Overview and Basics
for Cruise Travelers to Livorno
- Top Things To See and Do, Where Cruise Ships Dock, Shopping, Restaurants, Outdoors and Beaches, Off Track.
Florence and Pisa are two top destinations close to Livorno and the main reason why cruise lines include this port in Mediterranean itineraries. In fact, many cruise lines list the port of Livorno as Florence/Pisa and the overwhelming majority of cruise travelers will explore these jewels of Tuscany when docking for the day.
Besides these world-renowned cities, the cruise traveler may as well explore other treasures of Tuscany such as Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra or Cinque Terre. Naturally, all cruise liens offer shore excursions to all these destinations. All these cities are 30 to 90 minutes away by bus, car or train. More about these below.
Livorno Cruise Port Overview
Because Florence (the main highlight and attraction close by) is 56 miles (90 km), taking slightly over 1 hour to get there on a shore excursion, cruise ships usually stay in port as long as 12 hours. This allows cruise travelers to explore most of the highlights nearby at leisure and even some attractions on your own. For those that prefer to stay in port, there is plenty of time to explore almost all attractions of Livorno itself.
With exception of Carnival Cruises that only occasional cruise Europe and the Mediterranean, all other Cruise Lines offer itineraries calling at Livorno. Mega and large cruise ships of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and Norwegian (NCL) always call at Livorno between April and November as do the luxury ships of cruise lines like Crystal, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea and Ponant.
Premium cruise lines such as Cunard, Holland & America, Oceania, Viking and Windstar also call every year at the Port of Livorno between Spring and Fall. For those looking into cruising to Livorno in the Fall/Winter, all major European Cruise Lines (Costa, MSC, P&O, Marella, Tui Mein Shiff, Fred Olson, Pullmantur) have itineraries visiting Livorno all year.
Although some savvy cruisers that have been in Livorno endless times may prefer to stay onboard when calling at the port of Livorno, at least a walk around the old city will always be a delight not to be missed.
When to Cruise to Livorno
The Editor has visited Livorno in all seasons for over 20 years. Early June and late September are favorites months due to the milder weather and because both Livorno and its top highlights tend to have less crowds. This said, calling at Livorno in May, October and even November have a unique charm although temperatures are lower and it may rain.
July and August are very hot months in the Mediterranean and destinations like Florence and Pisa are usually over crowded. It can be cold (but never freezing) between December and March, rain is almost certain and the days are short with the sun setting around 5:00 pm. Discover more about the Weather, Itineraries and the Best Time To Cruise to Livorno.
Where is Livorno
Livorno is the third largest port in Italy and the cruise gateway to Tuscany. The port/city is on the northern west coast of Italy, in the Tirrenian Sea, which is part of the Mediterranean. Pisa and Lucca are the closest highlights. Volterra is not far but not easy to explore on your own. Florence is the most famous destination for cruise travelers. Siena and San Gimignano are two jewels not to be missed. Explore All Livorno's Destinations.
Where Cruise Ships Dock
The port of Livorno is vast, with three different docking areas, quays that can accommodate up to 11 ships on its berths and 3 terminals. Depending on where cruise ships dock, the city itself may be within walking distance. Learn More about Where Ships Dock, the Piers and Terminals
Livorno is a Port of Call, meaning that ships visit the port for the day. Very seldom cruise ships stay overnight in port. On average, 700.000 cruise passengers visit Livorno every year.
Livorno on Your Own
If for whatever reason the cruise traveler does not wish to spend a full day on a tour exploring such wonderful destinations, there are a few alternatives in the southern outskirts of Livorno. The small towns of Antignano and Ardenza (and the Sanctuary of Montenero close by) are just between 3 and 5 miles away. Farther south (30 miles), the “Etruscan Coast” offers interesting Eco-adventures alternatives to the more traditional, cultural and historical aspect of Tuscany.
Just 3 miles north of the city's center, Tirrenia is a 20-mile long strip of sandy beaches ending in Marina the Pisa. This is the place to go if sunbathing and sea splashing are in your plans for a day in Livorno.
Exploring Livorno's Attractions
Livorno is an industrial port with a population of 165.00 and, at first sight, may not seem to be the most adorable town in Tuscany. Yet, the City Centre has a few interesting charming attractions. Surely, even the savvier cruiser that has visited major highlights like Florence, Pisa, Lucca or Siena will discover delightful places in Livorno to enjoy.
Amongst the most interesting sites, the cruise visitor should not miss the Duomo (Cathedral), the Via Madonna, the Mercato Centrale (Central Market), the Teatro Mascagni, the Fosso Reale, the Old and the New Forts, a couple of squares (namely the Piazza Repubblica - claimed to be the widest bridge in Europe) and, last but not least, the Synagogue.
Photo © IQCruising.com
Just around the corner from the city center, the district known as Quartieri Venezia is in itself an interesting area of renaissance past to explore. Between one and two miles south of the City Centre, the cruise visitor will find touristic attractions such as the Museo Civico Giovanni Fattori, the Acquario Comunale Giacinto Cestoni, the Passeggiata Mascagni or the Museum of Natural History.
Explore Livorno Top Highlights.
Sightseeing in Livorno
Exploring the city center on your own is easy and, being absolutely flat, physically undemanding. Since 2009, City Sightseeing buses operate in Livorno and tour the city with multilingual audio guides. Cruising the canals of Livorno on a Batello (small barge) has become another attractive way of exploring the city. Wherever, and whatever, you decide to explore always keep in mind that Livorno was heavily bombed during WWII and some areas clearly show the 'scares' of devastation. Explore Sightseeing.
