Darby day trip: Livorno boat tours

By Andrea CullettoJanuary 18, 2024

Darby Day Trip: Livorno Boat Tours
Located just south of Camp Darby, the port city of Livorno is rich with history and is perhaps best seen by boat. (Photo Credit: Andrea Culletto) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP DARBY, Italy - Located just south of Camp Darby, the port city of Livorno is rich with history. The first Grand Dukes of Tuscany’s historic Medici family once called this area “the key of our state” and invested a great deal into the development of its canals. Excavation of these waterways began in 1577 and took 28 years to complete. The finished moats, or “fossi” form a network of military trenches that were designed to close off the city of Livorno and its fortresses, in addition to serving as transportation pathways.

You can experience these historic canals up close on a boat tour of Livorno’s “little Venice.” This experience showcases these unique waterways, in addition to imposing fortresses, merchant palaces, and beautiful 17th century architecture. It is especially interesting to see the buildings along this section, constructed by foreign traders who grew rich from the area’s fertile trade routes and, in turn, brought prosperity to what became known as the “city of nations.”

Tours often pass under the 19th century Piazza della Repubblica, which is the widest in Europe at 242 meters. They also approach the elegant Mercato delle Vettovaglie, which is one of the largest covered markets on the European continent. In addition to these grand sites, canal tours offer a glimpse into an often unseen side of Livorno, passing by hidden canal-side cellars that recall visions of ancient merchants and smugglers.

There are several companies that offer canal tours of Livorno. It is recommended that you research currently available options to find the best fit for you.

*This article does not imply endorsement of any particular company or tour provider.