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Livorno, situated along the coast of the Ligurian Sea, is one of Italy’s most important ports, both as a commercial and touristic port of call. It is an industrial centre of national importance and among all of the Tuscan cities, it is generally considered the youngest, even though its territory holds historical testimonies of remote times that have survived the mass bombings of the Second World War. The city developed from the end of the XVI century upon request of the Medici family. In the past, until the first years of the 20th century it was also a tourist destination of international importance for the presence of important seaside and thermal establishments.
After the destruction suffered in the Second World War and the subsequent mutilations inflicted on the city, Livorno has lost a lot of its historical heritage, even though some traces remain of its various phases: in particular the structure of the town centre, a fortified pentagon built according to the 16th century criteria of the ideal city. There are also many churches, temples and cemeteries of different religions, a symbol of the perfect union of different races and peoples that have considerably influenced the civic culture. This spirit of reciprocate tolerance, united in the past to the illuminated politics of the Tuscan Grand Duchy, in fact created intense cultural activity. Important bookshops and prestigious theatres animated the life of the city: for example, here the Italian edition of the Encyclopédie was published, while numerous literary people stayed in the pleasant hamlets around Livorno. Great works of architecture for public use rose then in the first half of the 19th century, when the city began to affirm a touristic vocation that brought about the opening of many bathing establishments in which even today can be seen distant echoes of the Belle Epoque.