We want to help you discover one of the most beautiful corners of Italy that is far undervisited. Whether you are staying the Tuscan Coast Area to really get to know this part of Italy or coming in for a day trip from Florence, we’ll work with you to create the best itinerary for you!

Costs are for your group, not per person.

For more ideas about what to see and do in the area without your guide, check out our blog posts about what to visit in Florence & Tuscany.

HALF DAY TOURS

Pisa & The Leaning Tower Half Day Tour

A visit to Pisa is often inspired by the architectural wonder of the leaning tower, but the city has so much more to offer its visitors than this singular attraction. A city of artists, scientists and merchants, Pisa was a powerful maritime Republic that rivaled Florence in its prime. On this half day tour, you’ll not only experience history as you climb the leaning tower, you’ll get a taste of real Tuscan life in this university town on the Arno river.

Tour details:

  • The tour: walking tour
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Suggested start times: 9:15am or 2:00pm
  • Cost: €200 for guide + tickets additional (see below)
  • Ticket Costs Additional: €25 is the total ticket price for adults 11 years old and above (€18 for the tower + €7 for baptistry/camposanto). €18 is the total ticket price for children 10 and under (€18 for the tower + free entry to baptistry/camposanto). Entrance to the Cathedral is free for all.

Customisation options

We can meet you at your hotel in Pisa, at the train station, or arrange a private driver (additional cost) to pick you up in Florence/surroundings

Suggested Full Day Options

  • Combine your tour with a transfer. Going from Florence to Cinque Terre? Get picked up with all your bags, head to Pisa for your tour, then get dropped off in Cinque Terre!
  • Combine with a food & market tour of Livorno in the morning before exploring Pisa in the afternoon and ending at a rooftop at sunset (see below for details)
  • Combine a half day in Pisa with a visit to the walled Renaissance city of Lucca (see below for details)
  • Head to the coastal retreat of Livorno or Castiglioncello to have lunch on the water and swim in the sea
  • Stop at the town of Vinci on the way back to Florence to visit the museums dedicated to the town’s most famous resident: Leonardo

Tour Description

Begin with a stroll through the medieval streets where the contradictions begin: you’ll see a massive street art mural by Keith Haring, the delicate church “Santa Maria della Spina” perched on the banks of the Arno river and the house where Galileo was born not far from where he’d later perform his gravitational experiments. Medieval porticoes and churches contrast with the bustle of Pisans shopping at casual outdoor markets in the morning or heading for aperitivo with friends in the evening.

You’ll always find students in the Square of the Knights with its famous university founded by Napoleon and the tower of Count Ugolino, mentioned in the furthest reaches of hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Numerous Popes, Galileo, the 20th century physicist Enrico Fermi and even singer Andrea Bocelli received their educations in Pisa. This square speaks to the Academic tradition of thinkers and scholars that have made Pisa a center of innovation for centuries. 

No visit to Pisa is complete without a thorough exploration of the Square of Miracles. The grand cathedral is a magnificent example of the perfection and grandeur of Romanesque architecture. If we time our entry to the baptistry just right, you’ll hear the ethereal echo effect of singing voices before visiting the tomb of the great scientist Fibonacci in the monumental Camposanto cemetery full of beautiful statues and frescoes. (This is also the location of the famous swinging lamp that inspired Galileo’s experiments.) Last, but certainly not least, you’ll learn the secrets and circumstances behind how the tower of Pisa got its lean and how engineers have worked for centuries to maintain it before climbing its 297 steps for a spectacular view over the Square of Miracles.

Lucca: Renaissance charm

Tour details

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Cost: €200 for 4 hours with a guide
  • Ticket Costs Additional: To be decided with your guide

Tour description

Lucca is a city where silk trading and banking systems were a perfect match to develop one of the strongest Republics in Italy. Today its history is preserved in the mighty ring of walls that surround the city and the magnificent cathedral of San Martino. Thanks to its position on the pilgrimage route of the Francigena road and the influence of northern pilgrims and merchants in the Middle Ages, a unique Romanesque and Gothic style flourished in Lucca – evident in its church architecture. The result is a city resplendent in shining white marble church facades and refined artistic details hidden within their walls.

