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coat of arms
Livorno (Italy)
Country Italy
region Tuscany
province Livorno  (LI)
Coordinates 43 ° 33 '  N , 10 ° 19'  E Coordinates: 43 ° 33 '0 "  N , 10 ° 18' 53"  E
height m slm
surface 104 km²
Residents 157,024 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 1,510 inhabitants / km²
Factions Ardenza, Antignano, Montenero, Castellaccio, Gorgona, Quercianella
Post Code 57121-57128
prefix 0586
ISTAT number 049009
Popular name Livornesi or Labronici
Patron saint Santa Giulia da Corsica (May 22nd)
Website Livorno
Livorno dall'aereo 1.JPG

Livorno (in local dialect: Ligorno ) is the capital of the Italian province of the same name, Livorno (LI) in the Tuscany region . The city on the Tyrrhenian Sea has 157,024 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019) and has one of the largest Italian ports. In the English-speaking world, Livorno is known as Leghorn .


Steep coast between Livorno and Quercianella

Livorno is located in the coastal plain south of the mouth of the Arno river , about 20 km southwest of Pisa . In the north and east, Livorno borders the municipalities of Pisa and Collesalvetti , in the south, where the hills of the Colline livornesi and a rocky cliff begin, on Rosignano Marittimo . The municipality of Livorno also includes the small resort of Quercianella and the island of Gorgona .


The beginnings

The first military settlement near the present port dates from Roman times . The old names of the place (Liburna, Liorna, Livorna) are probably derived from the Roman warship type Liburna . Livorno was first mentioned in 1017 and belonged to the Maritime Republic of Pisa for the next few centuries . At that time the place was a small fishing village and outpost for the defense of the Pisan port (Porto Pisano) . As it gradually silted up, Livorno became more and more important. The place was destroyed several times in wars, for example by the Genoese in 1284 after the victory over the Pisans in the sea ​​battle at Meloria , a small island in front of the city.

When the French king sold Pisa to the Florentines in 1405 , he initially kept Livorno, but then sold it in 1407 for 26,000 ducats to the Genoese, who in turn resold it to Florence in 1421.

Livorno and the Medici

The Florentines, for whom Livorno represented an important access point to the sea, began to develop the port . Between 1518 and 1534, the Darsena Vecchia port basin and the Fortezza Vecchia fortress were built on the orders of the Cardinal and later Pope Giulio de 'Medici and plans by Antonio da Sangallo .

Livorno itself remained insignificant, however, the place had just 749 inhabitants in 1551. The coastal region at the northern end of the Maremma was relatively inhospitable because there were still swamps and malaria prevailed . Prisoners were mainly sent to Livorno.

Historical map of Livorno (17th century)

Under the Grand Dukes Cosimo I and Francesco I , the place was created from 1571 as an "ideal city". Well-known architects of the time such as Bernardo Buontalenti and Alessandro Pieroni were commissioned with the planning . The result was a city with streets oriented at right angles, surrounded by a hexagonal rampart and moats. The swamps in the surrounding area were drained and a navigable canal was built between Livorno and Pisa. The Order of St. Stephen was founded to defend the coast from pirate attacks by the corsairs , and its fleet was stationed in Livorno.

The Leggi Livornine

Celebration in the Synagogue of Livorno

Between 1590 and 1603 the “Leggi Livornine” were issued, also called “Costituzione Livornina”. These laws provided immunity, privileges and freedoms for traders of all origins, but above all guaranteed freedom of belief . Through this edict of tolerance , Livorno became a cosmopolitan and multi-religious city over time through the settlement of different population groups. Each group set up their own places of worship and organized themselves in interest groups, the so-called “nazioni”, of which there were a total of nine: Jews , Greeks , English , Germans (including Dutch ), French , Syrian Maronites , Armenians , Muslims and Waldensians . The Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal did not have to live in a ghetto in Livorno, as in many other Italian cities . That is why Livorno was also called the "Paradise of the Jews".

From the 17th century to the present

During the First Anglo-Dutch War, an English squadron anchored in Livorno in 1652 and was later blocked by Dutch ships. In the naval battle of Elba (September 1652) and the naval battle of Livorno (March 1653) the Dutch defeated the English.

In 1675 Livorno was declared a free port . As a result, the city experienced an economic boom lasting around 200 years. Among other things, Livorno became the most important trading post for the English on the Mediterranean. In addition to trade, especially with the countries of the Levant and Maghreb , handicrafts flourished. Livorno, for example, was a center of goldsmithing and coral processing . The city also grew outside of the original fortifications, especially in a southerly direction. Thanks to the city's tolerant climate, Livorno also became a center of publishing; The work Dei delitti e delle pene by Cesare Beccaria was published anonymously here (1764), and in 1770 the first volume of the Italian edition of the Encyclopédie was printed.

