8. Livorno: Private Shore Excursion to Pisa & Florence
At 08:00, your private driver will meet you beside your ship in the port of Livorno for the short drive to the 11th century powerful maritime republic of Pisa. Enjoy a short driving tour of the city which will lead you to the heart of one of the most important monuments in Italy... the breathtaking Piazza dei Miracoli with its Baptistry, cathedral, Campo Santo Cemetery and Leaning Tower of Pisa. Construction of the cathedral began in 1063 and the baptistery is the largest in Italy. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was begun in 1174, however when the tower reached its third story, work ceased as it started to sink into the ground and lean. It remained like this for 90 years before work commenced again in 1272 but was halted once more in 1284 when Pisa was defeated in battle. The 7th floor was completed in 1319 with the bell chamber finally being added in 1372. The top of the tower can be reached by climbing the 294 steps which rise in the form of a spiral on the inner side of the tower walls (pre-booked tickets recommended at EUR 18 per person).
Journey on to Florence (an 1.5-hour drive) arriving into the city through vineyards on the outskirts of Chianti and arriving into Piazzale Michelangelo which offers Renaissance views across the Ponte Vecchio, Duomo and Giotto's Tower. Once in the city center, discover the city's prominent landmarks without too much walking as your driver gives you historic and cultural background information. Visit the splendid Gothic Church of Santa Croce with the tombs of famous artists and writers such as Michelangelo, Galileo and Dante as well as its renowned leather school. Enjoy a stroll around the lively and colorful market of San Lorenzo, where you will also find the Medici Chapels and the Loggia dei Mercanti.
Discover splendid piazzas like Piazza del Duomo with the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Giotto's Tower, Piazza della Repubblica - a lively shopping area, beautiful Piazza della Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio with a copy of Michelangelo's David. If you wish to visit the Accademia Museum to see the real Michelangelo's David, the tickets can be pre-booked for you (at around 16 EUR per person) so you won't have to waste any time standing in long lines. Wander past the huge Uffizi Gallery and across the Ponte Vecchio with its exquisite jewelry stores towards Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens. Break for lunch (at your own expense) - your driver will make suggestions and point you in the right direction or you may be tempted to taste your way around the authentic central food market overflowing with cheeses, salami, prosciutto, bread, pasta, olive oil and wine. At around 15:30, your minivan will be waiting to take you on the relaxing and comfortable journey back to your ship in the port of Livorno with arrival at around 17:00.