On this tour, we’ll stroll Lucca’s mighty Renaissance walls, visit a 17th century urban villa and its private garden, peek into some of the Romanesque churches, climb the medieval house tower that boasts a miniature forest at its height and see the piazza built over an ancient Roman amphitheater. Along the way, we’ll seek out the best gelato, coffee and pastries for a sweet refreshment.

Livorno: Art, Food & Boat Tour

Tour Details

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Livorno is 1 hour and 10 minutes by train from Florence. A half day in Livorno could be combined with a tour of Pisa, Lucca, or a boat ride or drive along the Tuscan coast (see full day description)
  • Tastings: plan to have about €25 per person for tastings at the market (will depend what we decide to get and your preferences)
  • Cost for 1 hour cruise on the canals: €15 per person for large canal boat (open to public up to 30 people) OR €210 for luxury private boat for 6 people

Tour Description

Livorno was designed with the Renaissance concept of an “ideal city” with a great fortress built by the Medici that can still be seen today and canals for the merchant vessels known as “the Venice district.” For centuries it was a wealthy port city that replaced the Pisan port and was characterised by freedom: freedom of religion and shipping taxes! This fostered a unique community where locals, foreigners and a significant Jewish population lived, worked and worshipped side by side. 

We’ll hop onto a boat for a unique view of the city by water, past its famous grand palazzos, central market, and the Medici fortress into the harbor. Option for large public boat or private luxury boat available. You can also add a half day Tuscan coast boat cruise in the afternoon to have a full day in Livorno (see description below).

Then, we’ll experience the enormous 19th century central market (the largest and most grandiose in all of Tuscany) devoid of the tourist crowds you’ll find in Florence. Here you can try the best prosciutto, cheeses, and olive oil and experience the lively fish market. If you’re up for something stronger, you have to try the Livornese drink “Ponce” – a coffee & rum pick me up you won’t find anywhere else in Tuscany. Then follow in the footsteps of Stanley Tucci as you try the famous crispy chickpea flour sandwich known as “cinque & cinque.” 

Lastly, you can discover some of the history of Livorno and its role in contemporary artistic movements. The birthplace of the turn of the century composer Mascagni and artist Modigliani, Livorno also boasts a significant contemporary artistic scene, fostered by the gallery Uovo alla Pop and evident throughout the city in works by international street artists Clet, Blub, Lediesis, Merioone, Exit Enter, and more. Depending on your level of interest, we can point out some street art along the way or visit a few galleries or an artistic co-working space. 

If you have any room left, we’ll go for a stroll and a gelato on the Terrazza Mascagni’s checkerboard terrace overlooking the sea or drop you off for a seafood lunch.

Livorno: Behind-the-Scenes Culinary Experience

Tour Details

  • Duration: 4 hours. 
  • Includes one or both of the following:
  • 1.5 hour cheese making class (2-3 people €50/person, 4-6 people: €35/person)
  • 1 hour pasta making class in the central market itself with “The King of Pasta!” (€75 per person for 2-8 people)

Tour Description

This tour is for those of you who want to go behind the scenes to learn the secrets of Italy’s culinary specialties as explained directly by local food artisans directly in their kitchen or laboratory.

After an abbreviated market tour (see the description above), we’ll accompany you on one or two of the following short cooking experiences:

The first is a 1.5 hour mozzarella making class in the backroom of the most heavenly smelling cheese shop in Livorno. It’s located right along the canals and operated by a fun-loving group of young cheesemakers. You’ll follow the entire process of making Italian mozzarella from the salt bath that cures the cheese, to stretching the “dough” with your hands, to making your own creamy burrata cheese.

