Livorno's only public art gallery is well worth a visit, and not only because of the works of art it contains. The setting in itself, surrounded by the gardens of the 19th-century Villa Mimbelli, offers a welcome respite from the traffic noise and the city bustle, as well as a peaceful and shady haven in the summer months.
The Villa Mimbelli itself also deserves a visit in its own right, with its beautiful rooms decorated with frescoes by Annibale Gatti and its splendid staircase connecting the three floors.
For some reason State museums in Italy are generally closed on Mondays. This means, of course, that if you find yourself in Livorno on a Monday you will have to find an alternative activity to the museums listed below. You could try, for example, the city's food market for an insight into Italian food and the local people.
The handsome 18th-century Villa Henderson in Via Roma takes its name from the Scottish Henderson family who bought the villa in 1917. It has been home to Livorno's Natural History Museum since 1980, offering an interesting insight into the area's geology, wildlife and plantlife.
On display are exhibits from the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. Of great interest to children is the skeleton of 'Annie', a finback whale measuring 19.6m, which ran aground on the Livorno coast.
Established in 1992, the Jewish museum of Livorno is situated in the Marini Oratory in Via Micali. It contains a permanent exhibition about the Jewish School of Livorno in 1938, as well as antique furnishings from the old 17th-century synagogue (destroyed during World War II) which used to be the most important synagogue in the Mediterranean area. The exhibits include a noteworthy wooden oriental-style hekhàl, liturgical objects from various countries, works of embroidery and coral items.
Museo ebraico Yeshivà Marini
Via Micali 21, Livorno
Tel. +39 0586 893361
Mobile +39 3392997687