Livorno (Pisa/Florence), Italy
Livorno is the port for Pisa and Florence. There is not much to see in Livorno but Pisa is very close and easy to get to. Florence is further away with lots of attractions.
Where You're Docked
Large ships dock at commercial piers in this large port with smaller ships docking closer to town. A shuttle may be provided to the center of Livorno. If you plan on visiting Florence, it is advised to take a taxi to Livorno train station (approx €25 - save some money by sharing) to maximize your time there and to get on the earliest train possible.
Money and Tipping
If a shuttle bus is provided, it will drop you off near Piazza Grande. From here, it is a 1.5 mile walk to the train station or you can take bus 1 (€1.20) to Stazione Livorno Centrale. The stop is across from the McDonalds. http://g.co/maps/bch24
From the train station, you can take a train to either Pisa (€2-3, 15-20 minutes) or Florence (€7-10, 1.5 hr). Train tickets need to be validated by having them punched by the machines on the platform. Train schedules here http://www.trenitalia.com/
From Pisa station to the Leaning Tower, buy a bus ticket from the news stand inside the station. The bus stop is across the street from the station in front of the hotel. Take the LAM Rossa (Red) to stop Torre (tower). It is nine stops away and the most popular.
You may also buy your ticket on board the bus but the standard ticket costs €1.50. Onboard the bus, you must validate your ticket by punching it in one of the yellow machines.
Going to Florence requires a lot of walking. The city is relatively compact with narrow streets and big buses are not allowed in the town center.
Must See Sights
Leaning Tower of Pisa - Part of the Field of Miracles, the site not only includes the leaning tower but the church, bapistry and a few museums. If you want to climb the tower, you need to pre-book. Entry to the site is free but there are various ticket combinations if you want to go into the buildings.
Official website http://www.opapisa.it/en/home-page.html
Duomo - free entry but remember you need to have your knees and shoulders covered. You can pay an entry fee to climb up to the top. Entry is outside the church on the north side and you can get up close to the frescoes inside the dome.
Piazza Signoria/Palazzo Vecchio - Piazza is free with lots of outdoor sculptures and a replica of David but the Palazzo Vecchio is worth the entry if you have the time.
Ponte Vecchio Bridge - this bridge is full of jewellery stores and a major tourist attraction
Piazalle Michelangelo - this park has the best view of Florence. It's a bit of a walk and uphill from the city center. You can take bus 12 or 13 from the train station (convenient if you just arrived by train) or grab a taxi.
Accademia Gallery - A definite must see is the statue of David. The copies in Piazza Signoria and at Piazzale Michaelangelo do not do it justice. Pre-book tickets online to avoid long linups. North of the Duomo.
Uffizi Gallery - Home to masterpieces such as The Birth of Venus. Pre-book tickets online to avoid long lineups.
Official site for tickets http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/en
Church of Santa Croce - this is a meeting point for cruise ship tours. The church is worth visiting since it contains the tombs of Galileo and Michelangelo.
Shopping & Restaurants
There is a large market for clothing and souvenirs around the central market building by the northeast corner of the San Lorenzo complex. This is where you can find the entrance for the Medici Chapel as well. Mercato Nuovo(Straw Market) is located a block west of Piazza Signoria and has leather goods. You can rub the nose of boar statue on the south side of the market for luck.
Do not buy fake handbags or souvenirs from street sellers. It is illegal for both the seller and buyer. You will see them scatter when the police walk by.
Restaurants on the main tourist streets tend to be very expensive due to the high rents. For pizza restaurants, try Pizzeria O'Vesuvio, Via dei Cimatori 21r or Leo Gusto, Via del Proconsolo 8-10/r, or le colonnine Via de' Benci. For a cafeteria style restaurant, Ristorante Self-Service Leonardo, Via de' Pecori 35/r is located close to the Duomo.
If you want to have a coffee at a cafe, you will pay extra to sit down and even more to sit outside. You'll notice most of the locals stand at the counter. If you order a coffee, you will get an espresso. Order an americano if you want a watered down espresso. Italians only drink cappucinos for breakfast.
For gelato, try Antica Gelateria Fiorentina on Via Faenza near the Medici Chapels. http://goo.gl/maps/3hOMN
In Florence, prices drop significantly off the main tourist streets. Find a street parallel to a main one if looking for a drink or snack.
In Florence, there is a post office at Via Pellicceria 3 by the southwest corner of Piazza della Repubblica with the carousel. In Pisa, there is a post office at Via Vecchia Barbaricina 1 about a block west of the bapistry. In Livorno, there is a post office near the corner of Via San Sebastiano and Via Monte Grappa off Via Grande.
Day in Florence
If starting at San Croce, save the church for last if you have time or get back early. Head across the river and head up the hill toward Piazzale Michelangelo. Enjoy the views and head back down crossing the river at Ponte Vecchio. From the bridge, follow the crowds toward Palazzo Vecchio. If you pre-purchased tickets, the Uffizi gallery is next door. Your next stop would be the Duomo. Check out the ornate doors of the bapistry beside the Duomo. If you're up for a climb, go up the Duomo tower. Next stop is to the Accademia to see the Statue of David. Head west to the central market if you want to pick up some souvenirs. Take the main street via Roma back towards Palazzo Vecchio heading back to San Croce.
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