The Italian port city of Livorno is a good base for trips through the hinterland, the region of Tuscany. The city itself also warrants a visit of at least a few days, as many buildings and canals from the Venetian times have been preserved.
The city has approximately 160,000 inhabitants.
Livorno's port forms the backbone of local economy. Agricultural produce from the hinterland are exported via the port, but it's also an important port for the transshipment of containers. There are also several ferry connections and the port is a popular mooring place for luxurious yachts and cruise ships. Most of the time, passengers of those boats don't stay in Livorno, but are transported by buses to places of interest in the hinterland (Pisa, Florence).
Until the seventies of the last century, Livorno had streetcars and trolley buses, but at the time they have been replaced by regular city buses. Bus lines 1 and 2 are of most interest to tourists, as they run along most places of interest. In Montenero, 5 kilometers south of the city center, a funicular takes you to the top of the mountain. Plans exist to build a subway line in Livorno.
Livorno is a fairly busy, active city and finding a free parking place for your rental car in the center may be difficult. There are large parking lots near the port, but it's better to park your car in one of the guarded parking garages in and around the center. Locations are signposted. A rental car is ideal for trips from Livorno through Tuscany.
Livorno has a reasonable choice of accommodations, but most people stay outside the city. In recent years, many enjoyable bed & breakfasts have opened, often at beautiful locations. The so-called agritourism (vacationing at farmhouses) is also booming. By rental car you get to Livorno or other places in Tuscany in no time. On the Etruscan coast you'll mainly find luxurious hotels and holiday resorts.
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