Livorno (Italy)
Cruise Port Guide: Review (2021)

Photo of Livorno cruise port by IQCruising

Livorno port overview for cruise passengers: where ships dock, things to see and do, shore excursions, how to get around, shopping, and restaurants

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Florence and Pisa are two top destinations close to Livorno and the main reason why ships call at Livorno port when on a cruise in the Mediterranean.

In fact, many cruise lines list the port as Florence/Pisa (Livorno) and the overwhelming majority of cruise passengers will explore these jewels of Tuscany when docking for the day.

Besides these world-renowned cities, you may also explore other treasures of Tuscany such as Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra, or Cinque Terre. All these cities are 30 to 90 minutes away by bus, car, or train.

Contents

  1. Where is Livorno
  2. Where cruise ships dock
  3. Shuttle bus
  4. Map of Livorno port and city
  5. What to see and do
  6. Top highlights close to Livorno
  7. How to explore Livorno
  8. Shore excursions (Shorex)
  9. Get around and discover on your own
  10. Attractions in Livorno city
  11. Sightseeing in Livorno
  12. Shops and shopping
  13. Local cuisine and restaurants
  14. Beyond Livorno
  15. When and how

Overview

Because Florence (the main highlight and attraction close by) is 56 miles (90 km) from the Livorno port, 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 passengers 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 the attractions in the city of Livorno. Although some savvy cruisers that have been in Livorno endless times may prefer to stay onboard when calling at the Livorno port, a walk around the old city can be a delight not to be missed.

Where is Livorno and the cruise port

Livorno is the third-largest port in Italy and the cruise gateway to Tuscany. The port city is on the northwest coast of Italy, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is part of the Mediterranean. Livorno port is, together with Venice and Civitavecchia (Rome), one of the most visited ports on cruises in Italy.

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 port every year.

How far is Livorno port from top destinations

Pisa and Lucca are the closest highlights and very easy to explore on your own. Florence is the most famous destination highlight for cruise passengers and is easy to get to by train.

Siena and San Gimignano are a bit farther away but not to be missed and better to explore with shore excursions. Volterra is not far but not easy to explore on your own unless you rent a car. Explore All Livorno's Destinations.

Travel time from Livorno to Tuscany's destinations

BY
TO
CarTrainBusTourDistance
Florence1 hr 20 min1 h 20 min1 h 50 min1h 30 min56 miles
(90 km)
Pisa30 min20 min1 hour
via Tirrenia
45 min16 miles
25 km
Lucca45 min1 hourNA1 hour30 miles
47 km
Siena2 hours2 h 15 min2 h 10 min2 hours80 miles
130 km
San Gimignano1 h 20 min2 h 20 min
(bus and train)
2 h 20 min
(bus and train)
1 h 30 min52 miles
83 km
Volterra1 h 15 min2 h 40 min
(bus and train)
2 h 40 min
(bus and train)
1 h 30 min45 miles
73 km

Where cruise ships dock and cruise terminals

Livorno port is vast, with 2 different docking areas, and numerous quays that can accommodate up to 11 ships. The Porto Industriale is the largest area (A on the map below) with 3 piers and cruise terminals. Cruise passengers are not allowed to walk in port but there is a shuttle bus at the pier and alos taxis. All cruise terminals in the Porto Industriale have the following services and amenities:

  • Tourist Information
  • Taxi
  • Car Rental
  • Tour Services
  • Sightseeing
  • Restrooms
  • Free Wi-Fi

The Porto Mediceo is mainly used by small and luxury cruise lines. It has two distinct docking spots. One is within walking distance of the city center (B on the map below). If your ship is docked in the farthest berths (C on the map below) there will be a shuttle bus as well. You will only find a few services and amenities at Porto Mediceo.

Shuttle bus

Unless you are cruising on a small luxury cruise ship, which usually docks within walking distance of the city center, the port authorities will provide a shuttle bus. On most cruise lines this is a complimentary service but you may be charged €5 by some cruise lines.

