Livorno Seafront Walk (Self Guided), Livorno

The seafront walkway in Livorno curves along a path dotted with intriguing architecture. The 19th century promenade, today called viale Italia, follows the sea and runs parrallel to fields and the surrounding landscape. It's one of Livorno’s historical paths that incorporates majestic palazzos as well as bathing spots dating from the XIX century. ***PH***
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Livorno Seafront Walk Map

Guide Name: Livorno Seafront Walk
Guide Location: Italy » Livorno (See other walking tours in Livorno)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: sabrina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Cantiere Navale Fratelli Orlando (Orlando Brothers Shipyard)
  • Scoglio della Regina (Queen’s Rock)
  • Viale Italia (Italy Avenue)
  • Acquario di Livorno (Livorno Aquarium)
  • Terrazza Mascagni (Mascagni Terrace)
  • Grand Hotel Palazzo
  • Bagni Pancaldi (Pancaldi Baths)
  • Chiesa di San Jacopo in Acquaviva (Church of San Jacopo in Acquaviva)
  • Italian Naval Academy
Cantiere Navale Fratelli Orlando (Orlando Brothers Shipyard)

1) Cantiere Navale Fratelli Orlando (Orlando Brothers Shipyard)

The entrance to the former Orlando shipyard marks the beginning of the long stretch of road that runs south along the coast. Founded by Luigi Orlando in 1866, the shipyard represented an important part of the local economy in Livorno for many years. The whole area is now being redeveloped with new apartments and shops and is known as the Porta a Mare with Benetti luxury yacht builders where the old shipyard used to be. Porta a Mare (the Sea Gate) is a magical and vital place, an economic, cultural, social meeting point, a bridge between the sea and the city, tradition and person, history and future. ***PH***
Sight description based on wikipedia
Scoglio della Regina (Queen’s Rock)

2) Scoglio della Regina (Queen’s Rock)

The Scoglio della Regina (Queen’s Rock) is so called becasue it was the favorite place of Queen Maria Luisa of Etruria, who used to spend her time here in the early 1800s. To avoid the crowds, the queen had a natural pool dug, fed by sea water. Later, one of the city’s beach resorts was built in this place, first called Bagno Squarci (name of its builder) and then Scoglio della Regina.

During the 19th century, the beach resort contributed to making Livorno’s waterfront one of the most popular and prestigious summer tourist destinations in Europe.

It currently houses a technological and research center. Today, it is still an enchanting and fascinating place, with a breathtaking view of the Capraia and Gorgona islands. We suggest a visit in the evening, as the sunsets over the sea are spectacular. ***PH***
Sight description based on wikipedia
Viale Italia (Italy Avenue)

3) Viale Italia (Italy Avenue)

It is a splendid seafront promenade, built starting in 1835. The historic architecture of the Livorno marina - bathrooms, marinas, villas - follow one another here in a very green trail of tamarisks, oleanders, pines and palm trees. An asphalted cycle path reaches the Margherita barrier.

The palm-tree lined Viale Italia offers various cafés, bars and restaurants, on both sides of the road, including those housed in the baracchine which open until late in the evening. The promenade is populated by joggers, walkers and cyclists alike and is a popular place with locals.

The series opens from the Scoglio della Regina baths (1846), a bathhouse which is now disused. Beyond the Nazario Sauro marina and the Nettuno bathhouse, the promenade opens into the vast belvedere of the Mascagni terrace, set up in the 1920s, behind which is the municipal aquarium, inaugurated in 1937.

Then there are interesting testimonies of the nineteenth-century seaside Livorno: the Palazzo hotel (1884), the Pancaldi-Acquaviva baths (1846), the eighteenth-century church of S. Jacopo in Acquaviva, with the remains of the Romanesque church where pilgrims gathered before leaving to Santiago from the port opposite, and the nearby complex of the Naval Academy (1879).
Beyond the Margherita barrier (1890), just set back from the avenue, in the green, is the hippodrome (1869); behind it, the Armando Picchi stadium (1933). ***PH***
Acquario di Livorno (Livorno Aquarium)

4) Acquario di Livorno (Livorno Aquarium) (must see)

The Livorno Aquarium is the largest aquarium in Tuscany and is the only structure of its kind to have a Greek-Roman archaeological marine area with the suggestive reproduction of a ship wreck.

Originally built as a heliotherapy asylum, it was transformed into an aquarium and was inaugurated on June 20, 1937.

It was destroyed during the Second World War and in 1950 it was rebuilt; in 1962 it was further expanded and in 1968 it became the seat of the Interuniversity Center of Marine Biology, set up by the Municipality of Livorno and the Universities of Bologna, Florence, Modena, Siena, Pisa and Turin.

At the end of the nineties of the twentieth century, in conjunction with the reorganization of the seafront in the stretch between the Orlando brothers shipyard and the Mascagni terrace, the structure was the subject of an extension and reconstruction by the architect Vittorio Gregotti. The works were suspended several times and the construction site, also visited by the then President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, proceeded with innumerable difficulties.

On July 31, 2010, the renovated complex was finally inaugurated.

