Shore Excursion to Pisa / Florence – Private Tour
Discover the Iconic Pisa Tower and the Wonders of Florence with a Private Guide and Transportation to and from the Port
This is one of our favorite tours and one of the most popular. If you are a cruise passenger arriving in Livorno with only a single day to see Florence and Pisa, don’t worry. This private guided tour is what you are looking for! Your private air-conditioned vehicle will meet you at the port of Livorno to drive you directly to Pisa. Here you will visit the famous Piazza dei Miracoli (rightly named Square of the Miracles by Italian poet Gabriele d’Annunzio) with its iconic Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Monumental Cemetery. We will then drive to Florence to continue our tour of Ponte
Vecchio, Santa Croce, the Gallery of the Academy (Michelangelo’s David), Piazza della Signoria and more. The guided tour, not including transportation, is six hours long. After the visit of Florence your private driver will take you back to the port of Livorno.
PISA and the SQUARES OF MIRACLES
Located almost outside the city of Pisa, the Square of Miracles is one of the most enchanting and mesmerizing touristic sites in all Italy. One is almost amazed by the unique isolation of this group of monuments, almost as if removed not just from the hustle and bustle of a busy city like Pisa, but from the world. Here, this incredible gathering of artistic excellence and perfection is a feast for the eyes and the spirit, a piece of paradise on earth.
Careful historical interpretation and the contribution of some recent archaeological findings give back to the Cathedral its centrality, based on the original choice of the site preserved through the centuries as the heart of the religious and civil life of Pisa. One must place oneself in the maritime dimension that since Etruscan times has made the greatness of this town, as it is favorably located at the center of a network of maritime, river and road routes.
So, this was the place chosen for the Church of Pisa since its origins, which are unanimously considered to date from before Constantine’s peace pact of 313 AD! The famous tower was built in 1173, but just after its completion it was affected by what has been called a mysterious disease that has
made it famous all over the world and iconic symbol of the city. At any rate, the monuments we can admire today date back to the mid-centuries of the Middle Ages, when at the peak of its glory after its triumphs at sea Pisa asserted its supremacy over the region and all over the world, going so far as to claim for itself the role of a New Rome.
At least, until Florence came aroud!
FLORENCE: A UNESCO World-Heritage site
The city of Florence was founded in 59 BC as a settlement of former soldiers who had served in Julius Caesar’s military campaigns. This must be way the chosen patron of the city was Mars, the god of war, who presided over its fortunes at least until St John the Baptist replaced him with the advent of Christianity. The city was conveniently situated on the Via Cassia, one of the many roads that the Romans built to connect the provinces to the pumping heart of their growing empire. This lucky position enabled Florence to expand as a commercial center to the point that Emperor Diocletian made it the capital of the Province of Tuscia.
In the 13th century Florence became one of the main commercial and financial centers of Europe. Its economic and urban expansion was fast and unrestrained and was mainly based on the wool trade started by the so-called Arte della Lana, a guild importing raw wool from England and skillfully refining, dying and reselling it. The huge profits coming from this activity provided the initial capitals for the innovative banking industry of Florence that soon started lending money to popes and kings all over Europe. This was the time when Florence started to mint its prestigious gold coin: the Fiorino.
The economic growth created the conditions for the city to become a cultural center of major importance whose preeminence lasted for centuries ahead and it still is highly influential. Florence is the very places where Italian culture, including visual arts, architecture, literature and even Italian language was born. A city of extraordinary charm, history and beauty, flourishing Florence is a repository of invaluable artistic treasures from the ancient time to the modern day, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and beyond. This shore excursion tour of Florence will make you drop jaws at every corner.
• Ponte Vecchio
• Gallery of the Academy of Florence (Michelangelo’s David) (inside)
• Baptistery of St John (ouside)
• Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Giotto’s tower (outdoor)
• Piazza della Signoria
• Loggia dei Lanzi
• Palazzo Vecchio (cortile interno)
• Piazza della Repubblica
• Santa Croce.
THE GALLERY OF THE ACADEMY OF FLORENCE
Michelangelo’s David and Prisoners
Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabines
Botticelli’s Madonna and Child and Madonna of the Sea
The highlight of this site is certainly the giant marble sculptures created by Michelangelo, and above all, the magnificent David, but also the Prisoners and the statue of St. Matthew. The Accademia welcomes the visitor in the Hall of the Colossus that now hosts the plaster model for the stunning sculpture of Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women that Giambologna prepared as an exercise in creating a tightly-knit group of three figures from just one block of stone. The main rooms of the Accademia offer visitors works by unparalleled Italian masters such as Sandro Botticelli, Pontormo, Andrea del Sarto, Orcagna and many more. The recently opened section of musical instruments displays ancient and unique masterpieces by Stradivari and Bartolomeo Cristofori, the clavichord maker who invented the piano without having, in his life, the success that the history of music then granted to his invention.