Central Market
Highlight in Livorno
Cruise Port Guide: Review (2023)

Explore the Central Market (Mercato delle Vettovaglie) a landmark for cruise visitors to Livorno: how to get there; history; map; basic info, and sites nearby.

Last Update: June 28, 2023

Cruise travelers interested in knowing how Italians live and how they shop for food, must visit the ‘Mercato Centrale’ (Central Market). As in most cities, close by you will also find excellent restaurants.


  1. Overview
  2. Must-see artworks
  3. Practical Info
  4. How to get there
  5. Mercato Centrale Map
  6. Other attractions nearby
  7. Restaurants nearby
Photo of Mercato Centrale in Livorno

Mercato Centrale

Photo © IQCruising.com

Mercato Centrale Review

Officially named 'Mercato delle Vettovaglie', the main market in Livorno is better known as 'Mercato Centrale' or 'Coperto' - Central or Covered Market in English. It is one of the main landmarks of the city and an excellent example of the iron and glass architecture that surged all over Europe in the second half of the 19th century.

Built along the ‘Fosso Reale’, after the demolition of the defensive structures that had originally been in place since the 16th century, the construction works of the Market started in 1889 and were concluded by 1904. With a 95 meters long facade the massive building is dominant in the ‘Fosso Reale’. It has four side entrances with the main one close to the southern end of ‘Via della Madonna’.

Photo of Mercato Centrale Interior in Livorno

Main Hall of the Mercato Centrale

Photo © IQCruising.com

The interior of the building has a main hall decorated with caryatids made by Lorenzo Gori, a very high ceiling, round-arched windows along the top walls and a double roof allowing light to come through. The latter was fully restored after the bombings that almost destroyed the building during the Second World War.

Besides the main hall, with shops displaying the famous delicacies of Tuscany, there are two adjoining rooms. One room with 22 marble counters is used exclusively to sell fish and another with 22 stands to sell vegetables. In total, the Market has 230 stands and 24 shops.

The Market has such popularity among the population of Livorno that it overflows to ‘Via Buontalenti’, the street by the main entrance, and as far as the ‘Piazza Cavallotti’ where a lively vegetable market takes place every morning. The entire area is a great place for the cruise visitor to enjoy people watching at its best.

Basic Information

WHERE:Historical Centre
Address:Via Buontalenti
Open:Monday to Saturday between 7:30 AM and 2:00 PM
Entrance: +39 0586 820204
Notes: Due to the proximity of the Mercato Centrale, there are three restaurants that are well known for the produce freshness - Gennarino, La Barrocciaia and the Antico Moro.

Location of the Central Market, Getting There and Map

Wherever your cruise ship docks in the port of Livorno, the Piazza Grande is your best starting point for the cruise passenger to get to the Central Market. From the main square in Livorno, where the Cathedral stands, walk east along Via Grande and then turn right into Via della Madonna. The proximity of Piazza Cavallotti becomes obvious as the street becomes animated with all sort of street vendors. Once on the Piazza, the Mercato Centrale is straight ahead.

Mercato Centrale Map

Map of Mercato Centrale in Livorno with Attractions nearby

Attractions and Landmarks Nearby

Besides all the shops on Via Grande, the open market on Piazza Cavallotti and the Duomo (Cathedral - A on the map) there are other landmarks of interest close by for the cruise passenger exploring this area of Livorno.

Photo of Piazza XX Septembre in Livorno

Piazza XX Septembre

Photo © IQCruising.com

Three squares are within walking distance: the Piazza della Repubblica, the Piazza XX Settembre - with the church of San Bernardo (d on the map) - and Piazza Cavour which has fabulous views.

Many outdated travel guides (and even Google searches) state that the Piazza XX Settembre is the location of the Mercatino Americano. This is absolutely wrong, the famous American Market has moved to the port area since 2009. The square is now a very quaint and quite spot.

On the way from the Mercato Centrale to any of these squares nearby, the 'Fosso Reale' is a must see and a highlight of the city. On the south bank of the 'Fosso', the Dutch Church (b on the map) and the 'Antonio Benci' school (c on map) are major buildings to admire.

Photo of Fosso Reale in Livorno

Fosso Reale Close to Piazza Repubblica

Photo © IQCruising.com

Restaurants Close to the Central Market

On the vicinity of the market, the editor recommends three restaurants where the cruise ship passenger can taste true flavors of Livorno. Among the Top 5 in Livorno Il Gennarino (1 on the map - Via Santa Fortunata, 11) has a classy décor serving excellent traditional cuisine.

Photo of Restaurant Il Gennarino in Livorno

Restaurant Il Gennarino

Photo © IQCruising.com

Famous for the freshness of the fish dishes in a simple, local ambiance, you will find the Trattoria Antico Moro (2 on the map on Via Bartelloni, 27). If looking for a quick bite, the cruise passenger will have an amazing choice of snacks in La Barrocciaia (3 on the map), a lively and friendly restaurant right on Piazza Cavallotti.

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