Back in November while I was in Italy. We spent a quick afternoon in Livorno at the end of our Lucini shoot. We drove up the coast from Cecina along the Ligurian Sea. A stunning ride twisting through steep hillsides along the wild and windy royal blue ocean. Livorno is an old port city that used to protect Pisa. Typical Italian architecture painted in a array of pink, orange and yellow (so beautiful!). A series of waterways and canals running through out the city center, boats docked alongside.

When we arrived in Livorno we made our way through their various markets. We popped into a local cheese shop Vad Formaggi and had a parmesan tasting. We learned how a parmesan wheel is cut and portioned. It's quite the art form and those wheels weigh in at about 80 pounds. We tried parmesan that was 12, 24 and 36 months old fresh out of the wheel. We visited the Mercato Centrale an 18th-century art nouveau-style building on Aurelio Scali Saffi right next to the Royal Canal. It's a large indoor market that hosts 34 shops and 230 food stalls. The market has undergone several renovations since it was finished in 1894. A beautiful variety of unfamiliar seafood caught my eye. I don't know what it is about little old men but I love them! Every ounce of wisdom, every struggle and every laugh seems to tell their story through the wrinkles on their faces.

We also visited a local spot for a common street food called Cinque e’ Cinque also known as Farinata or Socca. A thin chickpea pancake of sorts that is baked in a wood oven and served on bread like a sandwich or alone. The name “Cinque e’ Cinque” was coined in the early 1900s by sailors coming through Livorno and refers to the going rate – five cents for the patty and five cents for the bread.

I hope I get to go back and explore more someday, I can only imagine how the coast is during the summer.


  1. These photos makes my mouth water! :-)

  2. i dream of italy and this is why...

  3. small shellfish from above, it's tellina :)

  4. Many compliments for your post!
    I was born in Livorno and I've lived there for 28 years... so I appreciated your comments, well done!
    I'm surprised that you knew the "cinque e' cinque" and you visited Mercato Centrale but you missed one of the most typical Livorno specialty... the Ponce

    You need to come back soon...


    P.S. the shellfish is usually known in Livorno as "arselle", nobody is calling it tellina, even if it's the same...

  5. I work in a textil company in Argentina and we import the wool from Italy, the containers shiping from Livorno, now I see the port in your amazing photography! beautiful !!!

  6. This serie is wonderfull, I love it. I'm a big fan of your photographies. It's always a real pleasure to discover your new post. Marine

  7. Hello Nicole.
    Thank you for giving us these beautiful things /photos to look at. The colour of the houses used to denote what the trade of the person was, Mario Puzo wrote the whole list of which colour went with which trade in one of his books.
    Mouth watering stuff.. Happy Easter to you, your family and all of your other Blog readers.
    Sally from London.

  8. Stunning markets! I wish I could have access to fresh seafood like that!!

  9. I’ve visited Italy twice and left a part of my soul there. Such an incredible country! Thank you for sharing!

  10. I love the pictures, congratulations!



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