Livorno, a Tuscan town on central Italy's west coast, would likely fly off travellers' radars were it not for its harbour, which has allowed cruise and cargo ships to dock here since the 17th century. Today, the town thrives as an economic hub, though a handful of medieval-era landmarks keep its history alive.
Livorno's waterfront is its main draw, home to a busy port that welcomes cruise and commercial ships throughout the year. As you stroll along the water's edge, you'll pass scenic promenades such as Terrazza Mascagni, known for its curving black-and-white checkerboard stone walkway that overlooks the sea. Despite the coast's allure, it's also worth heading inland to explore Nuova Venezia or 'New Venice' – a historic quarter of the city full of winding canals and pedestrian-only streets linked by bridges.
Due to its seaside perch, Livorno is renowned for its seafood, which is some of which is the freshest you'll find in Tuscany. While browsing the city's many restaurants, look out for 'caccuicco' – a type of fish, herb and tomato stew poured over toasted garlic bread. You can also pick up some produce of your own at the Mercato Nuovo, whose food stalls have been feeding locals since 1894.
Due to the aftermath of World War II, not many original landmarks remain in Livorno other than Fortezza Nuova and Fortezza Vecchia – two 16th-century forts now open to the public. For more architectural sightseeing, the city is less than a 20-minute train journey to Pisa and its famous Leaning Tower.