The Port of Livorno launches a record time restyling for cruise ships, and is already setting its sights on two structural modifications that will connect it to the railway network and the merchandise distribution hub, respectively.
In recent days, the new terminal dedicated to the reception of passengers from large ships was completed: two months of construction and a contained investment – 250,000 Euros – to change the look of a former industrial warehouse and to piers 46-47 in order to be able to provide a context amenable also to vessels measuring more than 400 meters and to horizontally complete the Livorno’s offer, which can already count on a traditional terminal for mid-sized ships and on the Maritime ferry station. There are approximately two and a half million passengers moved through the Tuscan seaport each year, counting ferries and cruises: figures that make it Italy’s 11th port. Just the cruise traffic for 2012 – according to data provided by the company that manages Porto di Livorno 2000 – counted 1.039 million passengers, moving against the trend of a majority of Italian seaports.
The restyling’s goal is, primarily, to satisfy the needs of the ship owners that are demanding dedicated services for passengers and secondly to create an operational structure not only for transitory cruises, but also for the “home-port”, therefore including spaces for the boarding and disembarkation. The cruise terminal that was built has a 2,000 sq m indoor area, fitted with information corners for the Porto di Livorno 2000, the Region of Tuscany, of “Costa Toscana Cruise”, in addition to tour operator, taxi, shuttle, and car rental services.
The outdoor area, which measures 10,000 sq m, was reorganized dedicating two thirds to parking for tour and shuttle buses (60 spaces total) and one third to parking for cars and taxis (75 spaces total). A renovation to make the “Alto Fondale” terminal the sea’s door to Tuscany, and to its potential for further touristic development.
Not just tourism, though. The plan to reinforce the Livorno seaport is also concentrated on two further moves. Precisely in occasion of the inauguration of the cruise ship terminal, Tuscany’s Regional President, Enrico Rossi, announced the unblocking of European funds for the railway development of the seaport. Within the first quarter of 2014, Rossi assured, ground will be broken towards connecting the seaport to the rail network: a 40 million Euro commitment that will allow Livorno to increase its competitiveness due to the ease with which it will be able to reach other Italian regions, especially in the North East. Finally, the Region of Tuscany gave its availability to finance, with 7 to 10 million Euros, the operational connection between the seaport and the distribution hub – a project that is essential to increasing Livorno’s seaport capacity for commercial traffic.