Everything in Livorno speaks of the sea. Its history, its architecture, its flavours, everything in this city tells of the close relationship that has always made it unique with its sea. The city was born in the second half of the 16th century when, for military and commercial strategies of the Medici, the fishing village built around the Mastio di Matilde di Canossa was transformed into one of the main ports of the Mediterranean, which would be guarded by the Fortezza Vecchia, connected by waterways to the Fortezza Nuova, the heart of the city. The latter is an imposing fortification, from whose heights the sea, its trade and the dangers it could bring have always been monitored, and even today this element is guarded in its identity, amidst the calls of the seagulls, the wind that smells of saltiness and the system of ditches, which carry the sea to the heart of the city. Standing out among them all is the Fosso reale (Royal Ditch), once a defence system, now a place where small boats find shelter, and the atmosphere seems to be that of yesteryear, amidst the chatter of fishermen and the light that, dancing, reflects off the water.