Whether enjoying the street performers at the Spanish Steps and people-watching over a fine glass of wine in colorful Trastevere, or taking in the historical and architectural glory that is Rome, visitors are spoiled for choice in this truly Eternal City. St. Peter’s Basilica is a full-day outing, featuring the Sistine Chapel and panoramic city vistas for those willing to climb to the top of the dome. Other landmarks not to miss include the renowned Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, and Aventine Hill, which provides you with a grand view of the imposing remains of the Imperial Palaces and the Circus Maximus, of Ben Hur fame.
Shore Excursions available for this port on this cruise, and may be reserved beginning 240 days before the cruise begins for guests receiving Concierge amenities, and 180 days before the cruise begins for all other guests. Guests receiving Concierge amenities will receive a 5% discount off of the prices shown below for Regent Choice tours.
Light Activity /Walking
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
FLORENCE’S FINEST: ACCADEMIA AND UFFIZI
DURATION: 10 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-002
Join us for this exclusive full-day tour to Florence’s two main museums, Uffizi and Accademia, and a buffet lunch at one of the most exclusive hotels of the city.
Located on the River Arno, Florence, or Firenze, is a true, classic Italian city and the birthplace of the Renaissance. Built around Il Duomo, one of Italy’s most fascinating cathedrals, Florence offers some of the most spectacular art museums, architecture and photo opportunities in the world today. Florence’s artistic wealth can be attributed to one family in particular; the Medicis. Rulers of the city for over three centuries, they were directly responsible for the cultivation of Renaissance art in Florence, as well as the vast quantity of spectacular buildings that remain standing to this day.
This tour will depart the pier for the drive to Florence, where guests will walk to the Galleria dell’Accademia. Upon arrival, you will find the sheer colossal size of Michelangelo’s statue of David to be truly awe-inspiring. Nestled in a vaulted space that permits a free and unencumbered view from all angles, the grandeur of the statue is further enhanced by its turned head and intense gaze. Built by the Medicis in the late-16th century, the Uffizi is home to the most revered picture gallery in Italy, with representative works by the Italian masters Cimabue, Giotto, Duccio, Simone Martini, Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Piero della Francesca, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo. You will also see the exquisite works of Flemish, Spanish, Venetian, French, and German artists.
After visiting the two museums, you will enjoy a delicious lunch at the Hotel Savoy or Grand hotel Baglioni. Both properties offer unparalleled luxury and style in the heart of Florence. The venue locations are centrally located in close proximity of the museums and Florence’s main fashion streets, making them an ideal base from which to visit the key attractions of this beautiful and historic city.
After your sumptuous repast, some free time will be made in the afternoon to browse the world-class shops of Via Tornabuoni and Via della Vigna Nuova, including Armani, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianni Versace, Gucci, Prada and more.
At the conclusion of your unforgettable day in Florence, you will re-board your coach for the return drive to the pier and ship.
Please note: Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes for this tour which involves an extensive amount of walking. Suitable attire is required to enter churches and monasteries. The Academy of Fine Arts is closed on Mondays. On Sundays, no churches will be visited in the morning. The order of sites visited may vary. During Bank Holidays shops will be closed. This tour is not considered suitable for guests who utilize a wheelchair or guests with mobility concerns.
FLORENCE ON YOUR OWN
DURATION: 9 1/2 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-003
This is the perfect full-day tour for all those who have visited Florence before, or feel independent enough to explore it without the assistance of a local guide.
A city of many layers, Florence is at once an overrun tourist magnet and a living, breathing Medieval city that is home to proud Florentines. The former home to Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Dante and Machiavelli, Florence’s cultural importance can’t be overstated. It is also home to three of the world’s most renowned museums, the Uffizi, Galleria dell’Accademia and Bargello. Florence also boasts an incredible number of important churches, which house equally important master works. The Ponte Vecchio, Boboli Gardens, Pitti Palace and spectacular Duomo are but a few of the city’s many desirable sites offering wonderful photo opportunities.
A walker’s city, the center of Florence is a compact labyrinth of alleys and piazzas. While en route on the coach, your tour leader will provide you with historical and practical information about Florence, and a detailed map of its center to make it easy to move around on your own. Once in town, you’ll be accompanied to Piazza Santa Croce, which will be your meeting point for the drive back to the port of Livorno.
Please note: Walking on this tour is at the guests’ discretion. You will have between 5 and 6 hours to explore the city , shop, and eat lunch on your own before returning to the meeting place to take the coach back to Livorno and the ship. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Suitable attire is required to enter churches/monasteries. The historic center of Florence is accessible only to pedestrian traffic. If you choose to purchase this transfer, it is advisable to purchase a good guide book to the city before leaving home. On Mondays, most of the shops in Florence are closed between 9:00am and 3:30pm, and all the main museums are closed. No guided tour applies, only transportation to and from Florence. An official escort will be on the bus and will provide some information about Florence and places to visit. Maps are available on the bus. There is approximately a 15-20 minute walk from the parking area to the meeting point.
THE GLORIES OF PISA
DURATION: 4 1/2 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-004
Discover why Pisa offers so much more than its renowned Leaning Tower during a half-day tour of the city’s beautiful and historic Campo dei Miracoli.
Although most people have heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, few know that it combines with the Duomo, Baptistery and Camposanto in the city’s amazing religious core, the Campo dei Miracoli, to complete an unrivalled quartet of medieval masterpieces. These and a dozen or so churches and palazzos scattered about the town belong to Pisa’s Golden Age when the city, then still a port, was one of the maritime powers of the Mediterranean from the 11th to 13th centuries.
Depart the pier by coach for the drive to Pisa’s center, the Campo dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles, where the buildings and stonework exist in beautiful contrast with the surrounding meadow. Underneath the pavements and turf of the Campo dei Miracoli is a platform of saturated sandy soil, which accounts for the perilous tilt of the Leaning Tower. Begun in 1173, the tower started to list when it had reached a height of just three stories. Over the next 180 years, a succession of architects continued to extend it upwards, until it was completed with a bell-chamber in 1350.
Next, you will proceed for a tour of the magnificent Duomo, which began construction in 1064, a century before the Campanile. The Duomo’s multi-leveled colonnades and subtle interplay of marble and stone make the Duomo the unsurpassed archetype of the Pisan Romanesque style. Continue on to see the circular Baptistery, then visit one of Pisa’s most interesting sites, the Piazza dei Cavalieri. Thought to be the original site of the Roman Forum, the Piazza dei Cavalieri served as the central civic square of Medieval Pisa before being remodeled by Vasari as the headquarters of the Knights of St. Stephen.
Following your guided tour, some free time will be made available before re-boarding your coach for the drive back to the port.
Please note: There is approximately 15 minutes walking involved each way from the parking area to “Miracle Square”. Suitable attire is required to enter churches & monasteries, no shorts or dresses above the knees are permitted. The order of sites visited may vary. Ascending the tower is not included in the tour as timing restrictions make this difficult to incorporate. This tour involves a modest amount of walking, and certain locations involve steps and a very challenging ascent at the Duomo, however, this tour is wheelchair-accessible.
HIGHLIGHTS OF LUCCA
DURATION: 4 1/2 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-005
Experience Tuscan art and history without having to compete with crowds of tourists during this relaxing half-day visit to scenic Lucca.
The massive red brick walls that enclose Lucca shelter this Medieval City away from traffic and the modern world. Inside, the well-preserved ancient Roman street plan features fascinating streets, squares and narrow lanes. Unlike several other cities in Tuscany, Lucca is flat, and many locals use bicycles for transportation, adding to the Old World charm of this unique city.
