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Livorno


Livorno Area
A Cosmopolitan City by the Sea

The Tuscan city of Livorno sits in the region of Tuscany, on the edge of the captivating Ligurian Sea which borders the wider expanses of the Mediterranean to the west. Established in 1017, the city has a long history, though it was not until Renaissance times that it became a significant port and centre of wealth and culture. Many Greeks settled in Livorno from this time onward, as well as Jews, Armenians and Dutch settlers – they were merchants dealing in grain, textiles and other commodities, and left evidence of their influence in the region’s cuisine, language and religion. Today Livorno retains a traditional charm, attracting travellers from far and wide with its historic buildings and peaceful setting.


Little Venice in the West

You can’t visit Livorno without visiting the beautiful neighbourhood of La Venezia. This is the city’s answer to Venice, with its enchanting waterways, bridges and squares. Take a walk through the Livorno of the 17th and 18th centuries. In the day the area is perfect for a quiet stroll, exploring shops and historic buildings, while at night the many bars and restaurants create a lively ambience. Be sure to check out the Teatro San Marco, the huge square of Piazza della Republica and the Chiesa dei Domenicani, a Dominican church with a splendid domed roof.



Health and Relaxation at the Spa
Part of the appeal of Livorno and the Florence Area is the many opportunities for rest and relaxation. Pamper yourself like the ancients at the thermal bath of Venturina. In a tranquil coastal setting, the spa combines traditional techniques with modern comforts for a truly indulgent and revitalising experience. Experience a full body massage or mud treatment, or simply unwind in the whirlpool. The first spas at this location date back to Roman times and the thermal waters of the nearby natural springs have been used to treat all kinds of illnesses, including respiratory diseases and rheumatism.

The Terme di San Giovanni is another natural bath, located in the picturesque, eucalyptus-fringed setting of Elba’s Island. This is one of the few thalassotherapy centres – where sea water is used in therapy – in the Florence Area. Come and take a dip to soothe your stresses and aches and pains away. The sea water is especially recommended for sinusitis and similar respiratory conditions.


Authentic Tuscan Cuisine
Any trip to Livorno would be incomplete without sampling some of the culinary delights of the province. The central market bordering La Venezia is a great place to experience some of the bustle and culture of the city and find fresh fish and meat. Seafood is the main draw, but meat offerings such as wild boar and guinea fowl are also on offer, as well as the local chicken galletto livornese.

The cuisine of Livorno is honest and down to earth. Cacciucco is the signature dish of the city, a rich fish and tomato stew using different types of fish and shellfish. Also look out for riso nero, black risotto with squid ink, and triglie alla mosaic, red mullet in tomatoes. Great places to sample delicious authentic cuisine include Osteria del Mare, Gran Duca and Foresta. Wash your meal down with a ponce livornese, a coffee with added rum, cognac, aniseed liqueur, lemon and sugar.


Soak up the Sights
As you might expect, Livorno has a wealth of sights to keep you busy. The Quattro Mori, or Four Moors Monument, is a famous 17th century statue cast in bronze and marble that celebrates the city’s victory over pirates in the Mediterranean. You can explore the cultural heritage further through the rich collection of artworks at the Giovanni Fattori Civic Museum.

Livorno has many great routes to take your passeggiata, an evening stroll traditionally taken between around 5 and 8 p.m. One of the most popular areas is the Terrazza Mascagni, a striking checker board terrace that is also conveniently close to Osteria del Mare. Alternatively, head over to Porto di Livorno, the city’s harbour, to take in the fresh sea air. The harbour originated as a Roman military base and the lighthouse, Torre del Marzocco, is worth getting a closer look at, with its octagonal shape and red roof.


Get Around in Style
Much of Livorno is easily navigable on foot, but if you want to experience another traditional method of transportation, then check out the Funicolare di Montenero, one of the rare cable car railways still in operation. This cable car actually employs modern solar-powered technology to carry you from the town to the Sanctuary of Montenero up on the hill of the same name. The Sanctuary is a shrine to Our Lady of Grace, the Virgin Mary in her role as patron. The original chapel dates from the 17th century, but a larger church was built in the 1950s. There are caves in the hill behind the shrine.


Getting Out of Town
Yes, you can travel to and from Livorno by car, train, bus or even plane. But why not make the most of its coastal location and take the boat? There are direct ferries to Barcelona, Palermo and several other destinations, but be sure to book early to grab a seat.

Travel by train is often preferable to driving, especially if you’re heading to Florence which is well known for its heavy traffic. Take an early train to get the most out of a day in Florence and ask for a ticket to the Firenze Santa Maria Novella. It’s a terminal station so there’s no need to worry about missing your stop. Alternatively, you could take a trip north to Pisa, which is just a twenty minute ride away.


Getting into Town
Yes, you can travel to and from Livorno by car, train, bus or even plane, but why not make the most of its coastal location and take the boat? There are direct ferries to Barcelona, Palermo and several other destinations, but be sure to book early to grab a seat.


Video of Livorno


Parking
This helpful link will save you time when looking for parking in Livorno
http://www.parkopedia.it/parcheggi/livorno/


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