8. Livorno: Private Shore Excursion to Pisa & Florence
See the highlights of Italy your way with a private driver as your guide for the day. Explore vibrant markets, busy squares, and iconic landmarks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Florence Cathedral, and the Accademia Gallery. Try local specialties at a market or see Michelangelo’s David up close. 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. See 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 are recommended at 18€ per person). Journey on to Florence (a 1.5-hour drive) arriving into the city through vineyards on the outskirts of Chianti and arriving at Piazzale Michelangelo which offers Renaissance views across the Ponte Vecchio, Duomo and Giotto's Tower. Discover the city's prominent landmarks without too much walking as your driver gives you historic and cultural information. Visit the Gothic Church of Santa Croce with the tombs of famous artists and writers such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Dante, as well as its leather school. Stroll around the lively and colorful market of San Lorenzo and find the Medici Chapels and the Loggia dei Mercanti. Discover squares like Piazza del Duomo with the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Giotto's Tower and Piazza della Repubblica, a lively shopping area. Visit Piazza della Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio, featuring a copy of Michelangelo's David. If you wish to visit the Accademia Museum to see the real artwork, your guide can help you pre-book entry tickets before your trip. Wander past the huge Uffizi Gallery and across the Ponte Vecchio with its exquisite jewelry stores towards Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens. Next, take a break for lunch (costs not included). 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. As your day comes to an end, your minivan will be waiting to take you on the journey back to your ship in the port of Livorno.