For over a decade the shuttle bus drop-off is on Piazza del Municipio where you will find close by most services and amenities, including a taxi stand, Tourist Info, sightseeing, public buses, ATM, currency exchange.

Map of Livorno port and city

Image with map of Livorno cruise port, city centre and surrounding area

Download the map above, with all info on this article. Take this port guide with you, when on a cruise in the Mediterranean. The port guide is formated for different devices. Click to choose: SmartPhone | Tablet | Desktop.

Things to see and do on a cruise to Livorno port

Livorno is a cruise port with so many attractions nearby that you will have to decide which to visit and those you will have to skip. With 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tuscany, it is impossible to visit more than a couple in one day.

Cruise passengers interested in museums will find in Florence the best renaissance art in the Uffizi Gallery, the Bargello, or the Galleria dell’Accademia. But there are also must-see museums in Pisa and Siena.

Those interested in religious sites and Jewish heritage have an extraordinary number of churches, cathedrals, baptisteries, and the synagogues in Florence, Livorno, and Pisa to choose from.

The quaint ambiance of Lucca, San Gimignano and Volterra is ideal for those that enjoy strolling small historic towns.

Wherever you decide to go, do not miss the opportunity to savor the culinary delights of Tuscany. And if shopping is on your mind, you will find amazing shops in Florence but also in Lucca and Siena.

Top highlights, sights, and attractions in Livorno and Tuscany

For reviews of specific highlights and attractions of each destination do click on read more.

  • Florence
    Must-see: Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Cathedral and Bell Tower, Baptistery of Saint John, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio, Galleria dell’Accademia and Michelangelo's David, Palazzo Pitti, Medici Chapels, San Miniato al Monte ...
    read more »
  • Pisa
    Must-see: Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, the Baptistery, Museum of Sinopias and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the Piazza dei Cavalieri, the Synagogue ...
    read more »
  • Lucca
    Must-see: Cathedral, the Basilica of St. Frediano and the Church of Saint Michael, the Amphitheater Square, the Piazza Napoleone, Via Fillungo, Torre Guinigi and Torre delle Ore, the Mansi Palace Painting Museum and the Pfanner Palace ...
    read more »
  • Siena
    Must-see: Cathedral, Catherin's Basilica of St. Dominic, Piazza del Campo, the Civic Museum and Torre del Mangia, the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Piazza and Palazzo Salimbeni, the Synagogue ...
    read more »
  • San Gimignano
    Must-see: the Collegiata (Cathedral), the Palazzo Comunale, Torre Grossa and Salvucci Tower, Palazzo del Podesta, Museum of Sacred Art, the Cathedral Square and the Cistern Square ...
    read more »
  • Volterra
    Must-see: the Cathedral, the Baptistery of Saint John and the Church of Saint Francis, the Etruscan Museum, the Sacred Art Museum, the Pinacoteca and Civic Museum, and the Alabaster Museum, the Roman Theatre ...
    read more »
  • Cinque Terra
    Must-see: Riomaggiore, Monterosso and Vernazza, .
    read more »
  • Livorno city highlights
    Must-see: Duomo, Via Madonna, Venice Quarter, Fattori's Museum, the Royal Canal and the Mercato Centrale ...
    read more »

How to explore Livorno and Tuscany on a cruise

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, cruise passengers may only be allowed to explore the top destinations of Livorno if booked on a shore excursion. Regardless of public health concerns, shore excursions are advisable to discover some highlights.

In fact, shore excursions are particularly suitable when a good guide is required or to properly explore sites that can be time-consuming to discover on your own or with public transportation. Shore excursions are advisable if you want to visit both Pisa and Florence, or Siena and San Gimignano.

Even so, cruisers should consider traveling to Pisa, Lucca, or Florence independently. There are a few possible and good ways to discover Livorno and the jewels of Tuscany:

  • Book a shore excursion
  • Sightseeing services to Pisa and Florence
  • On your own with public transport (train and/or bus)
  • By taxi
  • Car rental
  • On foot to the attractions of Livorno port city
  • Sightseeing services in Livorno city

Regardless of where or how you decide to explore Livorno and its attractions, you should have euros (€), the only currency accepted in Italy. Learn more about all money matters, including where to find ATMs, banks, or currency exchange offices.

