Port Review: Livorno, Italy

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A key port on Italy’s northwest coast, Livorno appears on cruise ship itineraries not just for the charming city itself, but for access to a lineup of other tourist destinations within Tuscany.

The Facts

Location: In Tuscany, in northwestern Italy.

Language: Italian.

Currency: Euro.

Docking/Anchoring: The city has a cruise terminal at the Calata Punto Franco around half a kilometre from the city centre.

Transport: Large ships have to dock at the container port, where shuttle buses will be provided to the city, dropping off at the town hall. Sometimes taxis are available. 


The third largest city in Tuscany, Livorno translates to “leghorn” in English, and it has been a feature on the Tuscan coast since medieval times. It has a long history as a port of significance, having been bought by Florence from Genoa in 1421, and later occupied by Napoleon three times between 1796 and 1800. Today, for many cruise ship guests, however, it’s a jumping off point for visiting other key areas of Tuscany, in particular Pisa, Lucca and Florence. If you are a returning visitor, however, or don’t fancy a long day of touring, the city itself has plenty to offer visitors.

Don’t Miss

A stroll along Livorno’s pretty canals, called the Fossi, is a great way to get an overview of the city, or you can do it easy and take a boat ride. Alternatively, head south to Ardenza and Antignano to enjoy some lovely seafront walks.

The city has as a large number of fascinating old cemeteries tucked away in unusual locations, dating back to when the city was inhabited by many different nationalities. One example is the 17th century Old English Cemetery, the oldest Protestant cemetery in Italy, which is home to some famous writers including the Scotland’s Tobias Smollett. There are also many pretty churches.

The Historic Venezia District is the location where the popular Effetto Venezia festival takes place every July/August.

The Old Mediceo Port, named after the grand dukes of Tuscany, is great for a stroll, and people watching. Head around to the yacht club for some lovely views back to the city.

Best Photo Op

The Fortezza Vecchia, or “Old Fortress, is the city’s most famous landmark, and if you are there at sunset, something Livorno is famous for, grab a spot to photograph it and the island of Gorgona in the distance.


Livorno has many markets, which are great for picking up inexpensive local souvenirs and produce such as olive oil and local wine. A top pick if you only visit one is the Central Market. Via Grande also has a number of designer boutiques.

Food and Drink

The city is packed with cafes, bars and restaurants, also market stalls, which are ideal for sampling local specialities. Ice cream is a must, with plenty of gelaterias to choose from, and another to try is a local fish stew called Cacciucco, which is rich in tomatoes and five kinds of fish. Wine tasting is also popular. 

Pick of the Excursions

Florence is a stunning Renaissance city, and top of the list for many first time visitors to Livorno and Tuscany. Just 80 kilometres away from the port, it is usually a long day trip, but you won’t be disappointed by the city’s many sights, including the famous Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Church of Santa Croce to name a few.

Pisa is only 20 minutes away by train, and home of the famous “Leaning Tower”, one of Italy’s most iconic landmarks. During high season it can get very busy and numbers climbing the tower are limited so go early or take a tour.

Lucca is a lovely medieval Tuscan town surrounded by walls, and it’s an enjoyable sojourn if you are looking to avoid the crowds of Florence and Pisa. It’s about an hour from Livorno.

Tuscany is famous for more than just Chianti, so if a tour to local vineyards and wineries is on offer, and you’ve visited Florence or Pisa before, enjoy a relaxing sampling the region’s best.



Joanna Hall


  • 5

    Posted by Terri Traveller on 22nd Jan 2019

    I have been a subscriber to your website for over a year now and LOVE IT. Hubby and I are in our 40s without kids and we live for romance and premium travel. Every year we take at least two overseas trips, and a few in Oz in between. Florence was on our agenda a few years ago when we toured Italy and I think I fell in love all over again! One thing you should do there, if you love shopping, is go to Gucci's flagship store (I'm an addict, have to admit) and if you want discounted Gucci they have an outlet at The Mall....highly recommend it. We were in Florence overnight at a boutique hotel but didn't get to see everything....I would suggest at least 3-4 days!