A multi-city cruise can be amazing. It is one of the greatest benefits of cruising; being able to visit a city without making a full commitment. This is perfect for Pisa. Livorno is not only a port serving Florence and Pisa but also cities such as Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena and Cinque Terre. For us, it will be our entry to the cities of Florence and Pisa. If only there was more time, I would visit some of these other beautiful villages.
Livorno is a large commercial port. You cannot walk thru the port; the only way to leave the ship is via a bus or cab. La Spezia is Italy’s main naval station. Cruise ships anchor out and tender passengers into the center of town.
Pisa – the world famous Leaning Tower
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is only 17 miles and 30 minutes by tour bus from Livorno Port. In addition to the tower, there are many works of art and architecture in the Field of Miracles. However, when you’re on a cruise ship tour, there’s really only enough time to see the tower and cathedral.
Information on how to get here can easily found on the Internet here at Tom’s Port Guides.
With that being said, this was one of the only times we took advantage of the ships land excursions. We did this simply as transportation and felt it was the easiest way to see Pisa and Florence with as little effort as possible.
When you arrive to Pisa, you trek about 100 yards to the throngs of
other visitors taking in the majestic scenery. Of course you must wade through the multitudes of trinket sellers and gift barkers trying to sell you that sure-fired memory of this wondrous occasion. The beautiful marble artistically carved lends itself to the mystery and wonderment of a tower that leans. The Pisa tower is one of the four buildings that make up the cathedral complex in Pisa, Italy, called Campo dei Miracoli or Piazza dei Miracoli, which means Field of Miracles. As you make your way closer, your duomo behind the bell tower drowns you with history and beauty. The Duomo di Pisa, which rests on a white marble pavement, is an impressive example of Romanesque architecture. It has various colors of marble and is stunning as the midmorning sun reflects off of it.
The tower is open for those who wish to climb around 296 steps up the 56 meters to the top. I won’t bore you with all the details of but you can get the latest info at http://www.opapisa.it/en/home.html
This is a side trip that you’ll take on your way to Florence. After spending about thirty or forty-five minutes snapping your tourist-shots, you’ll be returned to your bus to make your way to the real destination. If you don’t mind missing this all but 45 minute side trip (about 3 hrs total including travel time) – I say head straight for Firenze.
I’m happy that I got to see Pisa and its beauty, I really enjoyed it and I am sure there is much more to this great city to see; but if you are pressed for time, it could easily be skipped.
Until next time, thanks for tripping with me.