The second class is a 1 hour full immersion with “The King of Pasta” himself. The exuberant chef Valerio Chiesa has literally made his tortelli for Queen Elizabeth and the Pope! (His latest invention is 23-carat gold painted fresh pasta.) On this experience, he’ll share with you his more humble approach to making fresh ravioli or tagliatelle from scratch in his kitchen right inside the central market. Then you’ll enjoy a dish of your handmade pasta with a glass of wine.

This behind-the-scenes culinary tour is a fun and hands on experience for everyone in the family.

FULL DAY TOURS

Pisa & Livorno

Tour Details

  • This tour can be done taking trains in between location or hiring a private driver for the day.
  • Optional driver service available. Price varies depending on starting point.

Tour Description

Livorno and Pisa are two Tuscan coast cities that have been rivals for centuries and on this tour you’ll get to know both of them. In Livorno, choose to visit in the morning to exploring the Venice district and medieval fortress of Livorno along with the historic central market where you’ll taste the best local foods or take a boat out for the afternoon along the coast. The other half of the day will be in Pisa for a tour of the square of Miracles and leaning tower.

Livorno: Art, Food & Tuscan Coast

Tour Details

  • We will put together a quote based on your requests for the day!
  • Pictures of boats available on request

Tour Description

Extend one of the half day tour options in Livorno (described above) with one of the following:

The coast of Tuscany is characterized by green forests, winding roads and orange sandy rocks that plunge into the sea. If you’re in Livorno, the whole city flocks to the water during the summer months. There are numerous ways to do this so below we will describe a few options you can choose for an afternoon at the sea by boat, car, or train. 

Your private guide could come with you after our morning half day tour or we can drop you off to spend the rest of the day on your own. 

Option 1: 12 Meter luxury boat: €390 for 3-4 hours (max 8 people). Snorkels or water shoes available on request. Aperitivo on board available on request.

Option 2: Typical fishing boat with local fisherman: €290 for 3.4 hours (max 10 people). We recommend having a guide if you would like to fish as the fisherman speaks only Italian. Fishing rods available on request. Snorkels or water shoes available on request.

Option 3: Go for a drive in a vintage car. You can head down the coast to Quercianella or Castiglioncello. €290 per car (options up to 7 people)

Option 4: Or you can make your own way for the rest of the day! We’ll give you advice on how to drive your own vehicle or take trains from Livorno to Quercianella or Castiglioncello to enjoy the seaside on your own after our morning tour.

Pisa & Lucca

Tour details

  • This tour can be done taking trains in between location or hiring a private driver for the day.
  • Optional driver service available. Price varies depending on starting point.

Tour Description

Visit the leaning tower of Pisa in the morning before heading to Lucca in the afternoon. We’ll discuss how you’d like to customize this tour based on your interests!

Pisa, Vinci & Winery Full Day Experience

Spend the morning exploring Pisa, a bustling university town, birthplace of Galileo, and of course the location of the famous Leaning Tower before heading to a winery in the afternoon where you’ll do a full wine tasting in Chianti. There’s even time for a stroll through the charming town of Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo.

Tour details:

  • The tour: Half day guided tour with licensed guide + driver service to countryside winery + tasting
  • Cost: €550 (includes 3 hour guided tour of Pisa and private driver for the day from Florence)
  • Ticket costs: €50 per adult for tickets/winery (€18 for kids 10 and under)
  • Ticket Cost breakdown: €25 per adult winery + €25 is the total ticket price for adults 11 years old and above (€18 for the tower + €7 for baptistry/camposanto). €18 is the total ticket price for children 10 and under (€18 for the tower + free entry to baptistry/camposanto). Entrance to the Cathedral is free for all.

Tour Description:

Either meet your guide directly in Pisa to begin your walking tour of the city or get picked up by minivan in Florence or surroundings to start off your day. You’ll explore the highlights of Pisa, climb the leaning tower and learn about the life and discoveries of Galileo (explained in more details in the half day Pisa tour above) before heading out with your driver to a winery in the countryside near Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo.