From 1830, after the French occupied Algiers , the North African trade collapsed. After the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy , the city lost the free port in 1865, which caused a further drastic reduction in trade. The economic basis of the city became over time the industry and tourism: The city became, after the English model, the first seaside resort in Italy.

In 1921 the Italian Communist Party was founded in Livorno. During the Second World War, the US Air Force bombed the city massively. The serious damage caused by these air strikes was never completely repaired. The city center was rebuilt in a modern way in the 1950s.

Economy and Infrastructure

The port of Livorno is one of the most important ports in Italy. The northern part is a trading port, mainly for oil, containers and cars. In the southern part, near the old town, is the old Porto Mediceo , today a ferry port with connections to Corsica , Sardinia , some islands of the Tuscan Archipelago such as Capraia and North Africa, as well as a landing point for large cruise ships .

The city also has a long history of shipbuilding , with Cantiere Navale Orlando shipyard founded in 1865. The company Benetti builds on the site today megayachts . In the north of the city there is an oil refinery of the Italian group ENI . Other branches of business are the mechanical industry and auto parts suppliers (the Bizzarrini company also built cars in Livorno in the 1960s).

The naval academy Accademia Navale , founded by Benedetto Brin and opened in 1881, trains officer candidates for the Italian Navy . The symbol of the academy is the sailing training ship Amerigo Vespucci .

The Pisa airport , the main airport of Tuscany, is located 26 kilometers away from Livorno.


The most important club in the city is the AS Livorno football club , which plays its home games in the Armando Picchi stadium, built in 1933 . Other popular sports are basketball, baseball and fencing (there are several Olympic fencing champions from Livorno).


Party landscape

Livorno is considered the cradle of Italian communism. The Communist Party of Italy was founded here in 1921 . Even though it is a traditional stronghold of the center-left parties, today there is hardly any supporter of communism in Livorno ; the city is more dominated by moderate socialist or social democratic parties.

Mayor of Livorno was Alessandro Cosimi from the Partito Democratico (PD) from 2004 to 2014 . In the parliamentary elections of 2008, the Partito Democratico of reaching Walter Veltroni in Livorno has a voting share of nearly 55 percent, the Popolo della Libertà of Silvio Berlusconi 24.4 percent. With its electoral alliance La Sinistra - L'Arcobaleno, the traditional left had to accept a historic low with a vote share of only 5.5 percent, after the parties united in the electoral alliance had a total of 18.6 percent in the 2006 parliamentary elections.

In the 2014 local elections, Filippo Nogarin from MoVimento 5 Stelle M5S was elected mayor with 53.06% in the runoff election against Marco Ruggeri (PD). Since then, M5S has also had an absolute majority in the municipal council.

Town twinning

Livorno maintains the following cities twinning :

In June 2012, Livorno signed a cooperation agreement with the Bulgarian port city of Burgas in the fields of culture, economy, education and sport.

Culture and sights


Venezia Nuova district

Livorno lost a large part of its historical building fabric in the Second World War, but the city complex built under the Medici is still easy to recognize. The old town is enclosed by the moat Fosso Reale and is divided by the arcaded main shopping street Via Grande . The Venezia Nuova district (laid out in 1629) still has many old buildings (including former warehouses) and is criss-crossed by canals reminiscent of Venice . Furthermore, buildings from the Belle Epoque have been preserved, especially villas on the Viale Italia promenade in the southern districts of Ardenza and Antignano .

View from Fortezza Vecchia over the harbor and downtown Livorno

Churches and synagogues

Livorno Cathedral
Santuario di Montenero
  • Duomo San Francesco di Assisi - The Livorno Cathedral is located in the center of the old town on the Piazza Grande . It was built by Bernardo Buontalenti and Alessandro Pieroni between 1594 and 1606 and expanded in the 18th century. After it was destroyed in the Second World War, the cathedral was rebuilt according to the original plans.
  • Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista - built in 1624 by Gianfranceso Cantagallina on a previous building from the 13th century.
  • Chiesa di Santa Caterina - Dominican church in the Venezia Nuova district on an octagonal floor plan (1720). Ceiling painting Incoronazione della Vergine (Coronation of the Virgin) by Giorgio Vasari .
  • Chiesa di San Ferdinando , also called Chiesa della Crocetta . 18th century church, marble decorations by Giovanni Baratta
  • Chiesa della Madonna del Soccorso - Votive church built in the 19th century
  • Chiesa di San Jacopo in Acquaviva - The church was built in 1666 on the remains of a Romanesque Augustinian church.
  • Santuario di Montenero - Vallombrosan monastery. The monastery complex from the 18th century is located on a hill above the city. It has been a pilgrimage site since the 14th century and houses a well-known image of the Madonna (patron saint of Tuscany). The church houses an interesting collection of votive pictures . In 2014, Andrea Bocelli married his long-term partner here. From the forecourt you have a beautiful view of the city.
  • Synagogue - built in the 1950s to replace the old synagogue that was destroyed in World War II (built in 1603).
  • Temple of the Dutch-German Congregation , built by Dario Giacomelli from 1862 to 1864.


