17 - 30°
Domani (en): sole
17 - 30°
Domani (en): sole
The city of Livorno was born as a centre of trade, and its transformation from a small fishing village to the main port in Medici Tuscany is clear confirmation of this commercial vocation.
Livorno offers a variety of interesting stores, to satisfy even the most demanding of shoppers. One of the best starting points for visitors in search of ideas for gifts, or for themselves is undoubtedly Via Grande (formerly Via Ferdinanda), the street which begins near the Quattro Mori monument and the old Medici port. Following extensive damage during the war, the street was completely reconstructed with the addition of porticos, which offer shelter from the rain and the heat. Via Grande offers a wide variety of stores, including names of international fame. Those looking for a taste of authentic Livorno should head for Piazza Cavallotti (formerly Piazza delle Erbe), the site of a daily outdoor fruit and vegetable market, and the nearby indoor Central Market, constructed in 1894 and one of the best conserved examples of Art Nouveau architecture used for a public building. The market contains more than 180 stalls offering every imaginable food product, from the freshest of fish to meats of all kinds, fruit and vegetables, cheese and bread, the latter available in an infinite variety of shapes, sizes and types. Within the market it is also possible to buy Kosher meat, butchered according to the Jewish ritual and the only kind of meat that can be eaten by practising Jews.
Leaving the market behind, and crossing the bridge that connects the Scali Saffi with the Scali degli Olandesi, it is a short walk to Piazza XX settembre, once the site of the famous American Market. The market is now situated near the Ferry Terminal in the port. It maintains its original picaresque characteristics and offers a wide variety of goods. Leaving Piazza XX settembre, and heading down Via Oberdan and then down Via Maggi, brings you to Piazza Cavour, from where Via Magenta and Via Ricasoli are easily reached. These two streets are known in Livorno for their good quality shopping. At the end of Via Ricasoli lies Piazza Attias, a wide open space lined with numerous stores and businesses. Further on is Via Marradi, a natural continuation of Via Ricasoli, in terms of the quantity and quality of the shopping on offer here.
Another must for shoppers is Via Borra, the main street in the old Venezia quarter, known for its smart shops and antique dealers.
To the north-east of the city, a recent development known as the Porta a Terra has grown up: shopping centres containing large and medium-scale retailers, leisure and entertainment facilities, a multi-functional stadium and a 4-star hotel catering for visitors to this area and to Livorno in general.
Lastly, the local town-planning scheme includes a project for the Porta a Mare, an area which will incorporate ship-building activities, commercial enterprises, and accommodation, catering largely for the needs of the yacht marina and for the tourist trade in general.