Livorno, was carried out in two stages. The upper part, portraying Ferdinando I, the Medici Grand Duke, was sculpted in marble by Giovanni Bandini by order of Ferdinando’s son, Cosimo II, to honour his father. It was erected in 1617, nine years after Grand Duke Ferdinando’s death.
The four bronze moors were added between 1623 and 1626 and are the work of the Carrara sculptor, Pietro Tacca, who was Giambologna’s greatest pupil. A popular legend says that he used two slaves as a model for his work and that in return for posing for several months these two men were then set free.
The whole monument is supposed to represent Tuscany’s victories over attacks from the sea by moorish pirates who threatened the security of the region.