The earliest records of a church in Livorno's San Jacopo district date from 1187. Its location next to a natural spring of freshwater gave the name Acquaviva to the area.
In subsequent centuries the monks purchased much of the surrounding land, which consisted of farmland, woods and areas of rocks and stones. Quarries grew up providing Livorno with building material.
Later, the increase in maritime traffic with the East and the accompanying risk of contagious diseases brought about the need in Livorno for a Lazzeretto which was begun in 1643.
In around 1577, the Agostinians conceded the use of the Church of San Jacopo to the United Greek church, thus leading to the growth of a district which became known as Borgo dei Greci (1606) from which today’s San Jacopo district derives.
The San Jacopo district contains many of Livorno's most interesting sights and buildings: the Naval Academy, designed by Angiolo Badaloni and inaugurated in 1881, and subsequently enlarged; the Church of San Jacopo; the monument dedicated to Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo (who had the Lazzeretto of San Jacopo built); the Terrazza Mascagni, Livorno's huge terrace overlooking the sea; Villa Mimbelli, park and villa housing the Museo Fattori; the Aquarium inaugurated in 1937 and now completely renovated; the Grand Hotel Palazzo, built by Bernardo Fabbricotti and opened in 1894 as the Grand Hotel Spatz, now completely restored and open once again after years of lying empty; the Bagni Acquaviva bathing establishment, the first of its kind in Livorno, and indeed in Italy, opened in 1840, and the Bagni Pancaldi built just six years later.
For San Jacopo rowing team, click here
To see more images of the San Jacopo district, click here