Villas near Livorno

Villas near Livorno

Livorno is a lively mediterranean port often overlooked by tourists, yet well worth a visit. It has Etruscan origins, and its name is supposedly derived from a type of Roman ship, the "Laburna", but it remained fairly small and unknown for centuries. Livorna is mentioned for the first time in 1017 as a small coastal village, the port and the remains of a Roman tower under the rule of Lucca.


The next few centuries bring little notoriety do the small port, which is bought and dols by a variety of other small states; to Milan in 1399, to Genoa in 1405 and to Florence in 1421. It was only really when the Medici Family, rulers of Florence, decided in the second half of the 16th century, to make Livorno an "Ideal City". In 1577 Bernardo Buontalenti redesigned the port area and fortress and in 1580 the port was designated a Porto Franco (Free Port) - which meant that the goods traded here were duty-free within the area of the town's control.

Legislation protected freedom of religion and offered amnesties, encouraging diversity and offering refuge to numerous Turks, Persians, Moors, Greeks, and Armenians. After the Alhambra Decree which led to the expulsion of Jews from Spai...

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