The Italian province of Livorno is located in western Tuscany on the Mediterranean Sea, with Livorno City as its capital. This city is the largest port city in Tuscany and the third largest port city on the western side of Italy. Until the fifteenth century, Livorno was a small fishing village, but has since grown into a major port city. In the summer it is quite warm in the city, which makes spring and autumn especially perfect for walking through the city as a tourist and seeing everything.
Table of contents
- History of Livorno in Tuscany, Italy
- Sights in Livorno
- Transport to and from Livorno
History of Livorno in Tuscany, Italy
In the early fifteenth century, Livorno was a small fishing village in the Republic of Pisa. Pisa itself had a port in the fifteenth century. But after it was filled with sand, the republic had to look for another port city. Livorno was chosen for this. A completely new city was built at the harbor of the fishing village in the shape of a star with five points. In the seventeenth century, Livorno grew into a large and important port city. For example, on March 4, 1653, Livorno was the scene of a battle on the water between the British and the Dutch. This happened during the first Anglo-Dutch war. The Netherlands won this battle and the battle is therefore known as the battle of Livorno (known in English as the battle of Leghorn ). Leopold the Second expanded the city even further in the eighteenth century. Leopold was the Grand Duke of Tuscany. This expansion made Livorno the second city of what was then Italy. The Grand Duke also decided to open the city to traders from abroad. The city had to withstand several bombings during the Second World War. Many historic buildings have been lost. Many of these buildings were restored in the years after the war.
Sights in Livorno
Due to the city’s long history, there are many different historic buildings from different eras. Several fortress walls and fortifications can still be visited. You can also enjoy walking along Livorno’s long boulevard. Many restaurants and beach bars can be found there. This part is the entertainment area of the city. The city center itself is mainly built in Renaissance style around the Piaza del Municipio (town hall square).
Source: Lucarelli, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0) Duomo di Livorno – Livorno Cathedral
The Duomo di Lovrono was built on the Piazza Grande in the sixteenth century. Nowadays this church is better known as St. Francis Cathedral. The church is therefore dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. The church was ready for use at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In the centuries that followed, several adjustments were made to the church. Two side chapels have been added. The church was seriously damaged during bombings during the Second World War. Fortunately, the church was completely restored in the years after the war.
Chiesa di San Jacopo – Church of Saint Jacob
The Chiesa di San Jacopo church is located on the boulevard of Livorno. The church was already built on this site in the twelfth century. In all the centuries that followed, the church has been constantly renovated. Nothing remains of the old twelfth century church. There is a large Latin cross in the church. The art that hung in the church has been transferred to the Leonello Barsetti Museum in Livorno.
Santa Caterina Church is located in the Little Venice district in the center of Livorno. This church has a dome of 63 meters high and is therefore a good landmark in the city itself. This church was built in the Baroque style at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Nowadays this church is also open to tourists. The size of the dome can really be seen clearly inside the church. The dome is completely painted with frescoes by Cesare Maffei.
Monumento dei quattro Mori – monument of the four Moors
Near the port of Livorno, just outside the historic city center, is the monument of the four Moors. This monument is one of the most important symbols of the city of Livorno. Ferdinand I Medici is depicted on this monument. Below him are four bronze statues. These must be four pirates bound in chains. Ferdinand I is positioned high above them.
Source: Luca Aless, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0) Fortezza Vecchia
Fortezza Vecchia is located in the port of Livorno. This fortress was built to protect the harbor and the city from attacks from the sea. After the fort was no longer useful as a defense line, it served as a barracks for soldiers for years and there was a military academy in the fort. Visitors can enjoy all kinds of cultural events.
The Fortezza nuova was built in Little Venice in the mid-sixteenth century. This fort took the place of an older and dilapidated fort. During the Second World War this fort was used to store ammunition. After the Allies found out, the fort was a major target for destruction. The ruins of the fort were converted into a city park after the war. From the walls of the fortress, tourists and residents of Livorno have a beautiful view of the city and the Little Venice district.
Transport to and from Livorno
For transportation in the city you can go anywhere. Of course you can drive your own car or rent a scooter to tour the city. Various city buses run throughout the city and from Livorno central station you can reach Pisa or even Firenze (Florance) in no time. The nearest airport is Pisa airport. From that airport you can easily board the train to the center of Livorno. From Livorno you can also take the boat to the islands of Corsica and Sardinia. With clear weather you can also see the islands from the Montenero hill (district of Livorno). At Montenero it is also possible to take a cable car up to the monastery of Montenero. The view there is incredibly beautiful. At the bottom of the cable car there is a large cemetery that is definitely worth a visit. Two bus lines also go from Montenero to the city center.
The most important sport in Livorno is of course football. The football club of Livorno is AS Livorno Calcio and plays in the Stadio Armando Picchi stadium. The club last played in the Serie A of Italian football in the 2013/2014 season.
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