Type: Culture, Free Time, Historic Monuments, Medieval Village, Scenic Drive
Length: 8 - 9 hours (traffic pending)
Walking: Difficult - uneven surfaces
Mobility: NO wheelchairs
Guide: Driver Guide
Livorno, Italy - This tour is a great alternative to the Florence and Pisa tours that most cruise ship passengers take. You visit Siena, one of Florence's rival cities and also enjoy a typical small Tuscan village. Your driver guide points out the top sites but you decide how to spend your time.
After meeting your driver guide at the pier in Livorno your exploration begins with a drive through the lovely Tuscan countryside to the enchanting town of Siena. Your driver guide will talk to you about sites you will see today, but you have the freedom to choose what interests you the most.
Upon arrival, you have time to visit Siena's pedestrian zone on foot. Enjoy the small medieval streets lined with splendid palaces. Many visitors like to visit the Cathedral to see the striking exterior which is lined with black and white marble. You might choose to visit the interior which is rich in frescoes, several statues made by Michelangelo, a pulpit which depicts scenes from Jesus' life. Also important to note is the inlaid marble floor which is decorated with religious symbols and stories.
You have time to enjoy lunch (meal not included) and Siena is loaded with cafés and restaurants serving Tuscan cuisine.
End your visit at the Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. The shell shaped squared has been the center of Siena since the 1300s and it is still the hub of the city for both locals and tourist. On the square is the impressive Public Palace, where governors have lived for over 700 years. If you are up for a serious climb, you can ascend 400 steps to the top of the Mangia Tower for splendid views. This piazza is also the site of the world famous Palio race which is held every year. A rite of passage as a visitor is to lie on your back in the square and enjoy the city views and Tuscan sun.
Next you will visit the tiny Tuscan town of Monteriggioni. If you have not visited some of Tuscany's small towns, this is an excellent choice for a short visit. The town dates to 1203 and is completely surrounded by formidable, well preserved walls and 14 heavily fortified towers. The town sits on a high plateau which only allowed the village to be as large as this small mountain top. There is not a major sight to see in the town but you will be very impressed by its unique situation and quaintness. While you are there, enjoy a glass of the local Castello di Monteriggioni wine. Monteriggioni served as Siena's northernmost defense against impending Florentine invasions.
At the end of the day, you return to the pier in Livorno.