Livorno Shops and Shopping Streets
There are not really extravagant designer shops in Livorno, but you will find typical ‘affordable' brands ranging from Zara to United Colors of Benetton. And also, small boutiques that display labels like Trusardi or Stefanell. Be aware that most shops close between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, are closed on Sundays and that some shops are also closed on Monday mornings.
Shopping in Via Grande
Photo © IQCruising.com
There are two main shopping streets in Livorno: Via Grande and Via Cairoli (the latter on the more upscale end). If looking for basic or emergency stuff (like pharmacies, toiletries or baby-children needs) it is on Via Grande that you will find most of what you may need. On this main street, the cruise passenger will also find a few coffee shops and the best ice cream (gelato) in town. Close to the Porto Mediceo at the West end of Via Grande, an Enoteca (Wine Bar) is the place to go if looking for a quick bite. For a selection of the best Shops - Explore Livorno Shopping.
Livorno's Flavors and Restaurants
Livorno has a good number of unpretentious restaurants with very nice home cooked food, a number of coffee shops most of them along and under the large arcades on both sides on the main street and a few commendable Enotecas (wine bars serving light lunches and wines by the glass (be aware that these can get crowed at lunch time). Not to be missed is the local dish - Caciucco. Click Here to explore a selection of Livorno's best restaurants.
Livorno's Beaches and Activities
Besides a few nice gardens surrounding a couple of churches, you will have to walk quite a while to enjoy the few parks that Livorno has to offer. Undoubtedly, the most famous outdoor setting in Livorno is the Passeggiata Mascagni - named after the famous opera composer born in the city. For those cruising with children or just not in the mood for a full day of historical/artistic explorations, the beaches in Tirrenia or even scuba diving just south of the city center can be a good option. Explore the Top Beaches and Water-sports.
Off the Beaten Track
The Mercatino Americano is often highlighted in many a travel guide but it is now a shadow of its former appeal since it changed to an off the beaten track location. What used to be a 'street market' on Piazza XX Septembre become a series of stands in storehouses next to the entrance of the Porto Industriale.
Seldom mentioned onboard cruise ships - and never offered on tours - destinations such as Montecatini, Pistoia, Prato and Vinci (the birth town of Leonardo da Vinci) are close enough to be explored whilst calling at Livorno for a day. These and many other small jewels in Tuscany are alternative destinations for those that have visited Livorno and its most famous highlights.
Watch the video below to have an idea of what the Port of Livorno looks like.
Livorno - General Map
Transportation at a Glance
Travel Time from Livorno to Top Destinations
|TO||By Car||By Train||By Bus||Tour||Distance|
|Florence||1 h 20 min||1 h 20 min||1 h 50 min||1 h 30 min||90 km|
|Pisa||30 min||20 min||1 hour |
|45 min||25 km|
|Lucca||45 min||1 hour||NA||1 hour||47 km|
|Siena||2 hours||2 h 15 min||2 h 10 min||2 hours||130 km|
|San Gimignano||1 h 20 min||2 h 20 min|
(bus and train)
|2 h 20 min|
(bus and train)
|1 h 30 min||83 km|
|Volterra||1 h 15 min||2 h 40 min|
(bus and train)
|2 h 40 min|
(bus and train)
|1 h 30 min||73 km|
Transportation in Livorno Must Know
Have in mind that the shuttle bus from the port takes at between 10 and 20 minutes to get to Piazza Municipio and that from here the bus to the Railway Station takes at least another 20 minutes. Discover More About Traveling by Rail from Livorno Cruise Port.
Train to Florence
There are 7 trains departing Livorno between 8:00am and 11:00am (including weekends). Find out how to explore Florence on your Own
Bus to Pisa
Depart on the hour from Piazza Repubblica 5 minute walk from Cruise Port Shuttle Bus. The bus station in Pisa is 20 minutes walk (flat and pleasant) from major attractions.
Train to Pisa
Departs Livorno every 15 minutes. Train station in Pisa is 20 minutes walk (flat and pleasant) from major attractions. Discover How To Travel to Pisa
Train to Lucca
Departs Livorno every 30 minutes - you will need to change train in Pisa. Train station in Lucca is 15 minutes walk (pleasant and flat) from main attractions. Discover How To Travel to Lucca
Train to Siena
You will need to change Train in Empoli. Train Station in Siena is 2.3km (1.5 miles) uphill from main attractions - bus or taxi are advisable. Discover How To Travel to Siena
Train and Bus to San Gimignano
You will need to change Train in Empoli and again in Poggibonsi where you will get bus #130 towards San Gimignano. Bus station in San Gimignano is 5 minutes walk from main attractions. Discover How To Travel to San Gimignano
Train and Bus to Volterra
You will need to change Train in Pontedera where you will get bus #500 towards Volterra (bus departs next to Train Station). Bus station in Volterra is right by main attractions. Be aware: To be back in Livorno in time you must get on the bus #780 departing Volterra at 2:35pm towards Saline, where you will get on the 3:15pm train to Livorno arriving at 4:35pm. How To Travel to Volterra
To find out all about the public transportation in Livorno and how to discover the city on your own and travel to Top Destinations: Explore How to Get Around in Livorno Cruise Port ► .