You will depart the pier for the drive to Lucca, founded by the Romans in 180 B.C. Upon arrival, you’ll begin your walking tour of the city. Accompanied by your local guide, you will see the massive red brick walls built between 1504 and 1645, and among the best-preserved Renaissance-era defenses in Europe. Continue on past the Church of San Michele in Foro, which stands on the site of the ancient Roman Forum. The splendor of the church’s exquisite Pisan Romanesque façade rivals that of St. Martin’s. You will pass by the Guinigi Tower, one of many in Lucca once belonging to the Guinigi family, rulers of the city in the 15th century. Next, you will proceed to Anfiteatro Romano, once the ancient Roman Amphitheater, and today enclosed by Medieval houses built against its walls. At the Church of San Frediano, you will marvel at the striking façade that features a 13th-century mosaic. Inside, the splendid Romanesque font and beautiful frescoes offer wonderful photo opportunities. Visit the chapel where the revered Santa Zita is interred, then take a tour of the Church of San Martino. This extraordinary cathedral features a lovely façade of St. Martin, and houses the Volto Santo, a 13th-century wooden effigy, believed by Medieval pilgrims to have been carved by Christ’s follower, Nicodemus, at the time of the crucifixion.
At the conclusion of your tour, some free time will be made available for shopping or browsing around Via Fillungo, Lucca’s principal shopping street, which winds its way through the heart of the city towards the Roman Amphitheater.
Please note: Most of the shops are closed on Sundays and on Sunday morning there are services in some of the churches. This tour involves approximately 2 hours of walking over mostly flat cobblestone areas with approximately 10 steps to climb. This tour is not considered suitable for guests who utilize a wheelchair or for guests with mobility concerns.
SIENA & SAN GIMIGNANO
DURATION: 10 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-006
Capture the stunning beauty and architecture of Medieval Italy during this full-day tour of historic Siena and San Gimignono.
Nestled amidst its three hills, Siena is one of the most beautiful towns in all of Italy, and has been captured in films, photographs and advertising campaigns. It features a flamboyant Medieval ensemble of buildings and towers cast in warm, brown, sienna-colored bricks. The Gothic-styled Cathedral of Duomo, Torre del Mangia and Piazza del Campo dominate Siena’s soaring skyline. The bricks cover the gently sloping land underneath, and have been the scene of many historic events, especially the Palio horse race, one of Siena’s most important traditions. First recorded in 1283, this event may have had its origins in Roman military training. Each July 2nd and August 16th, no-holds-barred bareback horse racing takes place in the piazza. The prize is a banner, or Palio, to be shown off with pride to the entire neighborhood it represents.
Depart the pier for the 2-hour drive to Siena. Upon arrival, you will begin your guided tour of Siena. Visit the Church of San Domenico, founded in 1125 and closely identified with St. Catherine of Siena. Her chapel features frescoes of her by Sodoma, and a reliquary containing her head. Continue on to the spectacular Romanesque and Gothic-styled Piazza del Duomo. The huge Cathedral was built between 1136 to 1382, and its Pisa and Lucca-inspired lineaments in bands of black and white marble are a joy to behold. Inside the Cathedral, you will marvel at the Libreria Piccolomini, handwritten ornamented books, and exquisite frescoes by Pinturicchio covering the walls and ceiling. Next, you will visit the Piazza del Campo, which is bordered by elegant palaces, and has an elaborate fountain at its center. Finally, you’ll see the Fonte Gaia, a rectangular marble basin decorated by statues, and the remarkable Palazzo Pubblico, which still serves as the Town Hall and site of the annual Palio races.
Your tour of Siena concludes with some free time for shopping and lunch on your own in one of the many open-air cafés and restaurants of the Piazza del Campo before re-boarding the coach for the ride to San Gimignano, the Town of Beautiful Towers situated on a picturesque hill. This town went through its most prosperous period towards the end of the Middle Ages, when the urban civilization flourished.
Upon arrival in San Gimignano, you will have a guided tour to explore the ancient squares, buildings, narrow and shady alleys, and soaring slender towers of this stunning town. In the center of town, you will visit a square surrounded by palaces, and highlighted by the Cisterna, an elegant public fountain built in 1273. The square of the Cathedral, or Duomo, is the oldest part of San Gimignano. You will marvel at the mighty towers of the Salvucci and simple, bare façade of the Collegiata, which is flanked by the Big Tower, or Torre Grossa, and 13th-century Palace of the Mayor. Together, these breathtaking sites combine to make this square one of the best-preserved scenes of Medieval architecture. San Gimignano can be explored in one or two hours, and is a delightful place to shop for souvenirs and wine.
Following your memorable visit to San Gimignano, you will reboard your coach for the return drive to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves approximately 1 mile of extensive walking, sometimes uphill, with 30 stairs, on uneven surfaces in Siena, and this should be taken into consideration. Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes with non-slip soles. This tour includes visits to religious sites and proper clothing is essential (knees and shoulders should be covered). Lunch is not included in this program. Siena is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes from Livorno by coach. This tour is not considered suitable for guests who utilize a wheelchair or for guests with mobility concerns.
LUCCA BY BICYCLE
DURATION: 4 3/4 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-007
Discover the Old World beauty and charm of Lucca during this memorable bicycle tour of the ancient walled city.
Guests will depart via coach from the pier for the drive to Lucca, a Medieval walled city erected on a plain crossed by the Serchio River. Lucca is enclosed by massive red brick walls surrounding the fascinating streets, squares, tower houses, buildings and several stunning, timeless churches depicted in its ancient Roman street plan. Unlike several other cities in Tuscany, Lucca is flat, where cars have been almost completely banned from inside the town walls. As a result, many locals use bicycles for transportation, adding to the Old World charm of this peaceful, charming city.
Upon arrival in Lucca, you will meet your knowledgeable guide for a wonderful bicycle tour through the city, and enjoy spectacular photo opportunities The heart of the ancient town center still retains its original rectangular chessboard-like shape, typical of the Roman castrum. Reminiscent of today’s Piazza San Michele, Lucca was an ancient trading site for traders and silk merchants that conducted their business in the foreground of its stunning Palazzo Pretorio and 11th-century Church of St. Michele in Foro.
Guests will continue cycling on to the popular Piazza del Mercato, a wonderful square built in 1437 on the remains of the 2nd-century Roman Amphitheater. You will also visit a few of Lucca’s many historic churches, including the Cathedral of San Martino, built in 1438, and the Church of San Frediano, completed the following year and displaying rare examples of local Romanesque art.
After your guided bicycle tour of Lucca, you will have 1-hour of free time for shopping in its many stores, or relaxing with a cup of coffee at one of the open-air cafés before re-boarding your coach for the drive back to the pier.
Please note: Cycling helmets are provided. Cycling is at your own risk. The cobblestone streets in Lucca are mainly flat. Suitable attire is required to enter the churches. In autumn, warmer clothing is suggested. Few shops are open in Lucca on Sundays. In the event of rain, this tour will be substituted for Highlights of Lucca (LRN-005). On Sunday morning there are services in some of the churches.
EXCLUSIVE COOKING CLASS
DURATION: 5 1/2 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-008
If you love cooking and eating Italian food, than you will simply adore this exclusive cooking class and lunch at an excellent restaurant in Livorno.
Tuscany’s food is much like its scenic landscape; clean and simple. Tuscan’s are masters at the art of understatement, building their characteristic dishes on an interplay of vegetables, beans, salt-less bread, and fruity olive oil. Their favorite herbs, including thyme, rosemary and fennel, are used judiciously – never squandered or wasted. Sharp sheep’s milk cheese made at artisanal dairies lends a saltiness and pungency to pastas, savory pies and salads. Ravioli and tortelli, the region’s classic stuffed pastas, are filled with ricotta or potatoes and pancetta, then napped with butter and sage, tomato sauce or a meat ragout. A special breed of cattle known as Chianina provides succulent meat for the grill, and delicious pasta sauces.
Desserts are always most impressive on celebratory days, and range from a dome-shaped cake called zuccotto to a flat bread studded with grapes that dates back to Etruscan times. Tuscany’s wines are famous across the world; the most renowned are Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti, Vin Santo, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and the new class of ‘Super Tuscan’ wines.
Depart the pier for the transfer to an exclusvie restaurant in Livorno. Upon arrival, you will be warmly welcomed and begin this hands-on cooking class. An English-speaking tour escort will also be on hand to help translate. Guests will enjoy a delicious lunch consisting of the dishes that you will help to prepare, and savor the memories of this interesting and enjoyable experience long after this delightful visit.
Please note: Guests must pre-book. Once booked, this tour will be non-refundable. Participants must be at least 18 years of age. The restaurant is equipped for guests with wheelchairs, but some wheelchairs may not be able to enter the kitchen area. This tour includes very little walking, however guests will stand while cooking.
FLORENCE & PISA
DURATION: 10 1/2 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-010
The drive from Livorno passes through classic Tuscan countryside, a wonderful introduction to the beauty that awaits you in Florence. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a guided walking tour of the historical center, which has been deemed a pedestrian zone. Visit the magnificent complex of the Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiore, the famed Duomo, which lords over Florence. A treasure-trove of priceless masterpieces adorns the building, including sculptures by Donatello and Giotto’s tour de force, the Campanile, or bell tower. You will also have time to view the Gothic Old Palace with its ornate courtyard and view the stately Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge in Florence to avoid destruction during WWII, when the Nazis retreated from Italy. After free time for lunch on your own, you will continue to Pisa for a self-guided tour around the Campo dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles, which contains an assemblage of some of the world’s finest architectural treasures. The magnificent Romanesque Campanile, better known as the Leaning Tower, was begun in 1173 by Bonanno Pisano and wasn’t finished for nearly 200 years. It began to tilt as soon as the third level was completed because the settling sub-soil was unable to withstand the tower’s weight. The nearby Baptistry, the largest of its kind in Italy, is known for its unusual acoustics, which you can test by singing from the middle of the floor.
Please note: On Sundays, no churches will be visited in the morning. Suitable attire is required to enter churches & monasteries, shorts and dresses above the knees are not permitted inside. The order of sites visited may vary. Guide service only in Florence. An official escort will be in the coach and will provide some information & maps. Ascending the tower in Pisa is not included in the tour as timing restrictions make this difficult to incorporate. During Bank Holidays most of the shops will be closed. This tour is not considered suitable for guests who utilize a wheelchair or guests with mobility concerns.
DURATION: 10 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-011
Discover another dimension of Tuscany on this tour, as you visit the town of Torre del Lago Puccini on Lake Massaciuccoli, where the famous composer Giacomo Puccini resided. At the Museo Villa Puccini, where he and his wife are buried, you will see the piano room, where the esteemed Puccini composed all but the last of his operas. A scenic drive brings you to the walled city of Lucca, beautifully situated on the banks of the River Serchio. This easy-to-walk town offers so many attractions, including the Romanesque-style Cathedral of San Martino, the remains of an ancient Roman amphitheater in Piazza Anfiteatro, and the lovely Church of San Frediano, founded in the 6th century. After lunch on your own, and free time to explore, it’s off to Pisa, an architectural gem known all over the world. The city was a powerful maritime center in the 12th century, and its architects and artists strongly influenced Romanesque and Gothic styles throughout Tuscany. Your first stop is the Campo, or Field of Miracles, an exquisite cathedral complex, where you will find the famous Romanesque Campanile, better known as the Leaning Tower. As fascinating as the Campo is, be sure to explore further during your free time. Pisa’s finest collection of paintings is on display at the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo.
Please note: Dress conservatively to enter churches and monasteries. The order of the sites viewed/visited may vary. This tour is not considered suitable for guests who utilize a wheelchair or guests with mobility concerns. Official guide in Lucca and Pisa only. Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago: the escort and one of the personnel of the villa will guide during the visit.
HILLS OF LUCCA & WINE TASTING
DURATION: 5 1/2 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-012
This delightful half-day tour gives you a wonderful view of the rolling hills and beautiful valleys of the Tuscan countryside, including a stop in Lucca and a fascinating glimpse of the region’s winemaking. Your tour begins with a picturesque drive northeast of Livorno toward the wonderful medieval town of Lucca. As you journey along, you’ll pass several quaint medieval villages that seem to be caught in a time warp. The enchanting view outside your windows as you travel past the golden vines of the vineyards, silvery green olives waiting to be harvested, and elegant dark green cypress trees, makes it easy to see why this region has long been praised by poets and artisans for its charm and beauty.
Your visit in Lucca will be on your own, with ample time provided to explore this charming old-world city. Perhaps you’ll want to stroll along the amazingly well-preserved Renaissance-era city walls which have today become a popular pedestrian promenade, or visit some of the ornate basilica-styled churches. Other attractions that can be experienced here are several inviting piazzas, an ancient Roman amphitheater and an impressive Ducal Palace.
Following your time in Lucca, you’ll re-join your coach and continue on to a lovely local wine cellar. Upon your arrival at the wine cellar, you will be given a guided tour that includes an interesting presentation on the process of winemaking and the traditional bottling methods that are still in practice today. The district of Montecarlo is said to produce some of the finest white wines and is equally known for its reds as well. At the completion of your guided tour, you’ll be treated to a generous tasting of both white and red wines, accompanied by light refreshments of local salami, olives and bread.
After an enjoyable visit, you’ll re-board your coach for the relaxing drive back to Livorno.
Please note: While there is approximately 1-hour of walking/standing at the winery, the walking on this tour is mainly at the guests’s discretion during free time. There are some cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. The tour may not be suitable for wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Lightweight clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.
HIGHLIGHTS OF FLORENCE
DURATION: 10 1/2 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-014
Join us for a first-hand look at Florence’s extraordinary beauty and illustrious past during a visit to this Medieval City.
Long celebrated by artists and poets, Florence is home to spectacular streets, palaces, churches and monuments that reflect the glorious past and proud people of this historic Italian City.
Depart the pier with your English-speaking tour escort for the drive into Florence. Upon arrival, you will be met by a knowledgeable, local tour guide and begin your walking tour. You will start at the Piazza del Duomo for an inside visit to St. Mary of the Flower, a huge Cathedral featuring an impressive Tuscan marble façade. You’ll also view the Baptistery, famous for Lorenzo Ghiberti’s celebrated doors called the Gates of Paradise, and commissioned in 1401. Next, you’ll continue on to see the Giotto Bell Tower, designed in 1334 and Florence’s second major piazza. Piazza della Signoria is the political center of the town because of the presence of City Hall, or Palazzo Vecchio. It is also referred to as an open-air museum, largely due to an abundance of exquisite statues that include Cellini’s Perseus, Giambologna’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, Ammannati’s Neptune Fountain and a copy of Michelangelo’s famous David.
After your Piazza della Signoria visit, you’ll proceed to the Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge. Ponte Vechhio dates back to 1345, and is the only bridge in Florence to escape being blown up during World War II. It originally housed the workshops of the butchers, but they were sent away by the Grand Duke, Ferdinando I, because of the terrible noise and stench they created. As a result, Ponte Vecchio was open only to goldsmiths and silversmiths that can be found there to this day.
Your next stop is the Piazza di Santa Croce, a large square dominated by the Franciscan Basilica. A visit will be made inside the Franciscan Basilica, which has been worked on by a succession of the finest Florentine architects and masters, including Brunelleschi, Vasari, Giotto and Donatello. For most of the year, the square is a peaceful open space, surrounded by stately palazzi and intimate pizzerias and restaurants. During the summer months, however, Piazza Santa Croce plays host to the Calcio in Costume, an historic version of football. Hefty men from the four quarters of Florence battle it out in an ancient mix of wrestling and soccer, and are cheered on by residents and visitors alike.
Following your guided tour, you will have some time to enjoy lunch on your own, and do some shopping.
Please note: This tour does not include lunch. In case of long lines, the inside of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral will not be included in the guided tour. A walker’s city, the center of Florence is a compact labyrinth of alleys and piazzas. Comfortable shoes are strongly encouraged for guests participating on this tour. The driving time to Florence is approximately 2 hours in each direction. You will have approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes of free time for shopping & lunch in Santa Croce square. During Bank Holidays most of the shops will be closed. This tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or guests with mobility concerns.
THE ULTIMATE FLORENCE
DURATION: 10 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-015
The inspiring Tuscan countryside provides an idyllic backdrop for the drive to Florence. In this historic city on the Arno River, you will first visit the Academy of Fine Arts, home to Michelangelo’s magnificent statue of David, a masterpiece carved from a single block of marble. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, begun in 1296, also stands as testimony of the genius of Florence’s artists. Most famous is the work of Renaissance architect Brunelleschi, who designed its crowning glory, a massive octagonal cupola, or Duomo, as the cathedral is commonly called. Adjacent to the Cathedral, you will see the painter Giotto’s superb 14th century Campanile or bell tower, and the Romanesque Baptistry with Ghiberti’s stunningly bronze doors, aptly entitled the Gates of Paradise. Equally spectacular is Santa Croce, Italy’s largest and most famous Franciscan Gothic church, where many of Italy’s most illustrious citizens are entombed, including Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, and Machiavelli. One of the church’s most famous works of art is Donatello’s Annunciation, his moving sculpture in gilded and carved stone. This tour also allows ample free time for further exploration of Florence, a city that has served as a muse to so many artists.
Please note: Dress conservatively to enter churches and monasteries. The Academy of Fine Arts is closed on Mondays. It will be replaced with a visit to the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. On Sundays, no churches will be visited in the morning. The order of sites visited may vary. During Bank Holidays most of the shops will be closed. This tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns.
CASTELLO DI BOLGHERI & EXCLUSIVE WINE TA
DURATION: 8 HOURS
TOUR CODE: LRN-016
This full-day Regent Choice tour is recommended for wine-lovers seeking an exclusive visit to the Castle of Bolgheri.
Depart the Port of Livorno for the scenic 1-hour drive by mini-bus through the Tuscan countryside. In the Maremma Region, you will see cypress trees, olive groves and vineyards. As you continue on through the gently rolling hills overlooking the sea pines and sand dunes of the Tirreno Sea, your guide will point out sites of interest and introduce you to the local history. Leaving the town center, you will see the ancient castles and watchtowers that dominate the dramatic rocky cliffs on the Mediterranean coastline.
Your first stop will be Castle of Bolgheri, whose origins date back to the 1200s. Since then, it has been the property of the Counts of Gherardesca family. In the second half of the 1700s, restoration work and improvements were made to the building, and the cellars were built. In 1895, the castle’s facade was modified, with the construction of the tower and merlons that are seen today.
Bolgheri Castle is surrounded by picturesque vineyards, olive orchards and wooded areas and both sides of the estate are adjacent to the famous cypress road extolled in the poetry of Giosuè Carducci. During your visit, you will be served two wines produced by the winery (Castello di Bolgheri and Varvàra), along with some wholesome bread, extra virgin olive oil, prosciutto and savoury sheep cheese. Relax and enjoy the Castle’s ambience as you swirl the wines in your glass, releasing their fine aromas and discovering the extraordinary personality of every drop. After your wine tasting, you will be treated to a guided tour of the estate and the cellars before having some free time to catch a glimpse of the local country lifestyle. You may also use this time to purchase some selected wines and souvenirs at the local shops before transfering to a typical Tuscan restaurant, nestled in a quiet and intimate setting near the San Guido Estate.
After lunch, a visit will be made to the Le Macchiole Estate in the heart of the Strada del Vino Costa degli Etruschi, the Etruscan Coast’s wine route. Upon arrival, an estate guide will escort you to the noble vineyards and cellars where their award-winning wine is produced, then to the private dining room for a wine tasting.
Following your tour, you will re-board your mini-bus for the return drive to the Port of Livorno.
Please note: Due to the exclusive nature of this tour, there is limited availability. Only 16 guests will be able to participate in this unique Tuscan experience. Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes for this tour, which involves moderate walking at Castello di Bolgheri and at Le Macchiole Estate. Guests must be at least 18 years old to participate in this exclusive tour.
Picturesquely situated in a narrow cove, this tiny port owes its popularity to its beautiful setting, agreeable climate and lush and luxuriant vegetation. The town crowded around its small harbor is considered to be among the most beautiful Mediterranean ports. It has long been known as an exclusive gathering place for the wealthy, artists and actors with an ever-growing number of waterfront restaurants, cafes, and tourist hot-spots. Historic sites not to miss include to the Chiesa di San Giorgio, built on the site of a sanctuary Roman soldiers dedicated to the Persian god Mithra; and Castello Brown, with its lush garden and panoramic views of the town and harbor below.
SCENIC RAPALLO AND SESTRI LEVANTE
DURATION: 4 HOURS
TOUR CODE: POF-001
A short cruise by local boat is a spellbinding way to approach Rapallo, a gracious resort city that curves around a stunning bay.
While your visit in Rapallo is but an hour, it will be time well spent and highly informative as your guide introduces you to some of Rapallo’s most fascinating buildings during your walking tour.
Next, you’ll re-board your boat and cruise to Sestri Levante, a delightful seaside village famed for its picturesque setting, which has inspired writers such as Ezra Pound and Hans Christian Andersen. In fact, Andersen named the village’s Bay of Fables. After a short, guided walk through this lovely town, you will have free time to browse the art galleries or visit the Romanesque church San Nicoló. Afterwards, you’ll sail back to Portofino and your awaiting ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of guided walking, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability and may make arrangements with the guide to not participate in some of the guided walking portions of the tour. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
CRUISING THE ITALIAN RIVIERA
DURATION: 4 HOURS
TOUR CODE: POF-002
Touring by boat offers a completely different perspective on the Italian Riviera, which you will see as you cruise along the spectacular coastline. Have your camera ready because there simply isn’t a bad angle to take a photo of the beautiful cliffs and bay.
Your first stop is San Fruttuoso, a tiny, forest-lined inlet only accessible by boat or by foot. As you view this scenic location from the perspective of your boat, your guide will share with you the history of the medieval abbey there.
Next you will cruise to Camogli, a small fishing village of brightly painted houses in the Golfo Paradise. Going ashore here, you’ll enjoy a one-hour guided visit of the village. The seaside promenade is particularly charming, and is also the historic center of the town. After visiting Camogli’s 12th-century, Baroque-style church, enjoy some free time further explore on your own or do some shopping.
Following your visit, you’ll re-board your boat and cruise back to Portofino. During your 45-minute cruise back to Portofino, relax and enjoy some locally made wine and traditional Genoese bread baked with olive oil and salt.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 60-minutes of guided walking, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability and may make arrangements with the guide to not participate in the guided walking portion of the tour. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Suitable attire is required to enter churches/monasteries with knees and shoulders needing to be covered.