The aquarium consists of several buildings. The original nucleus, in the center, is characterized by a rectangular plan, with two apses at the ends. A semicircular body develops around it, the result of the expansion completed in 2010. On the south side, a cubic-shaped building houses the service rooms.

At the time of the inauguration, the aquarium had about 3,000 m² of exhibition area, tanks for about 1,000 cubic meters of water, 150 species for about 1,200 animals, 2 exhibition galleries, classrooms and a terrace overlooking the sea of ​​about 1,000 m², resulting in the third in Italy in terms of size, after those of Genoa and Cattolica.

As of 2014, the aquarium is home to about 2,000 animals, from over 300 different species, distributed in 33 display tanks.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Terrazza Mascagni (Mascagni Terrace)

5) Terrazza Mascagni (Mascagni Terrace) (must see)

The Terrazza Mascagni is a wide sinuous, suggestive belvedere toward the sea from which it is possible to admire the Livorno hills, the Tuscan Archipelago until the Corsica and the Port of Livorno. It is located where once was the Forte dei Cavalleggieri (Cavalrymen Fort) built in the 17th century by Cosimo I de' Medici to control the raids of the pirates, then in the 1800s a leisure park named “Eden” and in the early 1900s an heliotherapy centre. A new parterre, built in 1925 and completed in 1928 was formed by a series of flower beds and a walkway which follow the outline of the sea with numerous balustrades.

The Terrazza has a paving surface of 8,700 square meters formed by 34,800 black & white tiles placed as a checkerboard and 4,100 balusters. Built in the large square were the "Gazebo for the Music" (1932), which was destroyed during World War II, and in 1937 the Livorno Aquarium. Immediately after the war, the Terrazza was dedicated to Mascagni and in 1994 underwent a complete restoration using the same kind of material originally employed; the works were completed on 10 July 1998 with the reconstruction of the “Gazebo for the Music”.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Grand Hotel Palazzo

6) Grand Hotel Palazzo

The Palazzo hotel is an accommodation facility in Livorno , defined by a tourist guide of the early twentieth century as one of the most beautiful in the world; the hotel, located in the area in front of the Pancaldi baths and the Mascagni terrace , was reopened to customers on 2 July 2008 , after a demanding restoration, under the name of Grand Hotel Palazzo.

The Palazzo hotel is located on the edge of the Livorno seaside promenade , in a particularly suggestive stretch that leads from the port to the Naval Academy .

The imposing façade of the hotel, placed beyond a monumental iron gate (dismantled before the Second World War and rebuilt during the restoration completed in 2008), is characterized by a central body and two slightly projecting side wings. The restoration work led to the demolition of the massive covered terrace at the entrance, whose construction had been completed following the post-war reconstruction intervention.

The façade, which refers to a Neo- Renaissance design , has strong similarities with the fronts of the nearby Villa Fabbricotti and Villa Mimbelli , both designed by Vincenzo Micheli . The lateral wings are lightened by means of large serlianas which, on the upper levels, overlook large balconies; the central body instead has a series of very close round openings , also preceded by strongly projecting balconies.

The roof of the building, which has undergone countless changes over the decades, has undergone a substantial refurbishment during the last restoration; this made it possible to enhance the small towers that characterize the top of the hotel, where tradition has it that Guglielmo Marconi performed some experiments on the telegraph.

No less sumptuous are the interiors, reachable via an imposing staircase (later rebuilt at the side of the entrance) and lavishly decorated: originally the entire hotel was lit by 500 electric bulbs and was equipped with electric ventilation. On the occasion of the restoration commissioned by Andrea Bulgarella, a large painting (3 m by 2 m) by Marc Sardelli was placed in the hall , depicting the hotel in the early twentieth century .

Thanks to the size and variety of furnishings inside, the Palazzo hotel has been used as a set for numerous film productions, starting with Hearts on the Sea ( 1949 ). In For this night ( 1977 ) the hotel appears under the name of Hotel Palace. In 1982 , in what was then known as "Albergo Palazzo", numerous scenes of Ricchi, very rich, practically in underwear , were shot with Lino Banfi . In ( 2003 ) with the film 13dici a tavola , the hotel still undergoing restoration, is used to represent the hospital where the protagonist, Giancarlo Giannini, is treated following a road accident.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Bagni Pancaldi (Pancaldi Baths)

7) Bagni Pancaldi (Pancaldi Baths)

Livorno's oldest bathing lidos - Pancaldi, is still one of the most popular with locals.

The history of the Pancaldi Acquaviva as the only bathing establishment dates back to 1924 , the year in which the two structures, originally separated by a canal , were united, by means of the large beach, into a single complex that the Pocket Indicator of 1925 recalls as The greatest establishment in the world .

Frequented by a cultured and elite tourism , in the early years of our century, the establishment is also remembered as a place where you can eat and drink with a justified expense , and a Strauss orchestra made up of excellent professors who every evening has a new brilliant and artistic program to entertain a good number of beautiful and elegant ladies and young ladies and gentlemen who go there every evening.

