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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

San Gimignano
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.




 Tuscan Countryside

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.

3 comments:

  1. Wayne and MA,

    As usual, sounds like another great trip and lots of photo ops. I really like the shot of the leaning tower - the composition really shows just how much it leans. Well done.

    Hope you have some great photo ops in Rome - looking forward to the update.

    Have a safe and God Blessed day - dave b.

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