The region of Tuscany is well known for its gently sloping hills, its culture, art, Chianti wine, and fashion – all factors leading to a distinctive lifestyle well summarized in the popular movie and motto Under the Tuscan Sun. Undoubtedly Livorno is the gateway of Tuscany to the Italian Mediterranean Sea.
The illustrious Renaissance family, the Medici, had a hand in fortifying the existing town and developing trade from the port. At the turn of the 16th Century the “Livorno Laws” were passed , which increased maritime commercial activities by making Livorno (“Leghorn” for the English) a Free Port, and guaranteed religious and political freedom to its inhabitants.
Livorno then became a crossroads of peoples, religions, customs and created a precursors society open to all. Livorno was defined an “ideal town” during the Italian Renaissance.
Today it reveals its history through the structure of its neighborhoods, crossed by canals and surrounded by fortified town walls, through the tangle of its streets, which embroider the town’s Venice district, and through the Medici Port characteristically overlooked by towers and fortresses leading to the town centre.
Its palm-lined promenade, its Art Nouveau villas and lidos, the cliffs overlooking the sea, the unforgettable sunsets from the Mascagni terrace, its traditional, lively restaurants and bars overlooking the canals of the historic district named after the city of Venice, make Livorno yet another gem under the Tuscan sun.