In 1870 the Pancaldi family obtained the title of Bagni Regi for the frequent visits of Prince Amedeo of Savoy and his wife Maria Vittoria , becoming an exclusive and refined environment, described by the summer magazines of the time as a first-rate bathing establishment set up with criteria of modernity and hygiene and corresponding to all the needs of comfort and comfort.

Palazzo Pancaldi is today a structure that has become, after a careful renovation, a congress and events center of the first class. Palazzo Pancaldi has been completely restored respecting its original architecture carefully, without therefore altering its characteristics and peculiarities in full liberty style. ***PH***
Chiesa di San Jacopo in Acquaviva (Church of San Jacopo in Acquaviva)

8) Chiesa di San Jacopo in Acquaviva (Church of San Jacopo in Acquaviva)

The church of San Jacopo in Acquaviva is located on the Livorno seafront , next to the Naval Academy , and overlooks a square named after the homonymous saint.

The name "Acquaviva" is due to the presence, testified in various historical documents, of an ancient spring of fresh water which flowed near the hermitage and of which there is no longer any trace.

It is one of the most characteristic churches of Livorno due to its highly scenic location, with one side directly facing the sea, where in December 1952 , following a violent storm, the Grommet Reefer , an American refrigerator ship, broke in two set off.

Furthermore, at the ancient place of worship there is the eighteenth -century monument to Pietro Leopoldo , while, in the square in front, stands the most recent bust in honor of Benedetto Brin .

The church, located on the Livorno seafront , is part of a continuous front of buildings that delimit the southern side of the large Piazza San Jacopo in Acquaviva. The composition, substantially symmetrical, has changed on the side facing the sea due to the presence of the nineteenth-century bell tower. The church is characterized by a gabled façade in neo- Renaissance style , framed within pilasters and surmounted by a triangular pediment ; the central axis of the façade is highlighted by the portal, closed under an arched gable , beyond which a semicircular window of thermal derivation opens. The church is flanked by a bell tower27 meters high.

The rather simple interior is in the form of a Latin cross , with a single nave preceded by a choir in the counter -façade . Among the works of art of the church it is worth mentioning two tablets of the Giotto school , rediscovered in 2005 on the occasion of an important exhibition held in Pisa on the art of the thirteenth century . Since 2008 these paintings have been definitively transferred to the Leonello Barsotti Diocesan Museum , at the Girolamo Gavi Seminary . Also, to 1985the six bronze panels of the portal and the three altarpieces, the work of Antonio Vinciguerra from Livorno, date back . Currently the bronze tiles have only been permanently placed inside the church.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Italian Naval Academy

9) Italian Naval Academy

The Italian Naval Academy (Italian: Accademia Navale) is a coeducational military university, which is responsible for the technical training of military officers of the Italian Navy.

The Accademia Navale was inaugurated on November 6, 1881 and initially used the area of the hospital of St. James. The Accademia was started by the then Secretary of the Navy, Admiral Benedetto Brin, as the union of the "Regia scuola di marina" in the Kingdom of Sardinia (located in Genoa) and the "Borbonica" (in Naples) following the Unification of Italy and the establishment of the Regia Marina.

One of the first cadets to attend the academy was Manlio Garibaldi, the last son of Giuseppe Garibaldi.

The design of the complex of buildings was entrusted to the captain of the military engineers, Luigi Pestalozza. The work was started in 1878, with the livornian engineer Angiolo Badaloni actively guiding the project. In 1913, the adjacent area occupied by the existing hospital at St. Leopold was attached to the Accademia Navale complex.

From 1923 to 1926, the Accademia Navale buildings housed aircraft, following the establishment of a new armed force, the Regia Aeronautica. This lasted until the Regia Aeronautica started its own academy in Pozzuoli.

During World War II, because of the bombings that struck Livorno in July 1943, the Accademia Navale was forced to move to Venice and then, after only two months, to Brindisi, where it remained until 1946. Since the bombing had heavily damaged many of the buildings of the city and the structures that housed the academy, it was necessary at the end of the conflict to start substantial reconstruction efforts and infrastructure improvements, which took over twenty years and included, in 1966, the addition of "Palazzo Studi", which now houses the science labs and other specialized classrooms.

The main body of the academy, which is accessed along a tree-lined street from the entrance gate of the hospital of St. James, consists of a large three-story building of three wings at right angles which enclose a large "Piazza d'Armi". The side of the courtyard facing the Ligurian Sea is not occupied by buildings, and has a basement brig whose superstructure is used by students to practice maneuvering sails in anticipation of using the tall ship Amerigo Vespucci.

The Accademia Navale complex includes, classrooms, laboratories, dormitories, a swimming pool, a gym, libraries, cinemas, and auditoriums. The Academy annually hosts about 1,250 people, cadets and officers who attend courses.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Livorno, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Livorno

Create Your Own Walk in Livorno

Creating your own self-guided walk in Livorno is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Livorno Introduction Walking Tour

Livorno Introduction Walking Tour

Situated along the coast of the Ligurian Sea, Livorno is one of the most important Italian ports, both in terms of commerce and tourism. Livorno’s charming historic streets, beautiful monuments and large squares are picturesque and stunning. The following walk will guide you to the town’s most prominent public places.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles