Cruise Port Atlas | Livorno (Florence - Pisa), Italy Day Trips | Attractions

Livorno (Florence - Pisa), Italy Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Livorno: Voyages of Discovery, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Cunard, Holland America, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking River Cruises

Key Attractions: Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), Basilica of Santa Croce, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza Santa Croce, Campanile (Leaning Tower), Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistry, Santa Maria della Spina, Knights Square, Museum of Scientific Instruments, Lucca Cathedral, Guinigi Tower, San Michele in Foro, Piazza Amfiteatro, Sienna Cathedral, Torre del Mangia, Piazza Publico, San Gimignano, Agrotourism, Apuan Alps Park, Wetlands Park, Livorno Old Fort, Venetian District

Florence Churches

Port to Florence - 90 KM, 1 hour 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The wealth of Florence (Firenze in Italian) has produced one of the world most beautiful cities and, as in much of Europe, the wealth of a city was represented by its religious monuments and buildings particularly in the late medieval and Renaissance periods. Florence is filled with churches from various eras. The most famous is its Cathedral, which is known as the Duomo for short or as Santa Maria del Fiore. Begun just before 1300 AD without a plan for its dome, the Duomo and its surrounding complex were created by a series of artistic and engineering geniuses. The dome was the first major attempt in Europe since the construction of the Pantheon in Rome and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The engineer and architect Brunelleschi created what is to this day the largest dome made of brick and mortar. Giotto, one of the forerunners of Renaissance painting, designed the bell tower. The Cathedral complex also includes a Baptistry with bronze doors, called the Gates of Paradise by Ghiberti. The Basilica di San Lorenzo was designed by Brunelleschi with contributions by Michelangelo and others and was the Medici family's church, and includes their mausoleums. The Franciscan Basilica di Santa Croce is near the Duomo and is the burial place for many important Italians including Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo and the opera composer Rossini. It features frescoes by Giotto. These three churches are just the beginning of Florence’s religious masterworks.

           

   

Photo of Florence Dome interior by Ssdctm

Florence Museums

Port to Florence - 90 KM, 1 hour 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Known as the Cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is famous not only for its visual arts, but also for its literature as the home of Dante, followed by Boccaccio and Petrarch. And the political philosopher Machiavelli called the city home as well. But for the visitor, the visual arts are the cities crowning glory. Early figures such as Giotto and Donatello, whose humanistic styles influenced the great Renaissance masters, were born in the sphere of Florentine influence. And the greatest of all geniuses of the era, Da Vinci and Michelangelo called Florence home for much of their adult lives. The works of these and other masters are displayed in the city's many galleries, the most famous of which are the Ufizzi and the Accademia. In order to visit these world famous museums you must be sure to book in advance as they are invariably sold out. The Ufizzi Gallery is one of the oldest and most important museums in Europe and was built by the Medici family in the 16th century as an office building. It later became the repository of the Medici collection of masterworks, not only of local artists, but also from Northern Europe and included Rembrandt and Durer. The Accademia is particularly famous for its collection of sculptures, especially the two Davids by Michelangelo and Donatello. Among the other important museums in the city are the Palatino Gallery, the Bargello Gallery, and the San Marco Museum. In addition, important works are contained in many of the city's pallazos and churches.

           

   

Photo of Botticelli's Birth of Venus in the Ufizzi Gallery

Other Attractions in Florence

Port to Florence - 90 KM, 1 hour 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Just walking the streets of the old city of Florence is a feast for the eyes, with its mix of architectural styles and monumental sculptures. The old city’s many squares offer a glimpse into the social life of the Florentines, where cafes form a central part of life. The most famous of these squares is perhaps the Piazza del Signoria, where a copy of Michelangelo's David and several other large sculptures stand in the shadow of the Palazzo Vecchio, a Romanesque fortress-like palace that offers tours and houses beautiful artworks. Nearby is the famous Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge in Florence to survive both world wars and the location of gold and silversmiths since its construction in the 15th century. The city also has several lovely parks and gardens, the most famous if which is the Boboli Gardens, behind the Medici Pitti Palace.

              

   

Photo of Pitti Palazzo from the Boboli Garden by Stefan Bauer

Pisa's Campo de Miracola

Port to Pisa - 25 KM, 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

During Roman and through the medieval eras Pisa was an important port, but with the silting of the Arno, the city is no longer on the coast. Pisa was one of the great Mediterranean ports of the late middle ages, rivaling Genoa and Venice for a time. It was during this period that many of the city’s most famous buildings were constructed, including those in the Campo dei Miracole (Field of Miracles) such as the Campanile (Leaning Tower), Cathedral and Baptistry. The first building was the cathedral, begun in the 11th century and reflecting still on its exterior an ornate Romanesque style. Much of the interior was replaced after a fire in the Renaissance. Two Corinthian columns inside were originally in the Palermo Mosque. The Romanesque Baptistry was begun about 100 years later and is the largest in Europe, noted for its beauty and impressive acoustics. The Leaning Tower was begun 20 years after the Baptistry but only completed in 1372 with the addition of the bell chamber. The leaning started five years later when the builders reached the third level. It was left alone for a century and by the end of that period the ground was more secure. The rest of the construction was adjusted to ensure stability and one side was built taller than the other. The bell chamber has 7 massive bells and the stairway has 296 stairs. The Campo also has the Monumental Cemetery building

