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Livorno ItalyLocated in Tuscany, Livorno is Italy’s second largest port city, after Florence. Some travelers have described the port city of Livorno as a sort of blue collar Venice, as the town boasts many beautiful canals and the local seafood is said to be second-to-none.

Unlike other Tuscan cities, however, Livorno does not boast abundant buildings, museums, churches, and palazzos. Rather, there is only one art museum in the town and no churches. Nonetheless, it’s a lovely town to explore, the residents are friendly, and there’s enough in Livorno to keep you occupied for the better part of a relaxing day.

The Porto Mediceo section of town, surrounded by the five-sided Fosso Reale Canal, is the home of the town’s largest public park, Fortezza Nuova. The park is popular with the locals and provides an opportunity to hobnob with the town’s residents. If visitors, however, are searching for something a little more historical, there’s plenty to see and do, including these sites and activities.

  • The Three Facades – Though there are no churches that stand in their entirety in Livorno, visitors can view the remains of the Duomo, built in 1587 but completely destroyed during WWII; the church of San Fernardino, also bombed in the war; and the façade of the Teatro di San Marco, where the Italian Communist Party was founded in 1921.

  • Museo Civico Giovanni Fattori – Housed in the Villa Mimbelli, surrounded by a public park, the town’s only art museum pays homage to the only significant Tuscan art movement ever recognized. Akin to French Impressionism, the movement known as Macchiaioli embraced painters who were interested in the way a viewer perceived the marks of light and color on a painting. The museum highlights the works of the best known Macchiaioli painter, Giovanni Fattori, a native of Livorno.

  • Enjoy a seafood dinner – From the antipasto mare to the aragoste (small lobsters), Livorno boasts some of the best seafood in the region. Pair it up with a little local Chianti and the Torte di Pesca (spongecake with cream and peach compote), and you’ll have an unforgettable meal in this port city.