Historical Landmarks - Livorno Cruise Port



Livorno's Landmarks


Livorno doesn’t have a Leaning Tower like the famous one in Pisa, nor the architectural and artistic richness of Florence but, even so, it is a very interesting city, considering that it was one of the first towns in the Europe (and the World) that was designed following a master urban plan and built as an 'Ideal City".

Read More ...

The Old Fort, in particular, is a symbol of Livorno's renaissance designed as it was by the Florentine architect Antonio da Sangallo the Elder (c. 1453 – December 27, 1534) - not to be confused with his nephew and more famous Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. The New Fort, with its polygonal shape, is impossible to be missed when meandering through the Venice Quarter but it is from Piazza della Repubblica and the large avenue that borders the canal that you will have the best view of the fort and will be able to admire the size of this huge red brick structure.

Three palaces in Piazza Municipio are landmarks of architectural interest: the Palazzo Comunnale (Town Hall), the Palazzo della Dogana (Chamber of Commerce) and the Palazzo Granducale (Grand Ducal Palace). The two cisterns (the small and the large) and especially the first one at the end of Via Grande are striking structures. Finally, the 19th century Grand Hotel Palazzo on Viale Italia is a great example of romanticism.

First Defense

Editor Likes: The Mastio di Matilde tower of the fort dates back to the 11th century and in the 16th century the Medicis had the fort proper constructed in order to defend the port. Today the fort not only speaks of a time long ago but also draws the city together as a cultural center. For those who are lucky enough to visit the fort during the day, it offers spectacular views of the harbor and the city. During the fight for the unification of Italy (historically know as the Risorgimento), it became a political prison, with "famous' inmates like Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi, Enrico Bartelloni and Don Maggini.

Photo of Fortezza Vechia in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo by R. Rosado © IQCruising

WHERE: Porto Mediceo
What Livorno's Oldest Fort
When Foundations in the 11th Century.
Trivia: When Cosimo Medici began the development of Livorno a palace was built inside this fort in order for him to comfortably supervise the endeavor.
Delight: Magnificent views of Port and City - when and if open.

NOTES:The Giro in Battello (Boat Tour) in the Fosso Reale offers great views of this fort that is very seldom open to the public.

Last Defense

Editor Likes: Fortezza Nuova means New Fort and it was built at the end of the 16th century following the plan attributed to Don Giovanni dei Medici, Cosimo I’s natural son, with assistance of the architects Vincenzo Buonanni and Bernardo Buontalenti. The original fort was twice the size of what it is now - part of it was demolished when two new quarters were developed - Venezia and San Marco. Polygonal in shape, built with red bricks, and surrounded by the famous Medici canals, this fort is situated in what is known as Venice Quarter. The fort has a history of defending Livorno against attacks from pirates and it is filled with underground passages and vaulted hallways. The interior of the fort has become home to one of Livorno's most popular and most loved parks although, like the older cousin, only seldom open to the public.

Photo of Fortezza Nuova in Lyvorno by R. Rosado

Photo by R. Rosado © IQCruising

WHERE: Venice Quarter
What Livorno's Northern Defense
When First stone laid on 10 January 1590
Trivia: Although bombed during the WWII, it was used as a shelter by many who had their homes destroyed.
Delight: The park in the interior - when and if open.

NOTES: The Giro in Battello (Boat Tour) in the Fosso Reale offers great views of this magnificent fort.

Palazzo Comunale (or Municipali)
(Town Hall)

Editor Likes: Palazzo Comunale (or Municipali as it is many times referred to) is the historic town hall of Livorno and is located in the south corner of Piazza Municipio, where shuttle buses stop. The current building was constructed in 1720 but was so damaged in the earthquake of 1742 that most of it had to be rebuilt. Renovated and embellished in 1929, it was again damaged during World War II and had to be repaired after the war was over. The neo-renaissance style building boasts a beautiful marble double staircase at its entrance, and a small bell tower.

Photo of Palazzo Municipali in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo by R. Rosado © IQCruising

WHERE: City Centre - Piazza Municipio
When: Between 1720 and 1929
Architect: Legnani and Sabatini
Trivia: There is with a bronze reproduction of Donatello’s David in the Council Chamber

NOTES: Less than 100 meters east, along Via deggli Avvalorati, a small bridge over Via Madonna has on display the St. John of Nepomuk monument.

Palazzo della Dogana
(Chamber of Commerce)

Editor Likes: Located in Piazza dell Municipio, the Palazzo della Dogana (also referred to as Camera di Comercio) was built in the 17th century to accommodate the Treasury. Later it also became the home of the Chamber of Commerce. The building had to be repaired after the bombing of World War II and its most remarkable feature is the triple arches on the front, closed by iron gates, that support the upper floor. The rooms on the main floor have high vaulted ceilings and the ceilings on the second floor are made of wood.

Photo of Camera di Comercio in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo by R. Rosado © IQCruising

WHERE: Piazza Municipio
When: 1648 - Establishment of the Chamber of Commerce in 1801
Architect: Annibale Cecchi of Pistoia
Trivia The first official draw of lottery in Tuscany was held at the loggia in 1740.

NOTES: City Sightseeing Bus stops close by on Via San Giovanni.