           

   

Photo of Campo dei Miracola by Massimo Catarinella

Pisa's Other Attractions

Port to Pisa - 25 KM, 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Many people consider it unfortunate that the Leaning Tower and Cathedral attract so much attention, since Pisa is a beautiful city even without the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Because the era of Pisa pre-eminence was in the late Middle Ages, many of the great artistic and architectural works of the city are from that era. The small Gothic church Santa Maria della Spina is a beautiful example of early Gothic (1230) that sits on the shore of the Arno River. The Knights Square is surrounded by Renaissance palaces and the Church of Knights of St. Stephen. The Museo dell' Opera del Duomo and the Museo Nazionale di S. Matteo are famous for their late medieval sculptures and paintings by Tuscan artists. The city also has an unusual Museum of Scientific Instruments, which includes a compass that was owned by Galileo, the city's favorite son. Despite its renown for the leaning tower, Pisa is under-appreciated for its many other attributes.

           

   

Photo of Santa Maria della Spina by Stephan M. Hoehne

Lucca

Port to Lucca - 50 KM, 45 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The famous Lucca city wall is from the Renaissance era, but many of the buildings and squares within it are older. The Romanesque Lucca Cathedral with its massive bell tower shows the wealth of the city when it was the capital of Tuscany before the pre-eminence of Pisa and later by Florence. Inside the city are a number of historic watch towers the most famous of which is the Guinigi Tower, named for one of Lucca's leading noble families. The Piazza Amfiteatro is an oval square surrounded by medieval buildings and showing evidence of the Roman amphitheater that once stood there. The unusual Basilica of San Michele in Foro has a facade with 4 loggias featuring columns of various ornate designs. The narrow alleys and streets of the old city provide one of those opportunities where you can imagine you are living in the past.

           

   

Photo of Fascade Logia of St. Michele in Lucca by Massimo Catarinella

Sienna

Port to Sienna - 140 KM, 2 hours 15 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Sienna was first an Etruscan hill-top village benefiting from the Etruscan irrigation technology. It gained local prominence in the late middle ages when it became a center for money-lending and wool trade. The Romanesque-Gothic cathedral is considered a masterful creation of its era (completed in 1380) and is certainly an important reason the city's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other important site in the city is the Piazza del Campo, bordered by the mighty Torre del Mangia and the Palazzo Publico (town hall). This is the gathering place for the locals and tourists. Outside the city are many beautiful villas, some of which offer tours.

           

   

Photo of Sienna Cathedral by Myrabella

San Gimignano

Port to San Gimignano - 83 KM, 1 hour 35 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

San Gimignano is a small hilltop village famous for its 14 medieval towers which have survived the centuries. This beautiful and atmospheric location features four welcoming squares, the Collegiata (which was once a cathedral), and the Church of Sant'Agostino, which houses several important Italian Renaissance paintings. The Communal Palace also houses a gallery. San Gimignano 1300 is a new museum that features an enormous scale model of what the town as it would have appeared in 1500.

        

   

Photo of San Gimignano Piazza by cfwee

Livorno Attractions

Port to Venetian District - 1.5 KM, 5 minutes, 12 minute walk
Port to New Fortress - 2.6 KM, 7 minutes, 19 minute walk
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Livorno is the primary port of Tuscany and one of the region’s newest cities. Established in the late Renaissance it was mostly destroyed during World War II, so much of the city is of recent construction. However, the so-called Venetian Quarter was left mostly unscathed and features many canals, bridges, and historic homes. The most impressive attraction in the city is the New Fortress built by the Medici family of Florence and not far from the port. Livorno's historic Jewish population has held an important place in the life of the city - economic, cultural and intellectual, since their arrival from Spain in the 1590s. Until the advent of the Fascist regime in Italy, the Jews of the city were not persecuted or disadvantaged, but the important synagogues were destroyed during the World War. Stunning new houses of worship have been built since.

     

   

Photo of Livorno's Venetian District by Idefix

Tuscany's Natural Attractions

Port to Wetlands Park - 15 KM, 22 minutes
Port to Apuan Alps Park - 53 KM, 50 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Near Livorno are two stunning and strikingly different natural parks. Just to the north of Livorno is the wetlands area that is the result of the silting of the Arno. For birdwatchers, this is an ideal spot. The Apuan Alps Park is about 45 minutes north of Livorno and offers dramatic rocky peaks rising nearly 2000 meters and nature trails for the trekker looking for alpine terrain and dramatic views. Agrotourism is very popular in Tuscany and there are a large number of farmhouses that offer meals and accommodation that allow visitors to experience the cuisine and atmosphere of the traditional Tuscan farm.

        

   

Photo of Mount d'Uccello in the Apuan Alps by Lorenzo Antiga

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible