The Museum of the City of Livorno, or more accurately, the Museum of Civic Collections, offers a large exhibition that, through artworks, photographs, mementos and archeological artefacts narrates the historic and cultural evolution of Livorno, from its origins to today.
This rich collection is located in the 18th-century Bottini dell’Olio building, in the heart of the Le Venezia neighbourhood, which was once an oil storehouse with large rooms and rib vaulting.
The journey begins in the archeology section with numerous artefacts coming from the Livorno and Pisa areas; the route continues with the Bernardo Buontalenti Pentagon project, for which the artist drew the city at the end of the 16th century.
In the 1600s, the city was declared a free port, allowing it to trade without having to pay duties. It was in this century, as the various prints and paintings on display attest to, that the Livorno port experienced intense development, earning a top spot in wheat trading in the whole of the Mediterranean. The exhibition then moves to the 1700s and the construction of “La Venezia nuova,” the new neighbourhood that welcomed a large community of merchants.
Amongst the various objects on display, the museum showcases Garibaldi’s poncho, writing desk, red shirts and battle hat, as well as the first flag of the Italian Communist Party. Space is also dedicated to satire, with an exposition of periodicals of political satire and costumes, and in the same section, visitors can find the three false Modigliani heads, the 1984 “Modì prank that brought Livorno into the international spotlight.
The Museum of the City includes a part dedicated to cinema (with posters of some films made in Livorno) and another focused on contemporary art.