Wayne & Mary Alice (MA) Wendel's travel journal with daily updates, places seen, people we meet, photos and funny stories. We will also share some travel tips with you so you won't make the same mistakes we have. We hope you will follow us by signing up for an automatic email. We would love to hear from you with comments and questions.
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Monday, May 13, 2013
Port of Livorno, Italy: A tour to Pisa, a Tuscan Vineyard and San Gimignano, the Village of Towers
Port of Livorno,
Italy:A tour to Pisa, a Tuscan Vineyard
and San Gimignano, the Village of Towers
We pulled into the Port of Livorno, Italy, early Saturday
morning.Mary Alice had signed us up for
an all day tour to Pisa, lunch at a Tuscan vineyard and the medieval town of
San Gimignano.The bus was a modern,
comfortable Mercedes Benz and we got the front seats.Our first stop was Pisa, location of the
famous “leaning tower”.
The tour guide gave us an hour to take pictures, shop and or
have some coffee.MA chose coffee and I
went to take some pictures.We were in
Pisa three years ago when I got some great photos of the tower, Baptistery and
cathedral.Later when I found MA at the café,
she was having a lively conversation in French with a Canadian couple.
From Pisa we headed east for an hour-long drive along the beautiful
Tuscan countryside. Our destination was a vineyard-winery for lunch.The host had tables set with prosciutto
(sliced cured meats), cheeses, and salad and some great Italian bread soaked in
Olive Oil.Samples of the wines were
available.That was not the story.The story was the guy who described each wine
and did it with such exuberance and salesmanship, you couldn’t help but enjoying
his “show”!The vineyard goes back was
started by great grandfather in the 1880’s.He also produces a very excellent olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I
think almost everybody had a few too many samples for lunch.There was great hilarity and joking going on
as folks tried to sing Italian songs as best they knew how!
Next stop was San Gimignano, the village of towers, which is
a walled city built in the medieval ages. The walls were built for protection against
barbarian invaders.The bus had to park
a good distance from the village.The
walk was uphill and steep at times.MA
stayed in a café while I took a quick tour of the village, church and square.The village offers a wonderful panoramic view
of the Tuscan countryside.We went back
at the bus and the agreed departure time, snoozed for the hour drive back to
the port of Livorno and the Ruby Princess.
San Gimignano tourists
This was “pack your suitcase night. “We packed and tagged ours and put them
outside the door before dinner.You have
to remember to keep some clothes to put on the next morning.One of the cruise directors told us about a
guy who packed all his clothes in his suitcases and put them out for pickup
forgetting to hold out clothes for the next morning.He had to get someone from the ship to go
into the hold to find his bags and get him something to wear.
Sunday we got off the ship at 8:30 am and meet our private
van for transportation to the Tiber Hotel in Fiumicino where we are staying for
two nights.Monday we see Rome with a
private guide and Tuesday we fly home via Frankfurt.I’ll write something on Rome if I’m not too
tired.See ya later, WW.