Palazzo Granducale
(Grand Ducal Palace)

Editor Likes: Commissioned by Ferdinand II to stylishly welcome guests who visited the city it was initially built in 1605 and enlarged in 1629 as a Grand-Ducal residence. It housed the Royal Technical and Nautical Institutes from 1871 until 1929 when it become the house of the Provincial Administration. It was completely destroyed during the bombing of World War II. When reconstructed, only part of the palace and the facade were built as per the original design. In fact, what once was the palace become two adjoining buildings - the one facing the Piazza Municipio recreating the style of the old palace.

Photo of Palazzo Granducale in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo by R. Rosado © IQCruising

WHERE: City Center - Piazza Municipio
When: Final reconstruction inaugurated on 3 August 1948
Architect: Antonio Cantagallina (1605)
Giovanni Battista Santi (1629)
Trivias: Napoleon Bonaparte stayed in the Palace

NOTES: Via della Madonna, with its three famous churches is just behind the palace.

(The Small Cistern)

Editor Likes: The Cisternino was built in 1832 and was designed to hold water and increase the fresh water supply available to the inhabitants of the city. Although the Cisternino was never used for water storage as originally planned, it is still a fascinating building that was built in a classical style. At the north end of Via Grande, is is nestled between Piazza Guerrazzi and Piazza della Repubblica.

Photo of the Cisternino in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo by R. Rosado © IQCruising

WHERE: City Centre - east end of Via Grande
When: Commissioned by Grand-Duke Leopoldo II of Lorraine in 1832
Architect: Pasquale Poccianti
Nearby: Next to Cisternino, in the corner of the Piazza della Repubblica, there is a statue of the painter Giovanni Fattori

NOTES: Off Piazza Guerrazzi on the opposite side of the street, the renovated Teatro Lazzeri is now the best bookshop in Livorno - worth visiting as it also a great place for a quick bite.

(Big Cistern)

Editor Likes: The Cisternone is a large building that was erected to purify and hold the water that was brought to Livorno along the Colognole Aqueduct. The interior of the building is divided into chambers and the entire building is built in a neoclassical style. The Cisternone was built in the mid-19th century and is still in use today holding over 11,000 cubic meters of water.

Photo of the Cisternone in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo by R. Rosado © IQCruising

WHERE: OFF the City Centre - East of Piazza della Repubblica at the end of Via Laderel
When: Inaugurated in 1842 by the Grand-Duke Leopoldo II of Lorraine.
Architect: Pasquale Poccianti
Trivia: Is 38 meters wide and 42 meters long

NOTES: It is impossible to miss on the way to Train Station on the right hand side

Hotel Palazzo
(Palazzo Hotel)

Editor Likes: This is one of the oldest hotels in Livorno. Built in the 19th century, this hotel sits across from the Terrazza Mascagni. It was the hotel of the elite in the 19th century and has recently been reopened to its former glory and earlier splendor as a 5 star hotel.

Photo of the Grand Hotel in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo by R. Rosado © IQCruising

WHERE: 2 miles from the City Centre - next to Terrazza Mascagni
When: A favorite stop for a gourmet lunch when exploring the south coast of Livorno
Address: Viale Italia, 195
Nearby: Terrazza Mascagni, Museo Fattori and the Aquarium

NOTES: City Sightseeing Bus stops close by.

Landmarks Highlights

Quartieri Venezia
(Venice Quarter)

Photo of a Venezia Nuova Canal in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo: R. Rosado © IQCruising

Fosso Reale
(Royal Canal)

Photo of the Fosso Reale in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo: R. Rosado © IQCruising

Mercato Centrale
(Central Market)

Photo of the Mercato Centrale in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo: R. Rosado © IQCruising

Quattro Mori
(Four Moors)

Photo of the Quattro Mori Monument in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo: R. Rosado © IQCruising

Teatro Goldoni
(Goldoni Theatre)

Photo of the Teatro Goldoni in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo: R. Rosado © IQCruising

Terrazza Mascagni
(Mascagni Terrace)

Photo of the Terrazza Mascagni in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo: R. Rosado © IQCruising

Landmarks Sightseeing

City Sightseeing Bus
and Historical Sites

Photo of a City Sightseeing Bus in Livorno by R. Rosado

City Sightseeing Bus - The Hop-On Hop-Off Bus City Sightseeing that tour Livorno is an easy way to travel around and view some of the landmarks in the city, particularly useful if exploring beyond the city center.

City Sightseeing Website

Giro in Battello
Boat Tour

Photo of a Boat Touring the Canals in Livorno by R. Rosado

Photo: R. Rosado © IQCruising

Sightseeing Boat Tour - (Giro in Battello) The boats that cruise the canals of Livorno with multilingual guides offer the nicest way of enjoying the New and Old Forts. Tickets can be bought at the Tourism Office in Piazza Municipio costing €12 (euros).

Giro in Battello Website

Connect with US

Image showing facebook icon with the words become a Fan on Facebook


Get All Updates

Last Update: January 21, 2016

The information on this page was accurate when last updated and published but changes may have occurred without notice.
It is advisable to confirm details with local tourist information before planning your cruise, excursions or tours of Livorno.
If any inaccuracies are found or if there are any suggestions to improve the content of this page please let us know.

Submit a Correction / Suggestion.