Livorno is a typical harbour town, complete with fresher-than-fresh seafood and a lively fishing heritage. However, as Tuscany’s second-largest city, it often faces unfair comparisons to the region’s rural ideal. But, look beyond its busy port to a charmingly worn old town interspersed with canals and fringed by a Belle Époque waterfront and pebbly beaches. In between its waterways, you’ll find everything from intricately baroque churches to monolithic red stone forts that date as far back as the 11th century. For something a little different, there’s a vintage workshop exhibition dedicated to that quintessentially Italian mode of transportation – the Vespa.
However, Livorno’s real strength is as a gateway into the delights of Tuscany. It’s a land that rolling hill clichés and shady olive grove tropes are at once accurate and an injustice. Perhaps it’s the Renaissance artistry – names like Donatello, da Vinci and Michelangelo are all