Amongst the most interesting squares in Livorno two are impossible to miss - the Piazza Municipio and the Piazza Grande. The first is the main arriving and departing sites for the shuttles that bring cruise ship passengers from the port to the city centre. The latter, is right next to the first one and is the main square of Livorno, its heart and a traffic hub. In and around these two squares you will find most basic services: a Tourist Information Centre (in Piazza Municipio); an ATM (Bancomat of the UniCreditBanca) and a Money Exchange Bureau on Via Claudio Cogoramo, the small street between Piazza Municipio and Pizza Grande; and, last but not least, the bus stops in Piazza Grande that will take you to the Railway Station or, if travelling south, to the Aquarium, the Terraza Mascagni and as far as Montenero.
Editor Points: This is the arriving point for the shuttle buses transporting cruise ships passengers form the port. If you place yourself with your back to the town hall, you would be able to imagine the lenght of the old Piazza Grande as it streched all the way to the Cathedral. But after the World War II bombings the huge sqaure was divided in two and the smaller was named Piazza Municipio. Besides the Town Hall, two other buildings stand out - the Palazzo Granducale and the huge Palazzo della Dogana.
NOTES: Via Cogorano and Via conect the Piazza Municipio with Piazza Grande.
|Highlights:||Palazzo Comunnale (or Municipali), Palazzo della Dogana and Palazzo Granducale.|
|Basics:||ATM's, Exchange Bureau, and Wi-Fi can be found on Via Cogorano.|
|Transportation:||Shuttle bus from the port stops at the west corner of the square, right where Via Cogorano starts.|
Editor Points: Once one of the largest and most beautiful squares in Livorno, which inspired many an architect - it is said that Inigo Jones designed the Covent Garden square based on the Piazza Grande. It had originally separated the Town Hall from the Cathedral but, after WW II, the Piazza Grande was severed when a building (known as Pallazo Grande) was built in the middle of it. Today, this piazza is a bustling hub within the city, where the city buses run. The piazza was originally designed in the late 16th century and it was reconstructed after World War II.
NOTES: On each corner of the square you will find newsstands where you can buy bus tickets.
|Architect:||Part of Bernardo Buontalenti urban planning|
|Highlights:||The Cattedrale di San Francesco or Duomo dominates the square.|
|Transportation:||Bus #1 to the railway station - south side traveling east.
Bus #1 to the south coast - north side traveling west. Taxis on the west corner by the Duomo.
Editor Points: This Piazza is the largest in the city and it is really a bridge as it serves as a vaulted ceiling over the Fosse Real. The piazza is in the form of a huge traffic circle, with many streets leading away or into it. Two major statues adorn the piazza, one at either end. The first of these is located on the Fortezza Nuova side and is a statue of Ferdinand III. In bas-relief below are representations of Ferdinand III, as the patron of the arts, commerce, and industry, and the Grand Duke. The second stands on the opposite site and is of Leopold II, under whose reign the city was enlarged and the Piazza della Repubblica was built. There is also a plaque at the base of the statue that shows the date of the referendum that eventually lead to the full integration of the Tuscany region in Italy.
NOTES: The Giro in Battello (Boat Tour) along the Fosso Real cruise under the square.
|WHERE:||City Centre - at the east end of Via Grande|
|Monuments:||Statues of Ferdinand III and Leopold II. Statue of Giovanni Fattori at the junction with Via Grande.|
|Close by:||Piazza Garibaldi and the Sacred Art Museum.|
|Sights:||Fabu.lous views of the Forteza Nuova (north side) and of the Fosso Reale (south side).|
Editor Points: TThe piazza is located south of the Duomo (Cathedral) at the end of Via Cairoli, right after the Fosso Real, essentially dividing the old from the new city. Along its length there are crossroads to allow traffic through, with only a few crossings for pedestrians at each end - all buildings are from the 19th century. At its centre there is a statue of Camillo Benso, the Count of Cavour - one of the leading statesmen in the Italian unification
NOTES: Via Ricasoli which is an upper-end shopping street lined with small boutiques starts in the south side of the square.
|WHERE:||City Center - Between Via Cairoli and Via Ricasoli|
|When:||Part of the 19th century expansion of the city.|
|Sights:||The bridge between the Via Cairoli and the square offers best views of the Fosso Reale.|
|Nearby:||Teatro Goldoni; Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church, Saint George Church, English Cemetery and Waldensian Church.|
Editor Points: Not far from the Fosso Real and the Piazza della Repubblica, this oasis used to be the site where the famous Mercatinno Americano took place and that has been moved to the entrance of the Porto Industriale in 2009. The tree-lined square offers a shaded resting area for those visiting the Church of San Benedetto. At its centre there is a monument to Leopold II that was originally located in the Piazza della Repubblica.
NOTES: Don't be fooled by many an outdated travel guide that will refer to this square as the site of the Mercantino Americano - read above.
|Lamdmark:||The Church of St. Bendetto.|
|Nearby:||Fosso Reale, Piazza della Repubblica.|
|Flavours:||"Enoteca Faraoni" - on Via Mentana, 85 - serves fabulous light lunchs with some of the best wines in Tuscany.|
Editor Points: Piazza Attias was named after Jasach Attias, a wealthy Jewish merchant who lived in Livorno in the 17th century. The merchant lived in a villa that also shared his name, Villa Attias, but it was demolished in the 1960s.
NOTES: Tucked in the south corner, "Coin" is one of the few (and small) department stores in Livorno.
|WHERE:||At the edge of the City Centre - at the end of Via Ricasoli. The start of Via Roma, Via Mayer and Corso Amedeo.|
|Nearby||The Teatro Goldoni is on Via Mayer no more than 200 yards from the square. The Modigliani Museum House is right at the begining of Via Roma.|
|Flavours:||"Il Rifugio" on Via Mayer, 80 is a not very affordable but great traditional restaurant. "Bistrot M" on Corso Amedeo, 46 is a more designed restaurant with a beautiful garden (although closed in August and July).|
Editor Points: The piazza is another wonderful oasis amongst the busy streets of Livorno, lined with trees and dominated by the church of Santa Maria del Soccorso. Also known as Place Magenta, the piazza was originally placed outside the “Forbidden Zone” of the city.
NOTES: Behind the church, the Pizzeria Sarda has an outdoor seating area for a shaded, quite and off the beaten track lunch.
|When:||Ideal for a shaded rest in the Summer|
|Delight:||The church and the trees.|
|Flavours:||There are a few caffes with outside seating close to Via Magenta|
|Shopping:||There are a few shops on Via Magenta|
Editor Points: Dominated by the unfinished facade of the Church of St. Catherine, the square has to hidden secrets: the enoteca Forte San Pietro and the Trattoria L'Antica Venezia.
Editor Points: Just off the majestic Piazza della Repubblica, the Piazza Garibaldi is the site of a morning market and, thanks to this, close by there are a number of good restaurants - Il Tegolo is on the Top of our list.
Editor Points: Close to the end of Via Grande (East Side), the small square with the statue of Guernazzi at its centre is flanked by the Palazo del Pichetto and the Cisternino. Across the street, the Teatro Lazzeri's bookshop is a spot to see.
Editor Points: Very much off the beaten track, the cruise ship passenger will only pass on this square if docked at the port Mediceo and on a walking tour to the south coast - to the Aquarium and beyond.
City Sightseeing Bus
and Livorno's Squares
City Sightseeing - The Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus has either stops in these squares or very close by as most highlights are in its vicinity.