Hi, I’m Emma. As a chief stew, I’m fully aware that our work isn’t all glamour and exotic travel. For some of us, we sit around waiting for guests in the most unglamorous of places and head to shipyards during the winter. For most crew shipyards are inevitable, and I’ve spent extended periods of time in the likes of Livorno, Turkey, Greece, and Mallorca. Are you looking for things to do, and places to see? Having traveled to 37 countries, I am your go-to girl for all things, travel, wine, and food!
It’s not your classic Italian gem like The Amalfi, Cinque Terra, or Genova. You might be of the opinion that there’s not a lot to do here. Fear not, we have completed two shipyards spanning 15 months here in total and half of that was during the Covid Pandemic!
So, what does Livorno have going for it?
It’s your typical quirky Italian Seaside town with a huge promenade. There are no real beaches, only private concrete beach clubs. The town center is quaint with a network of canals that lend to its charms. and Apart from visiting the fish prison (aquarium), taking a walk along the seafront, or wandering about town, you may think that there isn’t much to do.
However, Livorno is perfectly positioned for easy access into Tuscany. The likes of Florence, Siena, Bolgheri, Cinque Terre, Pietrasanta, and Barga are no more than a few hours from the boat, making for the ideal weekend escape. Even if you can’t escape for a couple of days, you need to make the most of the hidden gems in Livorno and I’m going to tell you all about them…
My favourite wine shop in Livorno:
If you’re anything like me and love wine, then stumbling across Cantina Nardi will be a welcome surprise. This cutesy, quirky Italian wine has something for everyone. The shelves are lined with beautiful bottles, while hundreds of wine crates scatter the floor (to me this is heaven). The owner, a friendly Italian who speaks a little English has offered me excellent wines time and time again. No matter what your budget, he will find you something! They even have a restaurant opposite… What more could you want?
Livorno’s best restaurants:
It has taken us a while to curate this list but here you will find some of the best restaurants in Livorno… And there’s something for everyone:
I love Sushi and wherever I go it’s imperative that I find the best Sushi restaurant… some would say it’s life-or-death. But thankfully Bottini Fusion saved me and for a small Italian town, their sushi is amazing. Not forgetting to mention that it’s all you can eat, at very good value for money.
2. Chez Ugo
Pizza lover? This is the place for you. They have everything from the classics to gourmets and even VIP pizzas. Their outside seating is the perfect spot to enjoy an Aperol with a beautiful view of the canal. They also have an app that you can order take away from.
If you love fresh seafood and pasta, then L’Ostricaio is ideal. This tiny restaurant serves great Fritto Misto, oysters, and Pasta Vongole. I recommend your main dish, with a crisp glass of white wine whilst watching the sunset.
The best steak Florentina around, and their beef tartars and Carpaccio are to die for too! One thing to note is that they don’t have many side dishes, so I hope you like steak. The restaurant itself is charming and replicates a cave with wine bottles everywhere. And that’s why I love to go there.
A sandwich shop, but not just any sandwich shop. Their ingredients are super fresh, and their menu is simple and very affordable. They serve the likes of roast beef with mushroom and truffle, mozzarella with Prosciutto, and tomato, all on panini or focaccia. My absolute favourite is the ‘Il Fantastico’ which features salsa Verde, truffle, tacchino, aubergine, onion and scamorza. You will find locals queuing out the door for these sandwiches… especially at the weekend.
There are obviously many other restaurants here in Livorno, but these are tried and tested.
Livorno best bars:
A great selection of gin and right next to Cantina Nardi!
2. Corner Bar
A good selection of beer, wine, and cocktails… and the cocktails are pretty good too!
3. Bad Elf
The place to please all beer drinkers as they serve a massive selection of beer (A popular place for crew).
A great little cocktail joint set into the walls of the canal. All exposed brick with a tropical theme, serving some of the best cocktails along with wine and beer.
This cutesy, quirky Italian wine shop has something for everyone. It’s the place for all the wine lovers to go (This one is right up my street). This place also doubles as a restaurant.
As we all know Italy is famous for its Pizza, Pasta, and Gelato. Caprilli is one of the best in Livorno! All their gelato is made from natural ingredients, and they also make gluten-free ice cream and sorbets. Let me tell you, the best flavour is salted caramel.