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The port of Livorno looks out onto the North Tyrrhenian Sea and is located at 43°32’.6 North latitude and e 010°17’.8 longitude East in the North-west of Tuscany. It is mainly set back from the coastline where it is well protected from southerly and westerly winds.

The harbour is sheltered by numerous protective walls comprising; the Vegliaia, Curvilinea and Meloria harbour walls. The port is divided into the Porto Vecchio to the south, the Porto Nuovo and Canale Industriale to the North and comprises four basins: the Avamporto and Porto Mediceo that make up the Porto Vecchio, the Bacino S. Stefano and Porto Industriale that comprise the full extent of the Porto Nuovo.

The port of Livorno is classified as a Big Regional (first level port) along the Tyrrhenian corridor, by the Freight Leaders Club, and is a multipurpose port, namely it is equipped with infrastructures and equipment that can berth any vessel and handle any type of goods traffic (LO-LO, RO-RO, bulk solids and liquids, new cars, cruises, ferries, timber and timber derivatives, machinery etc.,). The infrastructures connect the port to the main national rail and road networks and the airports of Pisa and Florence. It is endowed with a large hinterland comprising Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Umbria and the Marches, which have a wealth of enterprises and industries, all of which means that the Port of Livorno handles a large amount of traffic.

There are two harbour mouths: the Bocca Nord that is between the western ends of the Marzocco and Meloria walls, and the Bocca Sud, that is between the southern end of the Curvilenea and Vegliaia walls.

The northern mouth faces North East, is 300m wide and leads directly to the Bacino S. Stefano Bacino a large basin that is protected to the West and North by the Meloria and Marzocco harbour walls. The southern entrance, through which all sea traffic travels, faces West and is about 580m wide. The access channel is 190m wide, at the mouth, and is 15m deep. The Avamporto (fore port) is reached via the southern mouth, demarcated by the Curvilinear wall to the west and the Vegliaia wall to the south. The fore port contains a new dry dock and the Morosini pier.

The most important reference for the port's boundaries is Ministerial Decree; D.M. 06/04/1994 that establishes the domain of the Livorno Port Authorities. This includes: state owned coastal areas, the port structures and the area of sea just off the coast between the mouth of the Calambrone canal to the little port of Nazario Sauro. The "terra ferma" overseen by the Port Authority includes those areas in which it is possible to carry out port associated activities and services.

This domain was subsequently extended with Ministerial Decree; D.M.16th January 2001 to include: state owned coastal areas, the port structures and the area of sea off Capraia Island from Punta del Frate to Punta del Fanale.

The Medicean Port is accessed via a mouth facing West in the Avamporto that is 100m wide and about 12m deep. The Avamporto also provides access to the S. Stefano basin along a channel, running north-south. This channel has been dragged to a depth of 13m and is about 100m wide. To the west of the port basin is the channel for vessels going to the Nuova Darsena Petroli, Calata Alti Fondali Varesini and the Molo Italia (under construction) with an approximate diameter of 500m.

A 100m long channel with a draft of 13m for a navigable breadth of 70m leads to the Porto Nuovo area (with a diameter of about 375m) from which vessels can reach the Darsena Toscana, Darsena Inghirami, Darsena Ugione and the Canale Industriale. The waters have a depth of 13m along the berths of Bacino S. Stefano (Nuova Darsena Petroli and Calata Alti Fondali), the basin of the Porto Nuovo Industriale and the eastern part of the Darsena Toscana while in the remainder of the port areas they are generally less than 10.00m.

Since it was established in 1995, the Port Authority has carried out works of rationalisation and constructed modern infrastructures in the port. These are all available to operators and shipping lines who can benefit from Livorno's efficient and competitive structures. The port has been subdivided into private terminals that are specialised according to product type. This has ensured a uniformity of the activities in the different areas and avoided interference resulting from different types of traffic, particularly with regard to passenger traffic, which is in turn subdivided between ferries and cruises.

The port of Livorno has certain historical and architectural features that must be borne in mind in the study and planning of future port developments. Planners ensure that their historical value is further enhanced and that they are fully integrated into a more modern port. Indeed both the old port (e.g. the Medicean Port, Fortezza Vecchia, Curvilinea wall) and the new port (with its Torre del Marzocco) contain numerous characteristics that testify to Livorno rich maritime heritage.

Livorno uses the Port Approach Control (P.A.C.) that guarantees safety for navigation and safeguards the environment in and around ports. To deal with the problem of security the Port Authority has supplied: scanners capable of checking in and outbound containers, highly qualified security staff, CCTV - to monitor all activity in the terminal areas, good lighting and controlled access with identification badges (Gate Transit Security – G.T.S. system). These systems contributed to the port obtaining United States compliant security certification following the events of 9/11, whilst respecting Italian data protection laws and avoiding the militarisation of the port that, based on the Port Authorities plans, will become an increasingly integral part of the city.