The city of Livorno and the surrounding area offer a wide range of places to see and things to do, both for those in search of history and culture and for those intent on more mundane pleasures, such as enjoying local food and nightlife or the lively music scene.
Livorno has several unique aspects compared to other cities in Tuscany: it is the youngest of Tuscan towns, with a history as a city of just over 400 years; it has a network of boat-lined canals that wind their way around the town and out to the sea; and most importantly, during its heyday, Livorno was a thriving cosmopolitan port where merchants of many nationalities settled, contributing greatly to the development of the city.
Although many of Livorno's beautiful buildings were destroyed during and immediately after WWII, there is still a good choice of interesting places to see: the Fortezza Vecchia, the Venezia district, historic churches, and a delightful art gallery, are just a few of them.
Out of town, head south of Livorno for some pleasant seafront walks, the attractive districts of Ardenza and Antignano, and the hillside village of Montenero with spectacular views over the city. All are just a bus ride away.
Some useful links to other pages on Livorno Now:
ONE DAY'S UNLIMITED TRAVEL on all local CTT buses for JUST €3!!
The LIVORNO CARD is a great way of exploring the city at your leisure for only €3 euros! The Livorno Card costs €3 for one full day, €4 for two days, and €5 for three days, and is free for children under 12 when accompanied by an adult.
The advantages that come from holding a Livorno Card are as follows:
• Free travel on the local CTT bus service
• Free entry to the Giovanni Fattori Civic Museum
• A discounted price for the boat trip on the canals of Livorno (ask at the tourist office in Via Pieroni)
• Discount of €2 on entrance to the Aquarium of Livorno
• Discount of €1 on entrance to Modigliani's birthplace
The Villa Valsovano, where the English writer Percy Bysshe Shelley stayed in the summer of 1819, is not easy to find since it is listed in many places as being in Via del Fagiano which is where the original entrance to the villa was.
However, to see the villa these days you have to go to Via Filippo Venuti, near Livorno's hospital, about 20 minutes' walk from the city centre.
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.
Livorno's Central Market - Il Mercato Centrale - is one of the highlights on any visit to the city. The huge building towers over the main canal on the Scali Saffi and is easily reached from Piazza Cavour. It dates from the late-19th century and was designed by Angiolo Badaloni who was probably inspired by Parisian architecture of the same period.
The market is open every morning from Monday to Saturday (8am-1pm) and is well worth a visit.
Five entrances lead into the main food hall where 34 shops and 230 stalls sell meat, eggs, poultry, ham, cheese, bread, wine, and a whole variety of intriguing foodstuffs.
There are two adjoining smaller halls, one dedicated to fresh fish and the other to fruit and vegetables. The aroma of freshly ground coffee is often the first to reach you from one of the coffee stalls.
Known in Livorno as the Antico Cimitero degli Inglesi, or the Old English Cemetery, the monumental cemetery in Via Verdi dates from the 1640s and is the oldest of its kind in the whole of Italy, probably in the whole of the Mediterranean area. The people buried in the cemetery were protestants of several nationalities who were living or staying in Livorno and other parts of Italy during the 17th, 18th and first part of the 19th century. Many of them played an important part in the development of the city and port of Livorno. In 1840 the cemetery was closed down following the expansion of the city walls, and a New English Cemetery was opened outside the walls (Via Pera).