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Welcome to Livorno, “Venice of Tuscany”! If you’re searching for cheap air tickets to Livorno, get ready to explore a marvellous Italian coastal city, second in size and beauty only to Florence. Lined with idyllic canals – no gondolas here though - and guarded by two splendid castles, Livorno is the ultimate travel destination for the dreamers, the romantics and the history lovers. Linked to the Medici’s majesty, the artistic genius of Modigliani and the Macciaioli artists, Livorno truly is an ethereal city. Would like to know more? Book your flights and accommodation in one of the many cheap hotels in Livorno and discover a new, fantastic world!
Livorno, Capital of the Province of Livorno, is situated at the western coast of Tuscany at the Ligurian Sea and has a population of 160,000. The city was founded in 1017 as a small coastal fortress, to provide protection to Pisa. The years that followed, it changed hands from Pisa to Genoa and, finally, to Florence.
The wealthy Medici family arrived, Florence’s royal house, under whom Livorno flourished, in terms of economy, art and general prosperity. Ferdinando I de' Medici, the much-loved Grand Duke of Tuscany, laid the legislative foundations for the abolition of piracy, the establishment of free trade and the creation of an open-minded society that tolerates and accepts every kind of difference and diversity.
Livorno granted amnesty to anyone prosecuted for their religious beliefs, gaining a large Jewish community, as well as many great European figures of art, culture and intellect.
World War II took its toll in Livorno and many of the city’s historic buildings were badly damaged and destroyed. You can still see though some fine examples of those glorious times of Livorno’s history, including precious works of art, monuments and other points of interest.
The nearest airport to Livorno is the airport of Pisa (Aeroporto Internazionale di Pisa), located 20 kilometres from Livorno’s city centre and connected by bus and railway.
Getting around Livorno
You can get around Livorno using the city’s bus network; fares start from 1.00€ and minimum taxi fare costs 5.40€.
Your exploration of Livorno will most probably be centred on Little Venice (Piccola Venezia), Livorno’s most famous district that dates back to the 17th century. As the name implies, Little Venice will remind you of the Italian city of Venice, featuring canals, bridges, picturesque little houses and idyllic locations.
The main points of interest are to be found around Porto Mediceo, the historic port of Livorno, surrounded by the Fosso Reale canal and designed by Bernando Buontalenti in 1567 for the Medici family:
- Piazza della Repubblica stretches across the eastern side of the canal.
- At the northern tip of the canal, the New Fortress of Livorno (Fortezza Nuova) once looming over the city and protecting it from pirates, now stands mostly in ruins. Built in the 16th century by the Medici, the only part of it that remains in a fair condition are the outer walls, while the interior is now a park.
- The New Fortress of Livorno is connected to the Old Fortress (Fortezza Vecchia) through a canal network. The Old Fortress dates back to 1377 and was built by Antonio da Sangallo. Its construction was based on a former Roman fortress and its façade is topped by the iconic Torre Matilda, an 11th century tower.
Within this area, you can also find the Teatro di San Marco, birthplace of the Italian Communist Party – you will recognise it by the red flag.
- Continue walking across the port and you’ll soon reach Piazza della Darsena, where the greatest artistic monument of the city stands. The Monument of the Four Moors (Monumento dei Quatto Mori) is a masterpiece by Pietro Tacca, follower and chief student of the great Mannerist sculptor Giambologna.
The sculpture dates back to 1626 and depicts four Moorish slaves struggling to get free from their chains, at the base of an earlier statue of Ferdinand I. The whole sculpture commemorates the Great Duke of Tuscany and honours the important measures he took to hunt down piracy. It is said that the bronze parts that make up the statues was taken from original Moorish pirate ships, captured during Ferdinand’s heroic quest.
- Head to the south of the Old Town of Livorno, to visit the city’s most notable museum, the Museo Civico Giovanni Fattori. Housed in the Villa Mimbelli, the museum, built in 1865 by Vincenzo Micheli, focuses on the Macchiaioli artistic movement, widely popular in Tuscany and considered by many as the precursor of French Impressionism.
Your visit in Livorno could not be considered complete without a long walk at the magnificent Terrazza Mascagni. A radiant architectural gem constructed in 1920, the Terrazza is famous for its floor; a wide platform with a chessboard pattern, lined with a white marble balustrade across the idyllic historic port.
Livorno’s official language is Italian.