Chapter #1

The Historic City of the Nations

In 1577 the first stone of a “new city” was laid, a pentagon surrounded by a wide seawater canal. Ferdinand I de’ Medici would give life to it between 1591-1593 by issuing the famous Legge Livornine (Laws of Livorno) addressing “...All you Merchants of Whatsoever Nation, from the East or West, Spaniards, Portuguese, Greeks, Germans and Italians, Jews, Turks, Moors, Armenians, Persians…” promised tax breaks and expected religious tolerance for the time. The voice of the Grand Duke reverberated through the courts of the era, leading to the birth of The City of the Nations, with its merchant palazzos, churches and historic cemeteries of various religions.

Chapter #2

Little Venice and the Medici Moats

Bridges, canals, centuries-old buildings that reflect in the quiet waters, but something tells us that we are not in the famous Venetian city: here the light is strong and bold. This Little Venice looks out over the Tyrrhenian Sea.
It’s the city’s merchant neighbourhood par excellence, through which flow a network of canals, once home to the famous merchants of the nations, in their impressive palazzos nestled amid the striking late-Baroque churches. Now this area is bustling during the day, rediscovered by tourists, and in the evening thanks to the city’s nightlife and the countless bars that have opened in the ancient warehouses. This is also where Effetto Venezia is held, an event that brings the canals to life on July nights with concerts, performances and markets. Thanks to tourist boats you can experience three kilometers of the city’s water, learning about Livorno from a unique perspective.

Chapter #3

Cacciucco and more

The king of our kitchen is Cacciucco. Not a simple fish soup, no, it’s simply Cacciucco! A hotpot of various sea creatures mixed in the Livornese way in a sort of brotherhood dish.
In Livorno the typical tastes of Mediterranean traditions merge, home to Nordic fish too, like salt cod and stockfish.
When you’re in town don’t forget to try 5 e 5: a chick pea pie sandwiched between two slices of French bread.
Pay a visit to Livorno’s striking “taste temple”, the massive Mercato delle Vettovaglie, one of the largest markets in Europe.

Chapter #4

At sea

Every step along the six kilometers of seafront promenade is a journey back in time to the 1900s and the Belle Epoque. A route busy with restaurants and kiosks where you can indulge in gelato or oysters, fried fish and cacciucco.
Near the famous Terrace, named after the great local composer Pietro Mascagni (34,800 black and white tiles laid across 9,000 square metres), you find the wonderful Aquarium (the third largest in Italy) and the Giovanni Fattori Art Museum.
If you love the natural rugged coast, just carry on beyond the end of the promenade, where the wild Romito reef beckons. Go for a swim in the natural pools that form between the reefs or go diving down to the amazing sea beds.

Photo by: Uff. Turismo del Comune di Livorno