Shore excursions, tours and transfers

All cruise lines offer many and diverse shore excursions in Livorno to all top destinations and highlights. Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean offer as many as 24 shore excursions. Carnival lists 12 shore excursions. Norwegian Cruise Line has available 25 shore excursions. Oceania Cruises organizes 67 shore excursions, and Princess has 46 excursions available.

There are also excursions offered by the following reputable private online services and local tour operators:

Low-cost transfers to Florence, Pisa, and Lucca

TuscanyBus is a local company offering safe, easy, and affordable transfers between Livorno and 3 gems of Tuscany: Florence, Pisa and Lucca. Buses depart from Piazza Municipio, right by the shuttle bus stop from the cruise port. TuscanyBus guarantees the return to the cruise port on time.

Be aware that this service is not a guided tour but just a straightforward transfer although you will be able to download a map-guide. Prices vary between €17 (Pisa transfer), €30 (Lucca), and €37 (Florence). It is advisable to book on-line, directly with TuscanyBus.

How to travel from Livorno to Tuscany's destinations on your own

If you like to explore highlights on your own, it is very easy to travel by rail from Livorno to Pisa, Lucca and Florence. You can also get to Pisa by bus. By contrast, it is not as easy to travel to Siena by rail requiring train transfers. To get to San Gimignano or Volterra from Livorno you will need to travel by rail and bus.

Travel by rail and bus in Livorno

The Railway Station in Livorno.
Have in mind that the shuttle bus from the Livorno port to Piazza Municipio takes between 10 and 20 minutes and that from here the bus to the Railway Station takes at least another 20 minutes. Learn how to travel by rail from Livorno port.


Train to Florence
There are 7 trains departing Livorno between 8:00 am and 11:00 am (including weekends). Find out how to explore Florence on your own when on a cruise

Train or Bus to Pisa
The bus to Pisa departs on the hour from Piazza Repubblica, which is a 5-minute walk from the cruise port shuttle bus stop on Piazza Municipio. The bus station in Pisa is 20 minutes walk (flat and pleasant) from the major attractions.
The train to Pisa departs Livorno every 15 minutes. The railway station in Pisa is 20 minutes walk (flat and pleasant) from the major attractions. Discover how to travel to Pisa

Train to Lucca
Departs Livorno every 30 minutes - you will need to change train in Pisa. The railway station in Lucca is 15 minutes walk (pleasant and flat) from main attractions. Find out 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 the main attractions - bus or taxi are advisable. Learn 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. The bus station in San Gimignano is 5 minutes walk from the 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). The bus station in Volterra is right by main attractions. Be aware: To be back in Livorno in time you must get on bus #780 departing Volterra at 2:35 pm towards Saline, where you will get on the 3:15 pm train to Livorno arriving at 4:35 pm. How to travel to Volterra


To find out all about public transportation in Livorno and how to discover the city on your own and travel to Top Destinations: Find out how to get around in Livorno cruise port ► .

Renting a car in Livorno port

Florence, Pisa and Lucca are so easy to get to by rail or bus that renting a car is a bit of a waste of time. By contrast, renting a car is the best way to explore Volterra, San Gimignano, and Volterra. Read more about renting a car in Livorno port.

Taxis and public buses

Cruise passengers that wish to travel on your own should look into using public buses and or taxis. Traveling by public bus is relatively straight forward. Learn more about how to use public buses in Livorno. There are always taxis available at all the piers of Livorno port. However, it can be much cheaper to get a taxi in the city center next to the shuttle bus drop-off. Read more about traveling by taxi in Livorno.

What to do in Livorno when calling at the port for one day

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.

Photo of Quartieri Venezia in Livorno port

Quartieri Venezia

Photo © IQCruising.com

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.

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 tourist attractions such as the Museo Civico Giovanni Fattori, the Acquario Comunale Giacinto Cestoni, the Passeggiata Mascagni or the Museum of Natural History. Explore Livorno's top highlights.

