Construction of Livorno's Venezia district - La Nuova Venezia, as it was known - was begun in 1629 to allow for the expansion of the city's population. Plans for the new district were designed by Sienese architect Giovanni Battista Santi. Because of the canals, and the need to employ building techniques imported from Venice, the area came to be known as the 'Nuova Venezia' ('new Venice').
A second phase of expansion took place in the 1700s when important buildings like the Bottini dell'Olio - a storehouse for oil - were built. On Via Borra, the Palazzo delle Colonne di Marmo, the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà and Palazzo Huigens were constructed, and work was begun on the two important churches: the Church of San Ferdinando and the Church of Santa Caterina. Building was subsequently begun on the Palazzo della Dogana (now the Livorno Chamber of Commerce building).
To see more images of the Nuova Venezia district, click here
For a self-guided walking tour, click here
For information about the Effetto Venezia festival, click here