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One of Joe Banana's English speaking drivers will meet you at the port of La Spezia. You will need to take the shuttle from the cruise ship to the parking lot where our driver will be waiting for you, holding a sign with your name on it. Your private driver will then escort you to your luxury vehicle for a day mixed with history and charm in Florence and Lucca.
This shore excursion will start with a beautiful drive to one of the most charming of Tuscany’s city: Lucca. After about an hour drive from the port we will arrive in Lucca, the birthplace of composer Giacomo Puccini. This historic town is set inside a ring of well-preserved Renaissance walls. The wall has a path along the top that is wide enough to hold small parks!
Like most cities in Italy, Lucca still shows Roman roots and style. Its defensive walls are perfectly preserved and once you've entered you'll feel that you've returned to the past.
Lucca is a MUST see city, filled with many characteristic shops and restaurants. You can take time to enjoy an authentic meal at a local restaurant, explore the area by foot or even choose to rent bicycles from one of the local shops and take a leisurely ride around the area. Whatever you choose to do, you will enjoy your time here.
Following your time in Lucca, we will continue on to the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and capital of the Tuscan region, Florence. Its museums, palaces and churches offer incredible representations of Italian architecture throughout the centuries. Florence is home to some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world.
When you arrive in the Florence, you will be accompanied to the Accademia where the original David by Michelangelo is located.
Then you will go to the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence. This cathedral was the third to be built in Florence and was the largest in Europe with enough space for 30,000 people. It is famous for its high, octagonal-ribbed dome, Brunelleschi's most famous masterpiece. Next, you will go to the Battistero with its famous bronze gates, before coming to the Basilica di Santa Croce where Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and Rossini are all buried.
Then you will transition to the Old Bridge area, with its Renaissance palaces and medieval roads. You will have the opportunity to stop in some of the workshops to visit the local craftsmen at work.
At some point, we will stop for lunch in a typical restaurant, or grab a quick bite to eat on the way and also do some shopping if you wish. You will have about one hour to shop for leather, gold, Tuscany pottery, shoes, water colors, or other Florentine treasures.
If we start our day at 8.00/8.30 am, we will return to the ship by 5.00/5.30 pm.
Available: all year round
Tour duration: 9 hours
Pick up - drop off location: La Spezia Port
Pick up time (suggested): 8.00am (according to your ship’s schedule)
Luxury air conditioned vehicle
English speaking driver
All taxes, parking, tolls, gasoline and driver maintenance
Meals and drinks
Entrance fees, if required - unless otherwise specified.
Please be advised that, as touring companies have now been unabled to enter La Spezia port, when desembarking, cruisers need to take the shuttle bus in order to reach the designeted pick up area where their driver will be waiting holding a sign showing the guests' name. We kindly suggest that our guests get off the ship about 20 minutes earlier than the scheduled pick-up time in order to make the most out of the touring day.
The proposed itinerary is an example of a tour.
We are able to make a reservation for tickets to the Accademia or Uffizi upon request for the rates as explained above, however as our cancellation policy is 7 days prior to the scheduled tour and tickets are non-refundable, we do not make the reservations until 6 days prior to your scheduled tour dates. We cannot guarantee ticket availability due to occasional events that are out of our control including, but not limited to, internal assemblies or strikes at sites.
We reserve the right to change the order in which we visit sites.