In 1865 a man called Luigi Orlando founded what was to form the basis of Livorno’s economy well into the 20th century. The Luigi Orlando Shipyards marked a turning point for the city, transforming its identity from a commercial to an industrial one. By the beginning of the 1900s the shipyard already employed around 2000 people and was to achieve worldwide fame as a builder of military and commercial vessels. Other industries also grew up in Livorno, and the port adapted to the new industrial century.
Also established in Livorno at around this time, in 1881, was the Naval Academy, one of the city’s most important institutions even today. It lies along the coast road to the south of the city.
The Italian Comunist Party was founded in Livorno in 1921, reflecting the strong workers’ movement by then established in the city.
During the Second World War, Livorno and its port was heavily bombed, and it took several years for the city to fully recover.