Your English-speaking chauffeur/guide will welcome you at the dock beside your ship in Livorno at 8:00am (suggested time).
After about an hour of driving, you will reach the delightful city of Lucca. This city was founded by the Etruscans (there are traces of a pre-existing Ligurian settlement) and became a Roman colony in 180 BC. The rectangular grid of its historical center preserves the Roman street plan, and the Piazza San Michele occupies the site of the ancient forum. Traces of the amphitheatre can still be seen in the Piazza Dell’Anfiteatro. Later, it became a very important medieval town, especially for the trade of silk and wool. You will have some free time on your own to discover the city center, surrounded by 4 km of perfectly preserved walls.
After leaving Lucca you will head over to the Versilia coastline and stop in Pietrasanta, one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany.
You will have time for a wonderful lunch in a local trattoria. Afterwards, time permitting; you can make a brief stop in the town of Colonnata to taste the famous lardo, a typical Tuscan salted pork meat matured for several months in marble slabs. Next, you will head for the mountains, the “Apuan Alps;” this is where marble has been extracted for centuries. The Carrara marble quarries have been exploited for more than 2,000 years. Carrara marble is very famous for the statuary quality, used by all of the most famous sculptures in the world, such as Michelangelo, Canova, and many more. The first peak of extractive activity was in the roman period, during the Imperial Age; the demand for Carrara marble rose as it became the most requested building stone for public buildings. Since then, Carrara’s marble has been requested worldwide for buildings, statues, objects, and many other resources. Now, about one million tons of Carrara marble are quarried each year.
You will have a chance to visit a marble quarry, as well as the Walter Danesi Heritage Museum, an open-air exhibition where you will get to know the tools and accessories used by the cavatori (excavators) who lived in the quarry with their numerous families. For sculpture lovers who want to focus on getting to know the secrets of marble workmanship, instead of exploring Lucca, you can visit one or two local art studios in Pietrasanta to watch as the artists actually convert the “white gold” into fabulous art works. After your visit, you will take a ride of about 1 ½ hours back to the dock beside your ship in Livorno.
This tour length is approximately 9 hours in total and is conducted by an English-speaking driver/guide that will not enter sites but drive you around and show you places, pointing out things while explaining what they are, as well as stopping at the places that require a visit and helping you access them.
• Luxury vehicles air-conditioned and fully equipped
• English-speaking chauffeur/guide
• Fuel, tolls, parking fees included
• Personal and courteous service
• Fresh bottled water on board
• All vehicles are fully licesed and insured according to Italian law
• Meals & entrance fees (unless specified on your confirmation voucher)
• Gratuities (entirely at the client’s discretion)