Everything you must know to visit the Aquarium on a cruise to the Port of Livorno: review; how to get there; other attractions and restaurants nearby.
For those cruising with a young family or for the cruiser interested in marine life, the Aquarium in Livorno is one of the main attractions in this port of call.
- Practical Info
- How to get there
- Livono's Aquarium Map
- Other attractions nearby
- Restaurants nearby
With several buildings interconnected, the central area of the Aquarium has a rectangular plan, around which a semicircular-shaped display accommodates fish tanks.
In total, the Aquarium houses 33 display tanks containing approximately 2,000 marine animals of 300 different species. With a public area of 3,000 square meters (around 32,300 square foot) and 1,000 cubic meters of water, it is the third biggest aquarium in Italy and the largest in Tuscany.
Photo Courtesy of Aquario Comunale D. Cestoni
The location of the Aquarium by the Mediterranean Sea is unique. And the reason why it once was a medical center dedicated to heliotherapy before it was transformed into the Aquarium (first inaugurated in 1937).
Destroyed during the Second World War, the Aquarium was rebuilt in the 1950s. In 1968 it became part of the University of Marine Biology.
In the 1990s, when all the area was redesigned (especially the Terrazza Mascagni), the Aquarium was extended. However, it was only recently that it finally acquired its present form - the new, modern, and renovated Aquarium was re-inaugurated in 2010.
One of the 33 tanks
Photo Courtesy of Aquario Comunale D. Cestoni
Where: South of Livorno's Historical Centre
Address: Viale Italia
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm | Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm | July & August: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Closed: 24 and 25 December
Entrance: Adults: €14.00 (euros)
Children: €8.00 (euros)
How to get to the Aquarium from the cruise port
Be aware: cruise lines do not offer shore excursions to the Aquarium in Livorno. Consequently, to visit the Aquarium you will have to get there on your own.
There are four ways to get from the cruise port in Livorno to the Aquarium:
- Taxi: it may cost around €25 from the cruise port or €8.00 if you get a taxi next to the shuttle drop-off on Piazza Municipio.
- Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing: the Livorno Sightseeing Bus has a stop close to the Aquarium. It costs €13.00. The main stop in Livorno is next to the shuttle drop-off on Piazza Municipio
- Public Bus: the LAM BLU or LB bus stop is very close to the shuttle drop-off on Piazza Municipio.
- Walking: only doable if your cruise ship is docked at the Porto Mediceo.
You should not contemplate walking to the Aquarium unless your cruise ship is docked at the Porto Mediceo - just over 1 mile away.
However, because there is a LAM BLU or LB bus (formally Bus Nº 1) stop at the start of Via Grande, very close to the Porto Mediceo, the editor recommends this public transportation to get to the Aquarium. You can buy bus tickets at the newsstands right before Via Grande,
For those docked at the Porto Industriale, the shuttle bus will drop cruise passengers on Piazza Municipio which is within walking distance of Via Grande. On this main street you will find the bus stop for the LAM BLU or LB bus (formally Bus Nº 1). Make sure to take the west/south direction, on the right hand side of Via Grande when walking from Piazza Municipio.
If the cruise passenger is planning to visit other highlights and attractions in the South Area of Livorno it's advisable to get on the Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing bus. Here is the website for the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus:.
Cruise tip: considering that a visit to the Aquarium will take a couple of hours, you should consider visiting other attractions within walking distance, like the Terrazza Mascagni or the Fattori Museum.
There are a few restaurants nearby, if you wish to savor lunch with local cuisine. Keep reading to learn more about attractions and restaurants near the Aquarium.
Livono's Aquarium Map
Other attractions near the Aquarium
Not far from the Aquarium, the cruise passenger exploring the south area of Livorno will also find the Terrazza Mascagni.
The Band Stand on Terrazza Mascagni
Photo © IQCruising.com
Around 300 meters from the Terrazza, the Fattori's Museum exhibits major works by the most famous painter from Livorno. Both the Terrazza and the Fattori Museum are highlights of Livorno.
'Ships in Harbor' by Giovanni Fattori
Very close to the Aquarium you will find the 'Bagni Tirrenio' - a bathing establishment which is a family attraction. Farther south, right after the 'Terrazza' the cruise passenger will find the historically famous 'Bagni Pancaldi'.
Restaurants near the Aquarium
Along the Viale Italia, between the now ruined 'Scoglio della Regina' and 'Bagni Tirrenio' the cruise passenger will find a couple of informal places to have a quick bite al fresco. Just look out for the coffee shops close to the Aquarium by the northern side of the Terrazza
Coffee Shops close to the Terrazza Mascagni
With the exception of the restaurant of the Palazzo Hotel, set on luxurious classic décor and with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, there is no other recommendation.
Hotel Palazzo Restaurant
Be aware that the restaurant at the Palazzo Hotel is far from 'affordable', not exactly a place to go on swimming attire and that the cuisine has received mixed reviews.