  • Fortezza Vecchia, a fortress near the old Medici port (1521–1534) - In the center of the fortress is the Mastio di Matilde, a cylindrical watchtower built around 1077 under Mathilde von Canossa on the remains of a building from Roman times. In the 14th century a square bastion, the Quadratura dei Pisani , was built around the tower . The pentagonal brick building that still exists today was completed around 1534 (architect: Antonio da Sangallo the Younger), which includes the previous structures. The fortress was badly damaged by bombing in 1943 and is now used, after extensive restoration work, with cultural events and concerts.
  • Fortezza Nuova (Fortress, 1590) - The fortress was built between 1590 and 1600 . Today there is a park inside.

Other buildings and sights

  • Monumento ai quattro Mori - The "Monument to the Four Moors" is the city's landmark. It consists of a stone statue of Grand Duke Ferdinand I (1595, by Giovanni Bandini ) and four bronze figures depicting captured pirates in chains (1623–1626, by Pietro Tacca ).
  • Torre del Marzocco - octagonal tower near the port, which was built by the Florentines in 1439 as a symbol of their new power.
  • Teatro Goldoni - Municipal Theater (1843–1847).
  • Cisternone - water reservoir built in neoclassical style (1828, most important building by the architect Pasquale Poccianti )
  • Terrazza Mascagni - sea terrace on the Viale Italia embankment ( laid out in 1928 as Terrazza Ciano ).
  • Mercato Centrale - large market hall in the city center, built in 1894.
  • Livorno port on the north-western outskirts


  • Museo Civico G. Fattori - The museum in Villa Mimbelli (1865) houses an important art collection with works of the Macchiaioli .
  • Museo Ebraico Yeshivà Marini - Jewish Museum, cult objects from the old synagogue that was destroyed in the Second World War.
  • Museo Mascagnano - Museum with testimonies from the life of the composer Pietro Mascagni .
  • Museo Provinciale di Storia Naturale del Mediterraneo - Natural history museum with botanical garden
  • Acquario Comunale Diacinto Cestoni - Sea Aquarium

Regular events

Effetto Venezia
  • Fiera di Sant'Antonino - District Festival (around June 13th)
  • Effetto Venezia - A large city festival with cultural events that takes place every year from the end of July to the beginning of August in the Venezia Nuova district .
  • Rowing competitions in summer, held between the boats of the various districts: Coppa Risi'atori (second Sunday in June) - Coppa Barontini (last Sunday in June) - Palio Marinaro (second Sunday in July)

Culinary specialties

The cuisine of the city of Livorno mainly offers fish dishes. It has also been influenced by the different groups of people who mixed in the city. The most famous dish is the Cacciucco fish stew . Next specialties are Bordatino (vegetable stew with polenta), Riso al nero di seppia (Black risotto with cuttlefish ), stockfish and Stoccafisso ( codfish ). Triglie alla Livornese are red mullets in a tomato sauce flavored with peperoncino . A popular snack is the Torta di Ceci , which is sold like pizza. The Roschette (donut rolls) were originally a Jewish Passover dish. Another typical specialty of the city is Ponce alla Livornese , a strong coffee with rum.


Personalities born in Livorno

See also


  • The "linguaccia livornese" (meaning "bad tongue"), which seldom minces the words, is known throughout Italy. An expression of this attitude is above all the nationally known satirical magazine Il Vernacoliere .

Web links

Commons : Livorno  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Livorno  - tourist guide

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. ^ Edward Hutton: Florence and the cities of northern Tuscany . Methuen & Co., London 1908, p. 9, footnote 1.
  3. Johann Georg Keys Jewelers: Latest trips through Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy and Lorraine. Hannover 1740, p. 329 (full text in the Google book search)
  4. ^ Election page of the Ministry of the Interior
  5. ^ In visita a Livorno il Sindaco di Burgas. ( Memento of the original from January 25, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. News from the municipality of Livorno, June 7, 2012 (Italian). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /