The Town of Livorno

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The Town of Livorno

The Province of Livorno starts just a few kilometres north of Livorno and is extending for about 100 km south until reaching Follonica. This stretch of coast is also called Etruscan Coast because of the numerous Etruscan settings. The most important seaside resorts are Castiglioncello, Quercianella, Donoratico, Bibbona, Populonia and Piombino. Part of this Province are the Islands of Gorgona, Capraia, Elba, Pianosa and Montecristo, starting from north towards south.
Livorno is situated just 20 km from Pisa and has about 180,000 inhabitants; it is the second biggest town of Tuscany. Here is also situated the third port of call of Italy. Furthermore, from Livorno are leaving the ferry boats to Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Elba and Capraia. Just a few kilometres north is situated the industrial port Darsena.

Piazza Mascagni Livorno Tuscany

Piazza Mascagni Livorno Tuscany

The name Liburnia was mentioned for the first time in the 1st century, alos if the Romans already had a settlement along the Via Aurelia. Until the Medici, Livorno was for a long time  under various dominations. Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici, who later became Pope Clemente VII, organized between 1518 and 1534 the construction of the Old Dock and the old fortress Fortezza Vecchia according to a project of Antonio da Sangallo. Amerigo Vespucci and Giovanni da Verrazzano started from here their discoveries. In the 10th century Livorno had its greatest splendour and Ferdinando I had the intention to made out of it the nationale seaport and therefore, on a project of Bernardo Buontalenti, expanded the port.

The old harbour - La Vecchia Darsena - Livorno Tuscany

The old harbour – La Vecchia Darsena – Livorno Tuscany

Right next to the harbour, on the square Piazza Giuseppe Micheli, next  to Fortezza Vecchia is situated the monument of I Quattro Mori, the four Moors, established in the 16th century by Giovanni Bandini, and finished in the 17th century by Pietro Tacca. From the port, passing throug the main road of Livorno, the Via Grande, one reaches the new fortress Fortezza Nuova that Giovanni de’ Medici let built in 1590. The new fortress is surrounded by the royal moat Fosso Reale. Through the Fossi Medici, the so called New Venice, the channels connecting the fortress with the port, one arrives at “Piazza Grande” with the cathedral dedicated to  St. Francis. From 1881 on, the Navy is situated along the coastal road Viale Italia. This area is ideal for nice walks along the promenade until reaching “Terrazza Mascagni”, from where it is possible to enjoy a marvellous view over the sea and the Island of Gorgona. Here is also situated the public aquarium Diacinto Cestoni, university centre of sea biology. During the Second World War, great part of Livorno was destroyed and therefore in the postwar period completely rebuilt.

By | 2015-02-06T18:43:24+00:00 6 February 2014|Livorno, Travel Guide|0 Comments

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