Synagogue (Sinagoga)
Highlight in Livorno
Cruise Port Guide: Review (2023)

Everything cruise passengers to Livorno need to know about the Synagogue in Livorno: how to get there; basic info; map; other sites and restaurants nearby.

Last Update: June 28, 2023

Regardless of your religious persuasion, the New Synagogue (Sinagoga) is a highlight of Livorno, which deserves a slight detour to admire this major landmark even if only from the outside.

Photo of New Synagogue in Livorno

New Synagogue in Livorno

Photo ©


  1. Overview
  2. Practical Info
  3. How to get there
  4. Synagogue Map
  5. Other attractions nearby
  6. Restaurants nearby

Overview and History

The Synagogue in Livorno (aka New Synagogue) was built in 1962 and is the only one constructed in Italy after WWII. The design is inspired by the shape of the tent Moses built in the desert to guard the Ark of the Covenant.

Photo of New Synagogue in Livorno

New Synagogue in Livorno

Photo ©

The New Synagogue replaced the original one destroyed during World War II. The original Synagogue was one of the most beautiful of its kind in all of Europe. It was a place of worship for free Jews that had been moving to Livorno since the 16th century.

In a historical context, the Jewish community at its height accounted for at least 10% of Livorno's population (around 5,000 Jews). The majority lived in the area where the Synagogue stood, not far from the Piazza Grande.

However, during World War II, the old Synagogue was destroyed, and most Jews originally from Livorno were deported and massacred.

Photo of Old Synagogue in Livorno

The Old Synagogue

Photo: Public Domain

After 1945, the 700 Jews from Livorno who survived or returned to the city discussed whether to try to rebuild the old structure from the remains or build an entirely new one.

In the end, it was decided to build a new temple and the architect Angelo Di Castro was in charge of the project. The design is based on an inspired shape of the tent that Moses built in the desert - the Tabernacle guarding the 'Ark of the Covenant' - with an octagonal and hexagonal plant.

Inside the synagogue, tiers of seats converge towards the center where the 'bimah' is. Behind this, stands an old 17th century Hekhál (a cabinet made of carved wood which holds the Scrolls of Scripture) given to Livorno by the synagogue in Pesaro.

Photo of Interior of New Synagogue in Livorno

Interior of New Synagogue in Livorno

Photo: Luca Aless CC-by-SA

The women's gallery is on a balcony at the back. The intricate carvings on the facade were designed to allow light to penetrate the interior, giving a lovely display of light, including red light, that is a constant reminder of the holocaust. This is one of only four synagogues in Italy that was built in the 20th century and the only one that was built after WWII.

Practical Info

Where: Historical Centre
Address: Piazza Benamozegh
Architect: Angelo Di Castro
When: Building finished in 1962
Open:By appointment only. Amaranta Service focus on guided tours to the lesser know sites of Livorno - the Synagogue is on its itineraries and one of the few ways to visit this highlight. Email: [email protected] | Amaranta Servizi Facebook Page
Phone:+39 339 856 0212
Email: [email protected]

How to get to the Synagogue

Although located in the heart of the historical city center, the cruise traveler will not pass by the Synagogue while wandering around. You will need to look for it to find the Synagogue in an off-the-beaten-track square.

The Synagogue stands at the northeastern corner of a large piazza, and the best (shortest) way to get there is to walk one block behind the Cathedral and turn right on Via Tempio. It is a 5-minute walk to the Synagogue from the cruise port shuttle drop-off on Piazza Municipio.

Synagogue Map

Map of the Synagogue area in Livorno with Highlights and Attractions

Other attractions near the Synagogue

Besides the Cathedral (A on the map), the small church of St. Lucia (a on the map) is another attraction close by. Not far, at the end of Via Cairoli, the Piazza Cavour crosses the 'Fosso Reale' offering great views - photo ops - of this highlighted landmark (I and II on the map).

Restaurants nearby

Behind the Duomo, right on the corner with Via Tempio, the 'Caffe Duomo' (1 on the map), is a nice place to have a quick bite, a cappuccino and to check emails as it offers Free Wi-Fi.

Photo of 'Caffe Duomo in Livorno

'Caffe Duomo in Livorno

Photo ©

Around the corner from this well-known coffee shop, you will find 'La Vecchia Senese' (2 on the map) a restaurant favored by locals and offering special prices to cruise ship passengers.

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