The district of Shangay, originally called Torretta ('small tower'), lies to the north of Livorno’s city centre. The name 'Torretta' comes from the remains of an ancient tower which stood in the old Porto Pisano (the port of Pisa which was here before Livorno grew up), and in fact the district occupies much of Pisa’s ancient port area.
It used to be the district with the highest concentration of industries, artisans' workshops and warehouses, including a large railway station for goods destined for or coming from the ships docked in the port of Livorno.
The district extended as far as Calambrone where, on 9 June 1860, 800 Livornese volunteers led by Vincenzo Malenchini embarked for Sicily to lend a hand to Giuseppe Garibaldi.
The most recently developed part of this area is known as Shangay (Shanghai), christened by its inhabitants when it was first built in the 1930s because it reminded them of scenes of Chinese popular housing districts seen in films.
The district was developed to house families who previously lived in the old city centre. It has continued to be a workers’ district up to the present day. It does not possess any architecture or works of art of particular note, but offers an interesting example of town-planning from the Thirties.
The neighbourhood contains some interesting examples of contemporary street art.