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The district of Venezia Nuova, the ancient center of Livorno

Monday 29 january 2018

In the ancient heart of the maritime city, among canals, bridges, ancient buildings and picturesque corners. The only district in the city to have preserved the architectural heritage after the Second World War.

The district of Venezia Nuova, the ancient center of Livorno

We reach Livorno after traveling the varied Tuscan countryside. Our goal is the ancient soul of the city overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, the most striking.

Although not coinciding with the original core of what was Livorno Medicea, is the Venezia Nuova district that represents the true historic center of the Tuscan city, the only area to have retained much of the architectural heritage after the devastation of the Second World War.


Photo by @andreadaniphoto - @yallerstoscana

Anything but inappropriate, its name, which recalls the well-known lagoon city, and to which it resembles the canals, squares and bridges that characterize it.

It is in the first part of the seventeenth century that Livorno sees the birth of the Venezia Nuova neighborhood, created in an area torn from the sea, that merchant area for centuries necessary for the increase of the maritime and commercial activities of the Tuscan city, picturesque and particularly rich area of buildings of important families including the Bertolla, in Piazza della Fortezza Vecchia, the Niccolai Gamba on the Scali del Corso, the Bicchierai and the Huiguens in via Borra.

Vital eighteenth-century merchant district, residence of consuls, shopkeepers and merchants, Venezia Nuova was a continuous flow of goods, among the vast cellars, the overflowing deposits with products of all kinds and origins, ready to be packed and loaded on boats in the process to take off with the most diverse destinations. After centuries, on the streets of Venezia Nuova it is still easy to imagine the neighborhood of the past.

Main of the canals of the historic center, and certainly the most famous, is the Navicelli Canal, while the seventeenth-century "Ponte di Marmo", rebuilt in 1734, via degli Scali del Pesce, which runs along the Fosso Reale section and divides the district from the rest of the city, where the fish destined for the New Fish Market was unloaded.

Then via Borra, one of the most important in the city, once the theater of the lavish life of the wealthy classes, on which look out for important historic buildings such as Palazzo delle Colonne, Palazzo del Monte di Pietà and Palazzo Huigens.


Photo by @the_bobbe - @yallerstoscana 

Among the most valuable religious buildings there are certainly the church of Santa Caterina and that of San Ferdinando. The construction of the first dates back to 1720; with an octagonal plan, it is characterized by a large dome and houses an oil painting by Vasari.

The baroque church of San Ferdinando, which stands in Piazza del Luogo Pio, was instead begun in 1707 and completed in 1716, and deserves a visit even for the sculptural group kept at the altar.

Among the architectural treasures of the city is certainly the New Fortress, located in a large water basin and connected to the rest of the city by a small bridge and a series of mobile piers, which affects the intact particularly complex wall curtain.

Do not miss a boat ride between the Fossi Medicei, the navigable canals wanted and built by the Medici to facilitate the transport of goods in the belly of the city, where we also allow a stop to enjoy the typical cacciucco, dish with strong flavors and intense , the delicious fish soup prepared with, among other fishes, cuttlefish, scorpion fish, octopus and gattucci in a thick and creamy sauce served on an expanse of toasted bread and garlic, which we accompany with one of the classic red wines of the Tuscan lands, a chianti young who is served in fiasco.


Photo by @andreadaniphoto - @yallerstoscana

Venezia Nuova continues to give us unique suggestions. The canals, bridges, the typical architecture and the history that you breathe in its little squares and its alleys make it one of the most interesting historical corners of our sea.

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