Piazza Cavour lies along a line that practically divides Livorno in two because of its bizzare one way system and areas closed to traffic. To try to keep the traffic to where it's supposed to be, there is a network of annoying chains across the square which make it difficult for pedestrians to cross the road!
The buildings around Piazza Cavour were all built in the first half of the 1800s when Livorno was expanded under Pietro Leopoldo II to designs by architect Luigi Bettarini.
In the centre of the square is the statue of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour (1810-1861), after whom the Piazza is named. He was an important Italian statesman and a leading figure in the movement towards unification. The statue was recently chained off in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the graffiti and other acts of vandalism which badly damaged the statue a few years ago.
The Fosso Reale (royal canal) passes under the square, and there are sweeping views along the canal and the Scali D'Azeglio whose magnificent palazzi are particularly stunning in the late afternoon sunshine.
In the other direction the canal snakes towards Piazza della Repubblica, dominated on the left by the Central Market and on the right by the Benci primary school. From here you can also see what is left of the 19th-century Dutch German Church, known as the Chiesa Olandese, a remnant of the Dutch community that played an important role in the history of Livorno. Its lovely facade is rapidly crumbling away and the interior is the domain of pigeons.
In Piazza Cavour itself there are a couple of cafés where you can sit and watch the busy city bustle. There are also banks, pharmacies, three news kiosks, and a small assortment of shops.
To see where to find Piazza Cavour, click here
Transport: Bus no. 2, 3, 4, 6