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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in Europe:
The Mediterranean
Sights to see & things to do

Livorno, Florence & Pisa, Italy

The major Italian port city of Livorno is an entry point to Florence, birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and Pisa, home of the famous leaning tower. Livorno doesn’t offer much in the way of attractions and its primary appeal is its proximity to Pisa.

Diversions

Cruise ships dock approximately a mile from Livorno’s town center and taxis are generally available at the pier for the twelve-mile drive to Pisa or two-hour journey to Florence.  If you aren’t taking a shore excursion to Florence, it’s probably less costly to take the shuttle there to explore on your own if the cruise line provides one.

Pisa is, of course, noted for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Originally intended as a campanile, it’s the most well known of the buildings comprising the Campo dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles. Site of Galileo’s gravitational experiments, the tower began to tilt even before it was finished and the angle has increased alarmingly. Elsewhere in the complex, the duomo, with its four wedding cake tiers, is one of Tuscany’s finest examples of Pisan-Romanesque architecture. 

The artistic and cultural center of the Renaissance, Florence draws the majority of cruise passengers through Livorno to view her splendor. Closed to traffic, the historic area is compact and easily walkable. The Duomo is the city’s historical focal point and from it the Campanile, Baptisty, and Museo dell’Opera are a short stroll. No visit to Florence is complete without a stop at Europe’s first drawing school, the Galleria dell’Accademia, to view Michelangelo’s sculptures, including the magnificent David. If time allows, two of Florence’s great churches, Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, contain splendid frescoes. Across the Arno River, which bisects the city, is the Pitti Palace with galleries containing works by the greatest Renaissance artists, including Raphael and Titian. Some shore excursions to Florence include a photo stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Shopping

In Livorno, stop in one of the shops along Via Grande (the main street) for locally produced olive oil and Chianti from the Tuscan vineyards. Shops generally close in the afternoon.

Florence is noted for jewelry, leatherwork, and marbled papers. Tuscan ceramics are highly prized for their ornate designs.

It's no miracle that you can purchase all manner of tacky souvenirs along Campo dei Miracoli, including the Leaning Tower in Pisa in a number of sizes.  Here and there a stall contains worthwhile leather items at reasonable prices.

Beaches

The pebbly beaches of Livorno are generally nondescript.


Papillon Service -- A professional passenger transport company that provides the highest standards of luxury, reliability, safety & comfort. From a simple transfer to excursion throughout Tuscany, they offer guaranteed quality service at competitive prices.


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