The most Important and Interesting Squares
in Livorno for Cruise Travelers
- photos and reviews of Piazza del Municipio (Town Hall Square), Piazza Grande, Piazza Repubblica,
Piazza Cavour, Piazza XX Settembre, Piazza Vitoria, Piazza Dominicanni, Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza Guernazzi.
Unless the cruise traveler decides to go on a excursion organized by the cruise ship, in which case boarding of tour buses is at the pier, you will need to take a shuttle bus to the Historical Center of Livorno. The Cruise Port shuttle bus stops at Piazza Municipio (Town Hall Square). This is the most important square in Livorno for cruise travelers and close by there a few other squares that are both interesting and important to be acquainted with for those wishing to explore Livorno and its destinations On Your Own.
The Piazza Grande where the Duomo (Cathedral) stands is another major square. This square right next to Piazza del Municipio, is the main square of Livorno. Piazza Grande is intersected by Via Grande, which is a major traffic hub. If your cruise ship is docked at the Porto Mediceo, Via Grande is within walking distance with the Piazza Grande just a few minutes away.
In and around these two squares you will find most basic services: a Tourist Information Center (in Piazza del Municipio), an ATM (Bancomat of the UniCreditBanca) and a Money Exchange Bureau on Via Claudio Cogorano, a small street between Piazza del Municipio and Piazza Grande. Last but not least, all major public buses have stops in Via Grande that will take you to the Railway Station or, if traveling south, to the Aquarium, the Terrazza Mascagni and as far as Montenero.
Piazza del Municipio
(Town Hall Square)
This is the arriving point for the shuttle buses transporting cruise ships passengers form the port. If you place yourself with your back to the town hall, you would be able to imagine the length of the old Piazza Grande as it stretched all the way to the Cathedral. But after the World War II bombings the huge square was divided in two and the smaller was named Piazza Municipio. Besides the Town Hall, two other buildings stand out - the Palazzo Granducale and the huge Palazzo della Dogana.
|Highlights:||Palazzo Comunnale (or Municipali), Palazzo della Dogana and Palazzo Granducale.|
|Basics:||ATM's, Exchange Bureau, and Wi-Fi can be found on Via Cogorano.|
|Transportation:||Shuttle bus from the port stops at the west corner of the square, right where Via Cogorano starts.|
NOTES: Via Cogorano connect the Piazza del Municipio with Piazza Grande.
Once one of the largest and most beautiful squares in Livorno, which inspired many an architect - it is said that Inigo Jones designed the Covent Garden square based on the Piazza Grande. It had originally separated the Town Hall from the Cathedral but, after WW II, the Piazza Grande was severed when a building (known as Palazzo Grande) was built in the middle of it. Today, this piazza is a bustling hub within the city, where the city buses run. The piazza was originally designed in the late 16th century and it was reconstructed after World War II.
|Architect:||Part of Bernardo Buontalenti urban planning|
|Highlights:||The Cattedrale di San Francesco or Duomo dominates the square.|
|Transportation:||On Via Grande, you will find Public Bus Stops. LAM BLU Bus, or LB (formally Bus Nº 1) to the railway station - south side traveling east.|
LAM BLU Bus, or LB (formally Bus Nº 1) to the south coast - north side traveling west.
Notes: On each corner of the square you will find newsstands where you can buy bus tickets.
Piazza della Repubblica
This Piazza is the largest in the city and it is really a bridge as it serves as a vaulted ceiling over the Fosso Real. The piazza is in the form of a huge traffic circle, with many streets leading away or into it. Two major statues adorn the piazza, one at either end. The first of these is located on the Fortezza Nuova side and is a statue of Ferdinand III. In bas-relief below are representations of Ferdinand III, as the patron of the arts, commerce, and industry, and the Grand Duke. The second stands on the opposite site and is of Leopold II, under whose reign the city was enlarged and the Piazza della Repubblica was built. There is also a plaque at the base of the statue that shows the date of the referendum that eventually lead to the full integration of the Tuscany region in Italy.
|WHERE:||City Center - at the east end of Via Grande|
|Monuments:||Statues of Ferdinand III and Leopold II. Statue of Giovanni Fattori at the junction with Via Grande.|
|Close by:||Piazza Garibaldi and the Sacred Art Museum.|
|Sights:||Fabulous views of the Fortezza Nuova (north side) and of the Fosso Reale (south side).|
NOTES: The Giro in Battello (Boat Tour) along the Fosso Real cruise under the square.
The piazza is located south of the Duomo (Cathedral) at the end of Via Cairoli, right after the Fosso Real, essentially dividing the old from the new city. Along its length there are crossroads to allow traffic through, with only a few crossings for pedestrians at each end - all buildings are from the 19th century. At its center there is a statue of Camillo Benso, the Count of Cavour - one of the leading statesmen in the Italian unification
|WHERE:||City Center - Between Via Cairoli and Via Ricasoli|
|When:||Part of the 19th century expansion of the city.|
|Sights:||The bridge between the Via Cairoli and the square offers best views of the Fosso Reale.|
|Nearby:||Teatro Goldoni; Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church, Saint George Church, English Cemetery and Waldensian Church.|
NOTES: Via Ricasoli which is an upper-end shopping street lined with small boutiques starts in the south side of the square.
Piazza XX Settembre
(20th of September Square)
Not far from the Fosso Real and the Piazza della Repubblica, this oasis used to be the site where the famous Mercatinno Americano took place and that has been moved to the entrance of the Porto Industriale in 2009. The tree-lined square offers a shaded resting area for those visiting the Church of San Benedetto. At its center there is a monument to Leopold II that was originally located in the Piazza della Repubblica.
|Landmark:||The Church of St. Benedetto.|
|Nearby:||Fosso Reale, Piazza della Repubblica.|
|Restaurants:||"Enoteca Faraoni" - on Via Mentana, 85 - serves fabulous light lunches with some of the best wines in Tuscany.|
NOTES: Don't be fooled by many an outdated travel guide that will refer to this square as the site of the Mercatino Americano - read above.
Piazza Attias was named after Jasach Attias, a wealthy Jewish merchant who lived in Livorno in the 17th century. The merchant lived in a villa that also shared his name, Villa Attias, but it was demolished in the 1960s.
|WHERE:||At the edge of the City Center - at the end of Via Ricasoli. The start of Via Roma, Via Mayer and Corso Amedeo.|
|Nearby||The Teatro Goldoni is on Via Mayer no more than 200 yards from the square. The Modigliani Museum House is right at the beginning of Via Roma.|
|Restaurants:||"Il Rifugio" on Via Mayer, 80 is a not very affordable but great traditional restaurant. "Bistrot M" on Corso Amedeo, 46 is a more designed restaurant with a beautiful garden (although closed in August and July).|
NOTES: Tucked in the south corner, "Coin" is one of the few (and small) department stores in Livorno.
Piazza della Vitoria
The piazza is another wonderful oasis amongst the busy streets of Livorno, lined with trees and dominated by the church of Santa Maria del Soccorso. Also known as Place Magenta, the piazza was originally placed outside the “Forbidden Zone” of the city.
|When:||Ideal for a shaded rest in the Summer|
|Delight:||The church and the trees.|
|Restaurants:||There are a few cafes with outside seating close to Via Magenta|
|Shopping:||There are a few shops on Via Magenta|
NOTES: Behind the church, the Pizzeria Sarda has an outdoor seating area for a shaded, quite and off the beaten track lunch.