A customized day trip of Pisa and Lucca for the discerning traveler seeking an authentic Italian experience on a small group tour with only the very best of English speaking driver-guides. Travel from the center of Florence to discover the charming medieval walled town of Lucca and marvel at the once powerful 11th century maritime city of Pisa. Visit Italy close up in a Mercedes minivan of up to 7 - 8 people that takes you into the very heart of each of these Tuscan cities.
Meet your private driver at 9am for the pleasant hour-long 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. The wall has helped keep the city's original features and Roman street plan intact. You may enjoy starting off your day with a bike ride on top of the walls along the beautiful tree-lined promenade where you can peer down into the palazzi and piazzas of the old city, or look up to views of the surrounding hills. Bike rental is an additional (optional) cost paid on the day of your tour at 5euro per bike, per hour. 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 choirboy. Strolling along the lively shopping street of Via Fillungo, you will arrive at the church of San Frediano with 6th century origins. See the tomb of Saint Zita (1278), mentioned by Dante in the Inferno, whose mummified body can be seen through glass. Discover the unique-shaped arena, Piazza Anfiteatro, constructed in the 1st century AD under Emperor Claudius with 54 arches and a cavea able to hold as many as ten thousand spectators in 18 rows of seats. The base of the original amphitheater is now some 3 meters below the center, which was reconstructed in the 1800s as the town's marketplace. 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 Caretto 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 is 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. You are free to explore some of the city on foot before meeting up with your driver for the return journey back to Florence with arrival at around 6pm.With your own private driver, entirely at your disposal throughout the day, this tour is flexible and if there is anything in particular that you wish to see or do, please let us know and we will do our best to incorporate this into your day.