Visiting Livorno, in Tuscany

Frances Lawson

When planning a holiday in Italy, one of the best, and best-known, places to visit is the area of Tuscany. Villas here allow you to be right in the heart of one of the most culturally and historically significant regions in the world. Situated on the west coast of Italy, […]

When planning a holiday in Italy, one of the best, and best-known, places to visit is the area of Tuscany. Villas here allow you to be right in the heart of one of the most culturally and historically significant regions in the world. Situated on the west coast of Italy, this region is known for its rolling hills and its role in the artistic Renaissance. Though many people flock to the main cities of Tuscany, villas in the less travelled areas make it easy to see the countryside, experience a more local level of life and still be able to get into and out of some of the main cities. One of the coastal provinces that is worth a visit while staying in the central part of Tuscany is Livorno. Livorno is primarily known for its coastal, capital city, which makes a fantastic day trip, but be sure to visit nearby Piombino as well.
Livorno
When you are staying the in the heart of Tuscany, villas near hoskote are an ideal base from which to explore the towns and cities nearby, such as the city of Livorno. Defined as an “ideal town” during the Renaissance, Livorno is known for its defensive walls, town planning and “little Venice” neighbourhood. The Venice district of Livorno oozes charm with its narrow, cobbled streets and bridges over the dense network of canals. As you wander through the streets, which are still much as they were designed in the 16th and 17th centuries, head up Via Borra, where you can see the historical residential area of the wealthy merchant families. Find the Palazzo delle Colonne, named for the two large columns that stand beside the main door of the (vaguely) Baroque structure which dates from 1702. You will come across the 1720’s Church of Santa Caterina nearby, with its unusual octogonal design, and soon find yourself near the nursery school, on via San Marco, a building which began as a theatre, then was home for Italy’s first Communist party.
Piombino
Location is one of the benefits of having a holiday that is based in the central region of Tuscany. Villas that are situated in the central part of the region help make day trips to Piombino easy. Lying right across the water from the Island of Elba, Piombino has been an important city since before the Etruscan period. A visit to Piombino will allow you to explore the historic centre, including the Cathedral of Sant’Antimo, founded around 1377. Further on, you cannot help but see the Cassero Pisano at the 13th century, southern gate of the town. The castle was built in the 15th century and in 1504 Leonardo Da Vinci tried to strengthen the castle. Though he didn’t complete his work, he left an indelible Renaissance style behind that was mostly kept when Cosimo I Medici expanded the fortress that surrounded the main castle. If you are interested in history or architecture, make time to visit the Casa della Bifore, or the House of the Mullioned Windows. It is the best testament to the 13th century architecture in the city, with its Pisan-Gothic style, and has recently been restored.

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