1. La Spezia: Full-Day Private Shore Excursion to Pisa & Lucca
Meet your private driver-guide in La Spezia as close as possible to your ship's arrival for the pleasant hour's drive to the charming medieval city of Lucca. It is a city enclosed and protected through the centuries by an imposing 16th-century wall, which is one of the best-preserved Renaissance defenses in Europe. Discover the city's Roman features with the Church of San Michele in Foro standing on the site of the original Roman forum. It was here that Giacomo Puccini began his musical career as a choir boy. Strolling along the lively shopping street of Via Fillungo, you will arrive at the Church of San Frediano with its 6th-century origins. See the tomb of Saint Zita (1278), mentioned by Dante in the Inferno movie, whose mummified body can be seen through the glass. Discover the unique shaped arena, Piazza Anfiteatro, constructed in the 1st century A.D. under Emperor Claudius with 54 arches and a cave able to hold as many as ten thousand spectators in 18 rows of seats. The Cathedral of San Martino houses the precious holy relic, the Volto Santo, a cedar wood crucifix said to be a true portrait of Jesus sculpted by Nicodemus, an eyewitness to the crucifixion. Also, see the remarkable marble tomb of Ilaria del Carretto and Tintoretto's infamous 'Last Supper.' The city is filled with artisans and tempting delicatessens offering Tuscan specialties, and Lucca is particularly renowned for its olive oil. Not to be missed are the underground cellars of Enoteca Vanni, offering a tempting selection of wines from all over Italy. Lunch will be at your own cost, and your driver can make recommendations and point you in the right direction. You may even have time to enjoy lunch at a local vineyard on the outskirts of town before taking the short drive to the 11th-century powerful maritime republic of Pisa. Enjoy a driving tour of the city, which will lead you to the heart of one of the most important monuments in Italy, the breathtaking Piazza dei Miracoli with its Baptistry, the cathedral, Campo Santo Cemetery, and of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You'll be free to explore some of the city on foot before meeting up with your driver for the return journey back to your ship in the port of La Spezia.