Main attractions in Livorno city

Here is a list of the 12 top main attractions for cruise passengers in the city of Livorno:

  1. St Francis Cathedral (Duomo) - read review
  2. St Catherine's Church - read review
  3. Via della Madonna (Madonna's Street) - Read review
  4. Venice Quarter (Quartieri Venezia) - Read review
  5. Royal Canal (Fosso Reale) - Read review
  6. Central Market (Mercato Centrale) - Read review
  7. Fattori's Museum (Museo Fattori) - Read review
  8. Livorno's Aquarium (Aquario Comunale) - Read review
  9. Four Moors (Monumento dei Quattro Mori) - Read review
  10. Goldoni's Theatre (Teatro Goldoni) - Read review
  11. New Synagogue (Sinagoga). read review
  12. Mascagni's Promenade (Terrazza Mascagni) - Read review

Besides these top attractions in Livorno, the city is known for its many and stunning churches, magnificent squares, broad streets. When meandering Livorno, don't miss historical landmarks like the Fortezza Vecchia and Fortezza Nuova, the Palazzo Comunale or the Cisternino.

The Fattori's Museum is a highlight of Livorno, but there are a few other museums the cruise visitor may also enjoy such as the Modigliani House or the Sacred Art Museum.

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.

Photo of sightseeing boat cruising the canals near the Porto Mediceo in Livorno port

Cruising Livorno's canals on a sightseeing boat.

Photo © IQCruising.com

Keeping in touch

Besides exploring the sites and attractions of Livorno, cruise passengers may use the time in port to get in touch with family and friends. The post office is in the city center, there are quite a few free wi-fi spots, public phones are available but you really need to find out how to use them, and there are a few places that handle DHL and UPS. Read more about how to keep in touch.

Livorno Shops and Shopping Streets

Livorno doesn't have extravagant designer shops, but you will find typically affordable brands ranging from Zara to United Colors of Benetton. And also, small boutiques that display labels like Trussardi or Stefanell. Be aware that many shops close between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, most are closed on Sundays and that some shops are also closed on Monday mornings.

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 or a light lunch. For a selection of the best shops: explore Livorno shopping.

Livorno's flavors and restaurants

Only a few cruise passengers choose to stay onboard when visiting Livorno port and most eat lunch in one of the many venues cruise ships offer. But if you enjoy tasting local flavors, Livorno is an exceptional port to savor genuine Italian cuisine.

The "Cacciucco" (a soup made of various sea creatures, wine, tomato, hot peppers, and garlic) is undoubtedly the most famous local recipe served at the Editor's favorite restaurants. But there are many other culinary delighst to delights your taste buds.

Livorno has a good number of unpretentious restaurants with very nice home-cooked food, where locals have lunch. If you prefer a more upscale decor and service there are excellent traditional restaurants.

For those preferring a light meal or a quick bite, there are many coffee shops and a few commendable Enotecas (wine bars serving light snacks and wines by the glass. Cruise passengers exploring off the beaten track attractions should look into lesser-known but excellent restaurants.

To see and do beyond Livorno's city center

Cruise passengers not wishing to spend a full day exploring the highlights of Livorno port will find 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.

Livorno's activities and beaches

For those cruising with children or not in the mood for historical excursions, there are great beaches and watersports, including scuba and windsurfing, close by. South of the city center, not that far from the port shuttle stop at Piazza Municipio, there are a few nice “Bagni” (Bathing Establishments) or serviced beach clubs not to be ignored.

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. On this strip, there are dozens of beach clubs to choose from.

Livorno's outdoors

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 Terrazza Mascagni or Mascagni's Promenade, which was named after the famous opera composer born in the city.

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.

When and how to cruise to Livorno

The Editor has visited Livorno in all seasons for over 20 years and has found that there are always charming aspects to enjoy in the city and in Tuscany almost all year round. However, different cruise lines call at Livorno port in different seasons, and the weather varies a lot. Discover more about the weather, itineraries and the best time to cruise to Livorno port.

Livorno video

Watch the video below to have an idea of what Livorno port looks like.

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