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Historic center of Livorno tour with cooking lesson and boat trip

Historic center of Livorno tour with cooking lesson and boat trip

Guide storiche Livorno e Toscana

Discover the history, architecture, and traditional flavors of Livorno as you dive into the true soul of the city.

If you’re not familiar with Livorno yet, you simply can’t miss out on this fantastic tour organized by the Historical Guides of Livorno, offering a deep dive into the pure culture of Livorno. With a mix of anecdotes and incredible details, captivating historical and architectural narratives, and delicious itinerant tastings, you’ll spend a truly unique day, always accompanied by a professional guide who will allow you to connect with the most authentic and genuine Livorno, constantly balancing between cosmopolitan charm and local soul. You’ll uncover its origins and glories, be captivated by its typical flavors such as Cacciucco, Torta di Ceci, and Ponce alla Livornese, sail along its Medicean canals, and visit all the most important historical, religious, and cultural sites of its oldest districts, until the reasons why Livorno today is still known as “La Città delle Nazioni” (“The City of Nations”), become crystal clear.

Tour Schedule

8:30 AM – Meeting Point with the Guide
Meet your guide at the Piazzale dei Marmi in front of the Fortezza Vecchia, where you’ll have about 15 minutes for a bathroom break and coffee.

8:45 AM – Visit to the Fortezza Vecchia
After a brief historical overview of the city and its origins, explore the Fortezza Vecchia with its medieval and Medicean towers and fortifications. From the suggestive underground passages, climb the bastions for a panoramic view of the ancient port, then walk the patrol path to reach the staircase of Matilde’s circular keep. From the top of the tower, admire a spectacular 360° panorama from the city to the sea of the Tuscan Archipelago, from the hills of Livorno to the Apuan Alps.

9:30 AM – Visit to the Darsena Vecchia
In the Darsena Vecchia, walk through the area of the old Medicean Port, visiting the marble benches where fresh fish is sold directly. During the stop, fishermen will share local fishing methods and show you the fish used for various Livornese recipes like Cacciucco. After exploring the Fish Market’s function and architecture and the palace where the Medici Court stayed, the guide will lead you along Via San Giovanni, the medieval main street of Livorno.

10:00 AM – Visit to the Monument of “I Quattro Mori”
Listen to the historical description of the most iconic monument of Livorno, a symbol of Florence’s dominance over the Mediterranean. It depicts Ferdinand I de’ Medici, towering over four chained prisoners slaves, holding the famous Leggi Livornine of 1591, which transformed Livorno from a small village into the Mediterranean’s largest port, attracting trade, commerce, and cultures from several foreign communities, making it, the City of Nations. Proceed through the arcades of Via Grande and walk towards the Synagogue, where the story of the largest foreign community in Livorno, the Sephardic Jews, will be told.

10:45 AM – Visit to the Piazza Cavallotti Open Market
Discover one of the most picturesque places in Livorno, where vendors’ shouts and haggling fill the air. Don’t miss a stop at the Frataio, a shop existing in Livorno since the 1800s, for a taste of the frate livornese, a delicious fried doughnut covered in sugar.

11:00 AM – Visit to the Mercato delle Vettovaglie
Before exploring the market, discover another street food precursor, the famous Tortaio Gagarin, where you can purchase the renowned 5e5, a delicious sandwich filled with the Torta: a irresistible, warm, crispy chickpea pie. Sit comfortably in the market to enjoy your meal while listening to stories from your guide. Admire at one of Europe’s largest covered markets and its majestic late 19th-century Liberty architecture.

11:30 AM – Visit to the Churches of Via della Madonna and Entry into Venezia Nuova
In the Venezia district, admire the facades of three 17th-century churches belonging to different religious denominations. Just a few steps away, enter the Venezia Nuova district with its bridges over the Medicean canals, the ancient merchant docks, neo-Renaissance buildings owned by rich foreign merchants, and much more, offering a dip in the history of Livorno.

12:30 PM – Cacciucco Cooking Lesson with Tastings in a Typical Inn
From beauty to flavor in an instant. A chef and his staff at a local inn will teach you how to prepare Cacciucco, including the varieties of fishes and ingredients to use, among other typical recipes of Livorno. Treat yourself to a tasting of “Acciughe alla povera” and a delightful “Cacciucchino” served in a bowl with toasted garlic bread, all accompanied by a glass of red wine. Background music will feature arias from Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, and before farewell, receive a small gift: a booklet with the main recipes of the Livornese culinary tradition.

3:00 PM – Visit to the Church of Santa Caterina
Among the baroque churches to admire in the Venezia Nuova district is the Church of Santa Caterina, striking for its imposing octagonal dome. Inside, find valuable artworks, including the Coronation of the Virgin by Giorgio Vasari and the 19th-century frescoes by Cesare Maffei, the largest frescoed area in Tuscany.

3:30 PM – Visit to the Fortezza Nuova and Tasting of Ponce alla Livornese
Continuing through the Venezia Nuova district and along the ancient canals, your guide will lead you to the Fortezza Nuova, a beautiful fortified complex surrounded by the sea and constructed by Grand Duke Ferdinando II de’ Medici. Inside, taste the most characteristic drink of Livorno: Ponce, a hot mix of coffee, rum, and sugar, flavored with a lemon peel, with every detail and secret shared.

4:30 PM – Boat Trip Along the Medicean Canals
Finally, a boat trip along the Medicean canals offers a unique perspective to enjoy the city from the best possible viewpoint: the sea surface. Follow the canals through the Pentagon of Buontalenti, under the vault of Piazza della Repubblica, and along the ancient palaces of the merchant bourgeoisie in front of the Royal Canal, reaching the Port and finally back to the Old Fortress where your guided tour ends.

End of Tour at 5:30 PM

Included services

  • Full-day tour guide.
  • Chef demonstration in a local inn.
  • All tastings.

Meeting point

  • At 8:30 a.m. you will meet with the guide at the Piazzale dei Marmi in front of the Old Fortress being able to enjoy a Toilet Stop and Coffee break of about 15 minutes.

FAQ / good to know

  • The tour operates for groups of MINIMUM 10 PEOPLE, with no maximum limit.
  • The boat tour is available in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, and Russian.
  • Tour organized in collaboration with ASTRUM S.C.A.R.L.
  • This tour is available from Monday to Saturday, excluding Sundays

The unexpected Tuscany

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