Skip to content
terrazza mascagni

4 experiences in Tuscany's Water Lands

From Livorno's canal tour to excursions in Capraia and Collesalvetti

by  Livorno

There's a territory in Tuscany where the common element is water: these are the lands of Livorno, Capraia and Collesalvetti, known as Tuscany's Water Lands.

Starting from the sea of Capraia Island to the canals of Livorno, passing through the oasis of Collesalvetti: water is the key element in this area of Tuscany and the experiences you can enjoy are closely connected to it.

  • 1.
    Experiencing the Capraia sea, by boat or by land
  • 2.
    Discover Livorno by navigating its canals
  • 3.
    Collesalvetti: trekking to the Leopoldine Aqueduct and birdwatching at the Contessa oasis
  • 4.
    Birdwatching at the Contessa Oasis in Collesalvetti

Experiencing the Capraia sea, by boat or by land

Capraia island
Capraia island - Credit: Fabio Guidi

The Capraia sea is the most outstanding feature of Tuscany's Water Lands, the highlight of every trip to this stunning and remote island.

The best way to experience it is by renting a boat or an inflatable raft, or by joining an organized tour. 
While exploring the coastline, enjoy the stunning views of rocks, coves, inlets and small caves that are evidence of the geo-volcanic evolution of the island. Contrasting with this are the endless shades of the sea, from turquoise to cobalt blue to emerald green. A boat trip around the island would not be complete without a dive to discover the seabed of the protected marine area, where you'll discover a varied fauna of groupers, barracudas, amberjacks and many other fish that will welcome you among crystal-clear waters rich in coloured rocks and vegetation. The incredible setting has nothing to envy of the Caribbean seas.

The Capraia sea will be the main feature of your trip, even if you decide to experience it from land. Even walking along the trekking routes of the island, wherever you look, you'll always see the sea. Reaching the top of Le Penne or Punta del Dattero, you can enjoy breathtaking views. On days when the northern wind blows, you can admire the entire Tuscan archipelago, from the Tuscan coast to the island of Gorgona. In the evenings, relax and enjoy unforgettable sunsets.


Discover Livorno by navigating its canals

boat tour in livorno
boat tour in livorno - Credit: Ambito Livorno

Bathed by the Tyrrhenian Sea, Livorno is a city of supreme waters. Its characteristic canals, built by the Medici from 1577, cross the entire historic centre, making this city a truly charming location. 

If you are looking for an alternative way to experience Livorno, a boat tour is exactly what you need.

The tour covers the entire historic centre, navigating the historic canals and passing under bridges and arches: from the Venezia District and the picturesque S. Marco Pontino District, to Fortezza Nuova. During the excursion, you can admire historical monuments such as the octagonal dome of the Church of Santa Caterina, Palazzo dei Domenicani, a former convent converted into a prison where well-known anti-fascists such as Sandro Pertini were imprisoned, and the long vault of Piazza della Repubblica, known as “Voltone”, the widest bridge-square in Europe.

You can also customize your itinerary by adding a variety of experiences, such as tastings of typical products or music performances.


Collesalvetti: trekking to the Leopoldine Aqueduct and birdwatching at the Contessa oasis

Leopoldine Aqueduct
Leopoldine Aqueduct - Credit: Ambito Livorno

Our journey through Tuscany's Water Lands ends in Collesalvetti. Here, our water-related experiences are two-fold: trekking along the Leopoldine Aqueduct and a tour of the Contessa Nature Oasis.

Designed in the 19th century as Livorno's water supply, the Leopoldine Aqueduct which connects Collesalvetti to Livorno is astonishing in size. Studded with arches, some of which are very steep, it's possible to walk the entire 18km route from Colognole to the Cisternino di Pian di Rota, taking in Cisternone di Livorno, the city's monumental water tank. The excursion requires trekking equipment but the route is suitable for everyone. You may even decide to cover only the first stretch of the aqueduct, in Colognole.


Birdwatching at the Contessa Oasis in Collesalvetti

Finally, outdoor enthusiasts can't miss a visit to the Contessa Oasis, a regional nature reserve and the last vestige of a coastal marsh. Many species of birds come here to rest, and the area is the perfect location for birdwatching, especially during the migration season. Whether alone or with an environmental guide, you can get in touch with nature, while observing herons and sea jays or exploring the typical vegetation of this extraordinary natural habitat.

What’s nearby?

Must-see places, stage-by-stage routes, events and tips for your trip
Events • 3 results
Ideas • 79 results
Itineraries • 18 results
Travelogs • 4 results