We will guide you through an enchanting tour of the most characteristic quarter of Livorno, Venezia Nuova (New Venice), famous for its canals, arching bridges, and ornate merchant palaces. A unique place, rich in history and fascinating anecdotes, built upon the water by Venetian engineers carrying out a Medicean dream.
Constructed over the waters north of Livorno between 1629 an 1700, the quarter was full of rich merchant houses of every foreign nation in cosmopolitan Livorno. These were the same merchants who petitioned the Grand duke to grant them space to construct palaces and warehouses in order to furnish the port, which was already becoming one of the most important in the Mediterranean, with all its provisions.
Protected from the west and east by its two Medicean fortresses, we will visit the sector of the city which became the coffer of the riches of all the world which arrived in Tuscany. It is a unique neighborhood, and was much admired by intelligentsia and aristocrats on their Grand Tours. Today it retains the atmosphere of that era, with its canals, shops and cellars on the water, and an architectural system tailor-made for commerce. Gliding along the canals, we will explore the ancient artisanal traditions of the boatmen, sailors, barrel-makers, and porters who lived, worked, and traded secrets in Little Venice. You’ll become acquainted with its lively and charismatic inhabitants, among whom were smugglers and pirates in the pay of the Grand dukes who rubbed shoulders with the rich merchants and noblemen whose grand palaces often hosted members of the European aristocracy.
We will admire the unusual architecture of an exemplary 18th century merchant palace under the shadow of the majestic octagonal dome of the church of Saint Catherine of Siena, which for three centuries has graced the Livornese skyline. We will conclude our tour at the entrance of the New Fortress of Livorno, an island completely surrounded by the city’s principal moat and canal, the Fosso Reale, and last remnant of the five original bulwarks of this fortified city, the famous pentagon of Bernardo Buontalenti.
Length: approximately 1 hour*
Cost : 120 €
* Indicates the duration of a standard tour, which can be shortened or lengthened according to your wishes and compatibility with the type of excursion.