There’s no need to step back in time when visiting Pisa and Lucca, being charmingly modern cities in spirit and vocation, that have still managed to preserve and exalt their ancient soul and appearance
This 8-hour private tour with a private driver covers two jewels of Tuscany – Pisa and Lucca.
Setting out from Florence or surrounds at 9:00 am in a cozy van, guests shall traverse Italy’s prized region, spying stunning glimpses of the iconic undulating landscape of Tuscany adorned with quaint farmsteads, stretches of vineyards and clusters of silvery olive groves, all crowned by historic hilltop towns.
The first stop shall be Pisa where there will be around an hour of free time to explore the famous Piazza dei Miracoli with its breath-taking Cathedral of San Ranieri, the ornate Baptistery and the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa–arguably the best-known bungle of all time.
Next shall be the short drive to Lucca, the city of churches with its own fascinating history. Having managed to remain independent during Italy’s tumultuous history thanks to its ability to defend itself from attacks from the Medici and Genoa, this contented green island became known for its music and cultural events. Its city walls, originally constructed as part of a defense mechanism, were transformed into a promenade in the 18th century and are today an enjoyable way to circumnavigate the city from above, taking in views of charming Lucca and its surrounding landscape.
There will be time for lunch, with the driver being happy to suggest a traditional restaurant, as well as time to shop in some of the charming boutiques for traditional foodstuff, high-end fashion, artisanal products and artworks.
The day will conclude with the pleasant return trip towards Florence, back to the starting point.
Dating back to at least the 5th century B.C., Pisa lies along Tuscany’s coast, flanked by the Ligurian Sea. Many populations have ruled here, including the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans, with Pisa serving vital defense, maritime and trade roles.
Pisa also has a strong educational vocation, being home to the 12th-century University of Pisa and the Scuola Normale Superiore founded by in 1810 by Napoleon.
The city also makes great contributions to light industry and is a transport hub due to its airport, roadways and extensive railway connections.
Still, there is no denying that Pisa is predominately known for its architectural booboo. The “Torre Pendente” was constructed over a total of 199 years, its foundations laid in 1173. The 296-step bell chamber was completed in 1372.
The 7 bells were removed in 1989 to ease the weight on the lean that had subsequently worsened. After decades of study, works to straighten the tower were concluded in 2008.
The nearby town of Lucca, rather, is famed for its city walls that were erected as a defense mechanism during the Renaissance. The city within dates back to the 3rd-century B.C. to the town of Luk, founded by the Ligurians before being taken over by the Etruscans and later the Romans. It continued to pass to various powers – interspersed with periods of relative independence.The 1861 foundation of the Italian State saw the end of this game of political tag.Besides the iconic walls, Lucca is also home to a plethora of impressive churches (the most ionic being the Duomo di San Martino), piazzas, towers, the Ducal Palace, and other monuments.
Having long held a musical vocation, composers such as Giacomo Puccini, Gioseffo Guami, Luigi Boccherini, and Alfredo Catalani were born here. Today, the annual Lucca Summer Festival attracts some of the biggest names in popular music. Lucca Comics and Games is the grandest event in its genre, whilst there are also other musical, film and arts events held.
WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO EXPERIENCE
- Be transported in a private Mercedes van to the historic Tuscan towns of Pisa and Lucca.
- Enjoy free time to explore the must-see monuments in Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli.
- Explore Lucca, seeing the iconic sights, strolling along the famed promenade atop the ancient city walls, perhaps even doing a bit of shopping.
- Enjoy a traditional meal of Tuscan delights thanks to suggestions from the driver.