Visiting Livorno, a Surprisingly Un-Tuscan City.
Visitors to Tuscany are spoilt for choice. So much to see, so little time! Renaissance Florence, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Lucca with its splendid walls and medieval churches, Siena’s Gothic Cathedral and the Palio...the list is all too familiar, and it goes on and on. It can be hard to decide where to start and faced with all that choice, not many visitors think of spending some time in Livorno or the Province of Livorno .
Compared to its Tuscan neighbours, Livorno is of 'recent' origins and cannot boast the same history, all those famous names and coffee-table images connected with Florence and the likes.
The city of Livorno was founded just over 400 years ago, and in many ways is so totally different to the rest of this famous region. It hardly seems to be a Tuscan town at all.
Yet Livorno's history is a unique and interesting one, and there are still many good solid reasons for spending some time in the port of Livorno on the coast of Tuscany. With a bit of advanced planning, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Ok, so Florence has its Duomo, its Renaissance paintings, Michelangelo’s sculptures, its Ponte Vecchio, medieval streets and leather markets. It is a must-see on anyone's list of priorities. Beware though, because for much of the year Florence also has long, long museum queues, hoards of visitors, traffic jams, and unbearable humid summer heat.
Livorno has Canals, the Sea, and Unbeatable Sunsets
Livorno has its canals (the fossi), it has the sea, its old and surprisingly tranquil Medici port, cooling breezes, wonderful fish dishes, affordable shopping, relaxing seafront strolls, its potent ponce, an amazing food market and unbeatable sunsets.
What's more, hidden away in unlikely locations in Livorno are a remarkable number of old cemeteries that date back to times when the city was a cosmopolitan melting pot of races and nationalities. The 17th-century Old English Cemetery - the oldest Protestant cemetery in Italy - is just one example. Add to these a host of churches, many once used by the foreign nations of Livorno, and you immediately have a unique and fascinating starting point from which to explore Livorno port.
Often in central Florence and Pisa the only other people you see are tourists.
In Livorno on the other hand you rub shoulders with the locals all year round. While Florentines regard you with indifference, the Livornese will stare in curiosity
Livorno is a lively, unpretentious city, offering an experience of day-to-day life in modern Italy, but not without surprises. There are many aspects of Livorno that can still satisfy both fans of history and art and seekers of more hedonistic pleasures. Explore the Livorno Now site and discover the possibilities!