Places to Visit

PLEASE NOTE: Livorno Now is no longer being updated

Dear visitors, After 15 years of providing information about Livorno, as from 1st May 2020 the Livorno Now website will no longer be updated. You can continue to follow us and contact us through our Facebook page or by email
A huge thank you to Kelsey and Lucy for the original idea for this project, and for all their support and encouragement in those early days. And thank you to all the people in Livorno and worldwide who have positively contributed to the site over the last 15 years 

Thank you!

The Central Food Market in Livorno

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The Central Market of Livorno

Livorno's Central Market - Il Mercato Centrale or Mercato delle Vettovaglie as it is traditionally known -  is one of the highlights on any visit to the city. The huge building, one of the oldest markets in Europe, stands majestically over the main canal on the Scali Saffi and is easily reached from Piazza Cavour  and Piazza della Repubblica. It dates from the late-19th century and was designed by Angiolo Badaloni who was probably inspired by Parisian architecture of the same period.

The English Cemetery in Via Verdi, Livorno

One of the unusual 17th-century tombs in the old English Cemetery, Livorno, clearly belonging to an English merchantOne of the unusual 17th-century tombs in the old English Cemetery, Livorno, clearly belonging to an English merchant Known in Livorno as the Antico Cimitero degli Inglesi, or the Old English Cemetery, the monumental cemetery in Via Verdi dates from the 1640s and is the oldest of its kind in the whole of Italy, probably in the whole of the Mediterranean area. The people buried in the cemetery were protestants of several nationalities who were living or staying in Livorno and other parts of Italy during the 17th, 18th and first part of the 19th century. Many of them were the foreign merchants and their families who played an important part in the development of the city and port of Livorno. In 1840 the cemetery was closed down following the expansion of the city walls, and a New English Cemetery was opened outside the walls (Via Pera).

The Fortezza Vecchia

The Fortezza Vecchia, the older of Livorno's two Medici fortressesThe Fortezza Vecchia, the older of Livorno's two Medici fortresses The Fortezza Vecchia ('old fortress') which dominates the old Medici port, is an important symbol of Livorno. Originating in medieval times, the fortress has developed over many centuries to become what it is today.

Via della Madonna - a microcosm of Livorno's cosmopolitan history

The Greek United Church, Santissima Annunziata, in Via della Madonna, LivornoThe Greek United Church, Santissima Annunziata, in Via della Madonna, Livorno Via della Madonna is a partly-pedestrianised street in the centre of Livorno, running between Via Grande at one end and the Scali del Vescovado, in the Venezia district, at the other, and divided in two by Via degli Avvalorati.

On the Via Grande side, the street contains three very significant old churches whose history reflects the cosmopolitan history of Livorno itself - the facade of the former San Gregorio Illuminatore, founded by the Armenian community in 1714, Santissima Annunziata (the Greek United Church) built in 1601, and the church of the Madonna (1607) with its altars dedicated to the French, Corsican, Portuguese and Dutch communities.

Exploring Livorno

View of the Fortezza Nuova, one of Livorno's two Medici fortressesView of the Fortezza Nuova, one of Livorno's two Medici fortresses The city of Livorno and the surrounding area offer a wide range of places to see and things to do, both for those in search of history and culture and for those intent on more mundane pleasures, such as enjoying local food and nightlife or the lively music scene.

Livorno has several unique aspects compared to other cities in Tuscany: it is the youngest of Tuscan towns, with a history as a city of just over 400 years; it has a network of boat-lined canals that wind their way around the town and out to the sea; and most importantly, during its heyday, Livorno was a thriving cosmopolitan port where merchants of many nationalities settled, contributing greatly to the development of the city.

Although many of Livorno's beautiful buildings were destroyed during and immediately after WWII, there is still a good choice  of interesting places to see: the Fortezza Vecchia, the Venezia district, historic churches, and a delightful art gallery, are just a few of them.

Out of town, head south of Livorno for some pleasant seafront walks, the attractive districts of Ardenza and Antignano, and the hillside village of Montenero with spectacular views over the city. All are just a bus ride away.

Some useful links to other pages on Livorno Now:

Getting a Buzz from Old Vespas

Marco Quaretta and his Vintage Scooter Workshop

Marco Quaretta and his Juke BoxMarco Quaretta and his Juke Box Vespa is the Italian word for ‘wasp’, and it was Enrico Piaggio - founder of the Piaggio factory in the province of Pisa -  who gave the scooter its name back in 1946, because of the high buzzing noise – like a wasp - that its engine made, and its unusual narrow-waisted shape.

A Life-long Passion for Vespa Scooters

Unlike other teenagers who eventually grow out of their love for their two-wheeled means of transport, Livorno-born Marco Quaretta never lost his passion for the workings of the Vespa scooter.