Escape the crowded 50-person cruise line tours on this exclusive Best of Florence and Pisa shore excursion. With a group size maximum of only 30 guests (and often less) you will enjoy a very personalized Livorno excursion experience.
At the beginning of your Livorno excursion, you will be met by your driver after a short shuttle ride from the pier, and then climb aboard your air-conditioned vehicle for the 30-minute drive to Pisa.
Upon arrival in Pisa, you will walk from the parking area to the Field of Miracles, where you will have free time for photos. The walk is approximately 15-20 minutes each way. You will have approximately 1 hour in Pisa to see sites like the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, and the Baptistery on your own. Admission to the sites is not included in the price of your tour.
Your guide will then lead you to your transportation and bid you farewell before you and your driver depart to Florence. As you leave the flat plains near the sea, you will start to drive through the rolling hills of Tuscany.
Upon arrival in Florence, you will drive to the city's historical area, which is predominately pedestrian. During your first stop on your walking tour, you will be able to view the Piazza del Duomo. The Florence Duomo is dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore and is typical of Italian Gothic architecture. Arnolfo di Cambio designed the present building. The Cupola remained unfinished, and was finally completed in 1436. It is the most characteristic feature of the Florentine skyline, symbolizing a great cultural tradition and the city's civic awareness. You will also see the outside of the Baptistery adjacent to the Duomo.
You will continue your walking tour at the Piazza della Signoria, which has been the political heart of the city from the Middle Ages to the present day. The piazza is named after the most important monument there, Palazzo della Signoria, designed in 1298-99 for the seat of the Republican government and which was later to host the Gonfalonier of Justice and the Priors of the Arts.
Close by the Piazza della Signoria you will visit the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge, which crosses the Arno at its widest point. It dates back to Roman times and has been re-built on several occasions. After the flooding of 1333, it was re-constructed with a double row of shops, passing from a defensive type of architecture to the current public one. In 1565, the east-facing Vasariano Corridor above the shops was built and the back-shops were added in the 17th century, giving the bridge its modern-day structure.
You will then have approximately 45 minutes to have a quick lunch on your own or do a little shopping.
After the break, you will have a quick visit to the Square of Santa Croce (Holy Cross), one of Florence's largest squares, and traditionally one of the city's main arenas for ceremonials and festivities. At the far end, you will be able to see the exterior of the Basilica of Santa Croce, one of the largest churches in the city, and the burial place of many of Florence's most illustrious citizens including Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Vittorio Alfieri, and Gioacchino Rossini.
Please Note: If fewer than nine people are on your Livorno excursion, you will travel in a small vehicle and your tour will be led by a guide who is also your driver. If more than nine people are on your tour, you will travel in a van or minibus that will include a separate driver and a guide for the Florence touring portion. Crowds are to be expected at all sites.
Reviewer: Joe Grech
We had an exceptionally good day touring Pisa and Florence as part of a Celebrity Cruises transatlantic trip. Great communication from the touring company so we met our bus right at the terminal entrance which was very convenient. Our group was approximately 20 people--half the size of the cruise line groups. Our tour guide Stephania deserves a A+ for her knowledge, her desire to accommodate every guest and for making this trip one of the highlights of the entire cruise. Strongly recommend using the AAA Shore Excursions as your excursion company.
We wanted to climb the Pisa tower but couldn't buy the tickets in advance due to time restrictions of the tour. However, when I told our guide, Chiara (not sure of spelling of her name), when we arrived at Pisa, rather than just telling us where to go to purchase the tickets, she said that the tickets may be sold out for our time slot, and took the time to walk with us to the ticket counter and speak to the agents to facilitate the process (thank God there were tickets available!) so that we can stand in line on time. Also, in Florence, where we've been during our previous visits to Italy, she gave us choices to either stay with her throughout the tour or do our own things. We want to do some shopping do our own exploring, and she gave us recommendations and directions. Amazing tour guide! Incredible cities!
Our tour guide Chiara was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor; we really enjoyed our time with her! Our bus driver Franco was terrific. We saw so much but never felt rushed to head from one destination to the next. This was a perfect tour to give us an overview of all there is to see in Florence and Pisa.
Reviewer: Zane Blegen
Loved the guide she was very knowledgeable and funny! The bus was really nice too. They went out of their way to make sure we didn't have to walk too much and protect us against pick pockets when two men suddenly joined our group.
Reviewer: Theresa Kelly
Great guide, lots of sites explored, easy to get to bus