Four Moors Monument - Livorno Highlight

Monumento dei Quattro Mori
(Four Moors Monument)

Photo Four Moors Monument in Livorno

Four Moors Monument

Photo by R. Rosado © Independent Quest LLC

Translated as the Four Moors, this is the most famous monument in Livorno. Although Francesco de 'Medici' was the ruler of Livorno who commissioned the urban plan of the city, it was, in fact, his successor Ferdinando I who gave a major impetus to the development of the city and is truly considered its founder. To celebrate the endeavor and the triumphs against all sorts of pirates that roamed the Mediterranean in the late XVI century, a monument was built to honor the Grand Duke. The statue of Ferdinando I was sculpted in the quarries of Carrara by the artist Giovanni Bandini between 1595 and 1601.

After completion, the statue was transported to the port staying at the edge of the square of the dock until 1617 when Cosimo II de 'Medici, who succeeded his father Ferdinand, ordered it to be raised on a pedestal. A few years later Pietro Tacca was commissioned to complete the monument, adding four moors in chains, whilst Taddeo di Michele (one of his pupils) worked on the top of the pedestal. The bronze moors were finished in 1626. The complete project of Pietro Tacca included the addition of two bronze fountains with sea monsters but these works never reached Livorno and were instead placed in the Piazza Santissima Annunziata in Florence, the city where another work of Tacca stands - the famous Porcelino. Subsequently, two copies of the fountains were made and placed at the start of the Via Grande in Livorno.

The monument of the Four Moors was in risk of being destroyed during the French invasion of Livorno, in 1799, whose armies and commanders regarded the monument as a symbol of oppression and tyranny. During the Second World War, the monument was taken to safer places and only returned in 1950. Like the French, many inspired by ideals of justice, freedom and equality see the monument as a negative symbol. Others have noticed that the Grand Duke is dressed in the uniform of the ' Order of the Knights of St. Stephen’, a Military institution founded by Cosimo I de 'Medici to fight the rampant piracy in the Mediterranean, the Ottoman Empire and that, in fact, the monument is a celebration of the freedom of piracy and Turkish aggression.

Although referred to as moors, the four imprisoned figures in chains do represent different ethnic groups in four different ages of a man's life. In common, they share grimaces of pain fused with psychological resignation in the manifest twisting of the bodies. It is said that the prisoners who posed for the Moors were then set free in payment for their time.

Getting There

The Four Moors monument stands in the Piazza del Pamiglione, just before the west end of Via Grande. When docked in the Porto Industriale, the cruise ship passenger will need to walk from the Shuttle Bus Stop by Piazza Municipio to the end of the Via Grande to admire the Four Moors monument. If your cruise ship is docked in the Porto Mediceo, the monument is just across the bridge that connects this docking spot to the city and impossible to miss.

Four Moors - Map

Map of Four Moors area of Livorno with Highlights and Attractions

Nearby

Besides the self-evident shops in Via Grande at the end of this major street (a on the map), the cruise passenger can see the copies of the two bronze fountains with sea monsters that Tacca had planned to place by the Four Moors Monument. The bridge connecting the Porto Mediceo (I on the map), offers interesting views of the Port and of the Fortezza Vecchia (b on the map). From the bridge across the Fosso Reale (II on the map), the view of this old defensive structure of the city is one of the best. The Cathedral (A on the map) and the Synagogue (B on the map) are two other highlights close by.

Restaurants and Flavors

Close to the Four Moors Monument, there are a few places to have a quick bite, a cappuccino or typical livornese cuisine. The 'Enoteca Il Vinanino' (1 on the map), has a good selection of Italian wines by the glass and typical Tuscan cuisine at lunch (Free Wi-Fi included). For all sorts of coffees, pastries, sandwiches or breakfast the 'Caffè Il Punto' (2 on the map) is the right place - also with Free Wi-Fi. Although the 'Aragosta' (3 on the map) has become a bit 'too' known since it was featured on a BBC documentary, it is still a great place for fresh fish, seafood or the traditional Cacciucco (€26.00 per person). 'Le Volte' is a favorite with local business people, offers great diversity of fresh fish and crustaceous in a lovely ambiance (4 on the map).

WHERE: Historical Centre
Address: Piazza del Pamiglione
When: Between 1595 and 1626
Sculptors: Pietro Tacca, Giovanni Bandini and Taddeo di Michel
Nearby: Porto Mediceo, Fortezza Vecchia, Fosso Reale, Shopping in Via Grande, Cathedral and Synagogue
Flavors: Il Vinanino, Caffè Il Punto, Aragosta, Le Volte

NOTES: Bus #1 stops at the end of Via Grande: Eastwards to the Railway Station (R on the map) and Westwards to the South Coast (S on the map).

Look For

The Moors

Photo of Four Moors Monument in Livorno

Photo: Giovanni Dall'Orto- Creative Commons

The Four Moors statues at the bottom of the Monument.


Tacca's Fountains

Photo of Tacca's Fountain in Livorno

Photo: R. Rosado © Independent Quest LLC

The copies of Tacca's Fountains at the west end of Via Grande.


Fosso Reale

Photo of Fosso Reale in Livorno

Photo: R. Rosado © Independent Quest LLC

Fosso Reale seen from the bridge on the westend side.


Fortezza Vecchia

Photo of Fortezza Vecchia in Livorno

Photo: R. Rosado © Independent Quest LLC

The Old Fort seen from the bridge to the Porto Mediceo.


Il Vinaino

Photo of Enoteca Il Vinaino in Livorno

Photo: R. Rosado © Independent Quest LLC

Enoteca Il Vinaino is close by, has great wines and quick bites and offersFREE Wi-Fi.


Il Punto

Photo Caffe Il Punto of in Livorno

Photo: R. Rosado © Independent Quest LLC

Caffe Il Punto is a place for a quick bite and FREE Wi-Fi.


Aragosta

Photo of Restaurant Aragosta in Livorno

Photo: R. Rosado © Independent Quest LLC

The Restaurant Aragosta has a great menu for cruise passengers who enjoy seafood.


Le Volte

Photo of Restaurant Le Volte in Livorno

In the Porto Mediceo, with views of the Port, Le Volte is famous for its fresh fish and seafood.

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Last Update: January 20, 2016

The information on this page was accurate when last updated and published but changes may have occurred without notice.
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