If your cruise ship is calling at the Port of Livorno, most probably, your Mediterranean cruise has another big port with full-day tours just before of immediately after. Many a cruise ship passenger find it very tiring to go on full-day tours in consecutive days and would prefer to enjoy a day in Livorno in a more relaxed way rather than spending an entire day exploring Florence, Siena or any other jewel of Tuscany.
Amazingly, although never offered or mentioned onboard your cruise ship, Livorno has wonderful beaches and water sports activities at a very short distance that can be a great alternative, in particular if traveling with a young family. Besides a large number of "Bathing Establishments" (serviced beaches), Livorno has on offer Padi Diving Center, Windsurf and Sailboats, and a small but very friendly Water Park. All these are between 20 and 30 minutes from your cruise ship and have reasonably affordable prices.
Seldom mentioned in travel guides - both on paper or on-line - and completely ignored by Cruise Ships, Livorno has a number of "Bagni" (Bathing Establishments) where a day on the beach can be very enjoyable and a good alternative if not booked on a 10-hour tour.
FOREWORD OF ADVISE: The Italian "Bagni" have an ambiance of its own and it may not be your cup of tea. If you are revolted by cigarette smokers, irritated by children playing without adult supervision, disgusted by men in Speedo swimwear and by not particularly attractive topples female bathers, be aware and warned that you will, most probably, come across one of these types if not all.
All these "Bagni" with a history that goes back to the 18th Century are 'private concessions' offering beach services like umbrellas, deckchairs, sunbeds, showers, lockers, bar, restaurant and, in some, the visitor may even find "Cabanas". Naturally, an entrance fee is charged and services are paid but these will provide both comfort and safety. On average, a couple would be paying less than €30.00 (both) for the entrance fees, 1 umbrella, two sunbeds and access to all facilities (lockers, showers and so on). A light lunch wouldn't cost more than €10.00 (each) but if on a splurge mood some have restaurants with menus going as high as €35.00 per person.
The "Bagni" closer to the Port of Livorno are just south of the Historical Centre on the road to Ardenza in Viale Italia - Bus N. 1 takes you there in less than 15 minutes - check TRANSPORTATION to know how. These are the oldest "Bathing Establishments" in Livorno which at some point in History where regularly visited by both Tuscan and Italian aristocracy - although the noble glamour has been lost long ago as it gave way to a more down to earth reality.
These Bagni south of the Historical Livorno are large structures making use of the natural rocks by the ocean, where rows of deck chairs and sun beds are placed, and providing access to the sea - by stairs, plain concrete steps or diving boards. A few "Bagni" have small sandy beaches but all have fabulous swimming pools - the "Bagni Pancaldi" prides itself of having an Olympic Pool (50 meters long).
If you prefer a proper sandy beach then the 10-kilometer (6.5 mile) strip between Livorno and Marina di Pisa is the place to go. The bus N. 10 will take you there in less than 20 minutes from the Piazza Grande (bus stop behind the Cathedral) - more about this below or on TRANSPORTATION to know more. Along this strip there are over 50 "Bagni", pretty much the same 'serviced beaches' with the same type of services like the ones on the south coast of Livorno but on a beautiful sand strip.
Because these "Bagni" are on the road to Pisa you may even contemplate to explore the famous city of the Leaning Tower in the morning and stop on the way back for a swim, and a quick bite, at one of these beaches. If renting a car, you can even go as far as Lucca and stop on the way back to your cruise ship.
Editor's Points: With 20 different dives, this is the place to go if you enjoy scuba and wish to explore the underwater Mediterranean in Livorno. The “Accademia” has a covered and fast boat expressly built for divers (up to 12 plus crew), equipment storage room, hot showers and locker rooms; 60 tanks (10, 12 e 18 liters), Air and Nitrox; 25 jackets in different sizes, belts and weights; 6 underwater computers.
|WHERE:||South Coast - Acquaviva, just after Terrazza Mascagni|
|Address:||Viale Italia, 62|
|Phone:||348 317 95 18|
NOTES: The Accademia is on "Bagni Pancaldi" which allows families to enjoy the beach services if only one is diving.
Getting There: Either City Sightseeing or Bus N.1
Editor's Points: If the cruise ship passenger never did but always wanted to have a try on a windsurf or a sail boat, the opportunity waits for you with affordable courses for beginners (including children). But if you have experience just rent a board or a boat by the hour or day (starting at €12.00 per hour for a windsurf board). And you can also enjoy all the services of the beach.
|WHERE:||North of Livorno - Calambrone|
|Address:||Viale del Tirreno, 88|
|What:||Serviced Beach and Water Sports Centre|
|Prices:||Day Admission: €5.00 | Umbrella, 2 sun beds: €20.00 | Windsurf lesson: € 50.00 | Stand-Up Paddle: € 8.00|
NOTES: Calambrone is the first community as you leave Livorno - 2 km from the port.
Getting There: Bus N. 10 departing from Piazza Grande, behind Cathedral.
Editor's Points: A great place to go if are cruising with children and don't feel like dragging them around through museums and churches. It has all sorts of slides (Black Cannon, the Foam, Space Bowl, Rapid River, Black Hole) 2 swimming pools, restaurant, bar; and green space area with sun beds and umbrellas
|WHERE:||North of Livorno - Tirrenia|
|Address:||Viale del Tirreno, 44|
|Open:||May 1 to end Septembre - 10:00 am to 6:00 pm|
|Prices:||Adult: €15.00 | Children (under 12): €10.00 | Umbrella + 2 sun loungers: €20.00 | Gazebo + 4 sun loungers, table with chairs: €50.00|
NOTES: Tirrenia is 6km (3.5 miles) from your cruise ship, right in between the port of Livorno and Marina di Pisa.
Getting There: Bus N. 10 to Pisa has a stop next to the Park. Takes around 20 minutes. Departs from Piazza Grande, behind the Cathedral.