Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 4 Hours
Meals not included
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a monument to determination and medieval architecture. Not to be outdone, other sites that dot the Piazza dei Miracoli, such as the Cathedral of Pisa and the baptistery, are beautiful examples of the religious and civil life of Pisa in the 12th century. Discover the wonder and majesty of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Departing from Livorno, sit back and relax as you journey through the hills of Tuscany to Pisa -- one of Italy's most beautiful cities. At the height of its power in the 11th - 13th centuries, Pisa dominated the western Mediterranean and the Pisans went to work creating architectural delights befitting such an imperious city.
The Piazza dei Miracoli, located on the northern edge of the city, is your destination. Once you arrive at the Square of Miracles, you'll disembark and set off on a walking tour around the monuments to Pisa's glory days. In the heart of the Piazza sits the duomo -- the Cathedral of Pisa and the first structure erected in the square. Built in 1064, it is an imposing Romanesque structure with a marvelous array of variegated colonnades and arches, and a four-tiered façade of gray-and-white striped marble.
The second structure to be built was the circular baptistery. Begun in 1152 in Romanesque style, it was completed a century later in a more ornate Gothic style.
You'll also view the campo santo. Built in 1278, this serene cemetery is believed to hold earth reputedly brought back during the Crusades from Golgotha, the hill where Jesus was crucified, so that noble Pisans could rest in holy ground.
Next, stroll to the Piazza's crowning glory -- the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Called one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World, the Tower was originally designed as the cathedral's campanile or bell tower. Construction began in 1173, but by the time the third floor was finished in 1178, it was apparent that the tower had begun to lean. Standing 185 feet high and made of white marble, the tower boasts eight stories. At the conclusion of the tour, you'll have the amazing opportunity to climb the 297-step spiral staircase to the top of the Leaning Tower.
Then, relax in a nearby café enjoy a drink or a gelato.
Some free time allows you to further explore the piazza, taking photos, meandering through the nearby Orto Botanico (one of Europe's oldest botanic gardens), or visiting the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo -- a modern museum that rests inside the cathedral's former Chapter House.
Finally, walk back to your coach and return via the same scenic route to the ship in Livorno.
Ongoing restoration work is being carried out at the various venues. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Modest attire is required for visiting churches or cathedrals; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered; shorts are not allowed. If you wish to independently visit the cathedral, baptistery or cemetery, an admission fee is required; bring local currency. Climbing the Leaning Tower is not suitable for guests with a fear of heights. Minimum age is 8 years. Bags are not permitted inside the tower and must be checked before entry. This excursion is non-refundable. Photography of any kind is not allowed in the cathedral.
Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience.