Today is the first visit to a port in Italy on this cruise, and it is a very early start. I was up and eating breakfast by 6.30 am to ensure joining the tour group at 7.20 am. My tour today was exploring from Livorno, Florence and Pisa as part of an 11-hour tour.
The tour started with a lengthy drive of around one and half hours to reach the city of Florence. Once the tour arrived in Florence we left the bus and set out on foot. There are a number of interesting sites here, and definitely worth the visit.
Dome of Florence Cathedral
The Dome of Florence Cathedral is one unique Cathedral that I have seen to date. The entire outside of the building is covered in marble. The use of marble on the exterior allows the building to appear very much as it did when built without a need to repaint.
A short walk onto Piazza Della Signoria which is also the location of the town hall, Palazzo Vecchio. The building looks quite different to many other buildings in the area with a more castle look. In front of Palazzo Vecchio is where the famous statue of David by Michelangelongalo. However, the statue now resides in the Accademia Gallery to protect it from the elements.
Florence has almost an endless number of interesting sights. Of course, as with any tour, there is a limited amount of time, so the last stop before lunch was a bridge named Ponte Vecchio.
Ponte Vecchio might have been destroyed twice in floods. But it was the only bridge in the city to survive World War II. When you are on the bridge it seems just like a street lined with shops. However, from a little further along the river you can see it is a rather interesting bridge.
The tour today included a meal, I suppose partially to let us try the local flavour. But I suppose also to help ensure the timing of everyone on the tour. There were three courses, starting with pasta in a tomato sauce, followed by Roast Pork and Potatoes. The final course was dessert a delicious coffee flavoured cake and custard. After lunch, there was a short period to explore Florence, before the tour headed to Pisa.
Pisa is, of course, best known for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, it does not take long to notice that there are also three other amazing buildings here as well. The Cathedral that stands next to The Leaning Tower of Pisa is almost more impressive than the tower.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa though is much more famous due to the fact it is leaning. Over the years the lean would increase by 1mm each year. But it eventually reached a point where it was fear it may fall over. In recent years extensive work has helped to remove this threat and make the tower much more stable. The Leaning Tower Of Pisa now is free standing with a lean of 4.6 meters off centre.
I do not think there is a better way that I could have spent my time in port today. Getting to explore the historic city of Florence, before a visit to Pisa. It would not have been possible to see as much without taking the tour.