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The Water Customs

The Water Customs

A high-tech logistics center

A crossroads of history, culture, and innovation

If you are looking for another piece of Livorno’s history that transports you back in time, you can’t miss the Dogana d’Acqua. A historic building located along the picturesque Leopoldine Walls that once served as a customs barrier, delimiting the area of the duty-free port, between Forte San Pietro and Porta San Marco.

Built in the 1830s, the Dogana d’Acqua was commissioned by Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany to expand the city’s duty-free port. Its design, created by architect Carlo Reishammer, included two spacious docks, an inner rectangular one and an outer semicircular one, which served as mooring areas for boats. Over the centuries, the Dogana underwent several transformations, mainly to adapt to road traffic needs. However, World War II left its mark, reducing the building to a pile of ruins that were demolished after the war to make way for an industrial warehouse.

In 2009, the Municipality of Livorno initiated a redevelopment project to transform the area into a high-tech logistics center, in collaboration with prestigious academic institutions. Despite some modifications to the original project, construction began in 2013 and led to an innovative architectural solution: the old Dogana was encapsulated in a modern glass case. The idea was to recreate the image of the ancient building using a double layer of serigraphed glass that reproduced the shape of the previously existing structure. Today, visitors can admire the remains of the three-arched bridge and the rear part of the building where goods transported by boats were once checked.

The Water Customs
Foto storica della Dogana d'acqua
The Water Customs
Foto storica della Dogana d'acqua
The Water Customs
The Water Customs

Useful informations

  • Who:

    Alone, Children and families, Groups, In pairs, With friends

  • When:

    Autumn, Spring, Summer, Winter

  • What:
  • Other characteristics

    Indoors, Reachable by public transport, Without reservation

The unexpected Tuscany

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