Enjoy a full tour of a winery including a tour of the vineyards, cellar, and a guided tasting of wines before heading into Vinci for a stroll through the town where Leonardo grew up and which would inspire much of his art and life philosophy.

This is a great option for those staying in Florence who want to take a day trip into the Pisa/Chianti area.

Express Pisa & Farmhouse cooking class

Combine a visit to the leaning tower of Pisa with a private cooking class on a farm!

Tour Details

  • €150 for guide + entry tickets additional (see below)
  • €85 per person for the pasta cooking class
  • €65 per person for the pizza cooking class
  • Pisa Ticket Costs Additional: €25 is the total ticket price for adults 11 years old and above (€18 for the tower + €7 for baptistry/camposanto). €18 is the total ticket price for children 10 and under (€18 for the tower + free entry to baptistry/camposanto). Entrance to the Cathedral is free for all.
  • €400 for minivan driver service for the day or you will need your own car

Tour Description

Climb the leaning tower, visit the square of miracles on this express tour of Pisa with your private guide before jumping into the car for a drive out to a farmhouse for a visit to a family farm where they raise horses, chickens, ducks and even a goat! You can choose between a pasta making class or pizza making class. *Possibility to add an afternoon carriage ride or horse riding lesson on request.

Wine Tasting in Bolgheri: The birthplace of Super Tuscans

Bolgheri is the birthplace of Super Tuscans – the unconventional Italian wine that conquered the world and now is some of the most famous wine produced in the country. Join our sommelier driver for a visit to two wineries in the area and lunch.

Tour Details

  • Let us know where you are starting from so we can provide an accurate quote
  • Estimated tasting costs: You will visit two wineries and tasting costs can range from €20 per winery to over €100 per winery. We’ll talk about what kind of experience you’d like to have when planning this tour together.
  • Cost of lunch additional: from €20-€50 per person, depending on what you order/where you’d like to go

Tour Description

On this tour of the Bolgheri area, you’ll have an introduction to the coastal area of Bolgheri and their world-famous wines. Tuscany was known for its production of Chianti Classico but in the 20th century, wine producers started experimenting in the area of Bolgheri with French varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, creating blends that fell outside the Italian wine regulation system but which wine drinkers loved. Between winery visits, you’ll also stop at the town of Bolgheri itself, located at the end of the longest cypress lined road in Italy.

The wineries you visit on this day are up to you. You can visit some of the big names in the Bolgheri area like Ornellaia or Argentiera (where visits/tastings are €80-€100 per person) or some of the less well known (but no less delicious) producers where visits are €20 per person. 

Interested in more wine tours? Check out the wine tours we offer around Italy on our Wine Club & Tours page.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is known for its beautiful coastline, colourful towns, and incredible hiking trails. Sometimes called the Amalfi Coast of Liguria, any visit here is an unforgettable experience. I often hear from people who want to visit Cinque Terre for a day from Florence and while this is possible I advise against it as you’ll spend more time in the car than actually enjoying the area.

Tour Details

  • Cost of driver from Pisa area: €550
  • Cost of driver from Florence area: €650
  • Cost of guide. €60 per hour, 3 hour minimum
  • Private Boat for a full day: €1,000

The best way to organise a Cinque Terre excursion is to discuss your plans with us while booking. It’s a unique and beautiful place and one size certainly doesn’t fit all. If you have an idea of how many days you have available and what your interest is (hiking, tasting wine, best photos, boat experiences) then I can put together some suggestions for you.

Unlock Italy

Carrara, Colonnata & Wine Tasting

***COMING SOON.*** The ideal day trip from the Cinque Terre! Visit the marble quarries of Carrara, taste the famous marble-pressed lardo of Colonnata, and spend the afternoon sipping wine in the hills above Cinque Terre. Description and details coming soon: write for details!