Today your driver will pick you up directly at your cruise ship in the port of La Spezia for a visit to the splendid maritime city of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and more. The remote origins of Pisa and its name are lost in myth and legend but it is certain that this city had Eneolithic settlements and the presence of the Etruscans between the 6th and 3rd centuries B.C. Pisa was later Romanized and became a colony of Rome during the time of Octavianus Augustus in the 1st century B.C. Meanwhile the population was growing along with the development of shipbuilding and trade, thanks also to its harbor. The city expanded rapidly and soon Pisa was surrounded by a circle of walls. In 1062 the building of the Pisa cathedral was begun.
The cathedral and baptistery, the tower of Pisa, and the Campo Santo or cemetery, together form one of the most beautiful and famous building groups in the world. The “Piazza dei Miracoli” makes a perfect showplace for these exquisite examples of Romanesque architecture. Today, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has become a symbol for the entire Italian Republic and after intense restoration has finally reopened to visitors. If you would like to experience the climb to the top and the “lean” in the tower as you go up, reservations must be made in advance and can be made on-line at the following website: http://www.opapisa.it/boxoffice/index.jsp
Next, your driver will take you to Lucca, one of the most famous and glorious walled cities of Italy. Lucca was founded by the Etruscans but actually has origins even more remote. In 180 BC the town became a Roman colony and from this period has retained the rectangular grid of its Roman street plan and the Piazza San Michele occupies the site of the Roman forum. Where once its wide walls were used for defense purposes today Lucca’s citizens use it for walking and biking.
Lucca is a rather small town but there are many interesting places to visit here - the Romanesque cathedral of San Martino, the church of San Michele, and the Basilica of San Frediano with its exquisite mosaics, and the birthplace of the composer Puccini whose house is now a small museum. You will visit all of this on your tour to Lucca and the more energetic of you can rent bikes to do a “Wall Bike Tour” along the city walls. If there is enough time, your driver can bring you to visit one of the magnificent villas in the outskirts of Lucca. Years ago Lucca’s most illustrious families and foreign residents had their summer homes in this area. The beautiful gardens of the Villa Mansi built by the architect F. Juvarra are worth a visit as is the Villa Torrigiani with its luxurious apartments and grounds.
In the afternoon, your driver will take you comfortably back to your cruise ship at La Spezia. less >>
The proposed itineraries are only examples of possible tours. For different pick up / drop off locations or customized itineraries we invite our clients to contact one of our tour coordinators to help them design their own tour.