The Borgo district of Livorno grew up during the French occupation at the beginning of the 1800s in order to meet a demand for housing. It was called Borgo dei Cappuccini because the first houses to be built there were along the road that led to the Capuchin monks’ convent which dated from 1582.
The area stretches from the old shipyards, taking in Piazza Mazzini and the surrounding streets. The Borgo used to be a mixture of houses, gardens and vineyards, producing a good quantity of produce for the time.
When the Orlando Shipyard was opened in 1865 on the site of the San Rocco Lazzaretto, the Borgo Cappuccini district underwent considerable social changes. Many hundreds of shipyard workers lived here and their marine skills were developed to produce many excellent rowers, port pilots, fishermen, swimmers and boat builders. So while the district grew wealthy on its artisan activities, the pride of the Borgo was its rowing team which regularly took part in the Palio marinaro of the time.
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