That’s the city where I was born! I moved to Florence when I was 20 but my family still lives in Livorno and I often go back to my beautiful natal city.
Livorno is on the coast known as the Etruscan Coast, about 90 kilometres from Firenze, from which you can easily reach by train or car in about 1 hour and half. It’s just 20 kilometres far from Pisa, and the two cities are kind of enemies from centuries.
Livorno was a small port and village until Ferdinando I de’ Medici decided to found here a new city, an ideal perfect city according to the renaissance theories. Soon Livorno became the main port of Tuscany, and people from all over the world came here: merchants, sailors, exiled and refugees for political or religious reasons. That’s because Ferdinando I enacted a law that opened up the city to everyone who wanted to live and work here, no matter their nationality, religion or if they where exiled from other countries.
Livorno became a melting pot of cultures, religions and thoughts. Jews were not contained into a ghetto, indeed they were powerful, rich and attained important political positions. Other communities living in Livorno came from Greece, Germany, France, Netherlands, England, Armenia, Eastern Europe, Asia and Muslim Countries, each one free to establish its own church, cemetery and schools. Still today the city is very opened to the difference (in culture, art, politic and society) and tolerance and respect are very important values.
The city is rich in history and architecture, as you can see from my pictures, from late renaissance to baroque, then neo-classicism and even some exquisite art nouveau buldings. The historical neighbourhood of Venezia Nuova (“New Venice”) was built in the early 1600 and is very characteristic, thanks to its water canals that surround small islands and that were used to transport goods from the port to the storehouses placed in the lower level of the palaces.
Plus there’s a beautiful long waterside with sidewalks, gardens and a wonderful terrace on the sea.
At the south edge of the city starts a wonderful panoramic road, il Romito, that runs on the top of an impressive cliff that falls down in the sea; here you can find one of the most fascinating and wild places to enjoy the sea. Not sandy beaches, but colourful rocks, crystal waters and lots of sealife to admire while snorkelling.
Don’t forget the pleasure of tasting the local cuisine, made of fresh seafood that reflects the multi-cultural influences of the city, and that is considered the best in Tuscany and one of the best in Italy. The local dishes are made with the “poor” fish, those species of fishes that could not be sold at the market and ended in the fisherman’s pan. Less noble but cheaper and super-tasty!!!
I highly recommend you to visit Livorno, discover the fascinating story of the city, enjoy the beautiful sea, and taste one of the best Italian sea cuisine!
that's my dog at Terrazza Mascagni, an amazing terrace on the sea one of the canals in Venezia Nuova the church of santa Caterina reflecting in the water surface of the canal (Venezia Nuova) la Fortezza Nuova (ancient fortress) in the Medicean port of Livorno the rocky cliffs and crystal water of Romito