Are you planning a few cruise ship excursions Tuscany style? Those enjoying this Mediterranean cruise will find a wealth of culture, excellent food, and a beautiful landscape when they dock in the Tuscan ports. Consider the options you have from your cruise line for excursions through the city. There are some too good to pass up.
The Cruise Tour
In Tuscany, as soon as you disembark from your ship, you are sure to be given plenty of options from cruise tour guides located right near the dock. Consider them, but know what you want to see and do before you get off your ship. There's plenty to do here; a long excursion time will give you ample opportunity to explore the riches this Italian city can offer.
Wine Country Tours
The Tuscan countryside is known for its high sun ideally suited for vineyards. Wine Country is not only an excellent cruise shore excursion for wine tasting, but also for romantic sunrise or sunset walks or meals. Some of the best and oldest vineyards are located here, and many have produced wine since Roman times. Touring the vineyards is a common option, with wine tasting included.
Wine country tours are offered through the following Tuscan tour companies:
Some of Italy's most beautiful and well known landmarks, artworks, and historical artifacts are found just in or outside Tuscany. A Tuscan excursion may include one or several visits to locations like these. Many cruise ship guides will encourage these locations since they are so important to the Italian way of life and culture.
- The Duomo: Built in 1386, The Cathedral of Milan is a famed Tuscan retreat. The 4th century Bishop Ambrogio once called this his church and many consider it one of the largest Catholic churches throughout the world, smaller only to Saint Peter in Rome and Seville Cathedral.
- The David: This famous sculpture created in 1501 by Michelangelo is one of the finest creations of the Renaissance period. You can see the sculpture by visiting the Galleria dell' Accademia, in the heart of Florence. After removal from public view for more than four centuries, you can see the sculpture today in its specially designed encasing to protect it.
- The Last Supper: Visit Santa Maria delle Grazie, a church in Milan where you will find the mural of The Last Supper. The mural was painted by Leonardo da Vinci during the 15th century as a way to honor Duke Ludovico Sforza. The church itself is open to the public during normal business hours for tours.
Guided Cruise Ship Excursions Tuscany
Always consider guided cruise ship excursions. Tuscany is full of options, most of which range from the Tuscan hillsides through Florence. The amount of time you have in port determines the extent you can see the city and the surrounding area. A guided tour can help you see what you wish to, as much as possible, in the limited time you have off the cruise ship.
Some options may include:
- Tour of Assisi: Usually at least nine hours, it will take you through Arno Valley into Umbria. This is where you'll see the green hillsides that Tuscany is known for. You may also get to travel near a large lake named Lago Trasimeno. This lake is where Hannibal defeated the Roman Empire in 247 B.C.
- Montalcino and Pienza: With at least ten hours of time for your excursion, take this guided tour through Chianti wine country. You'll pass the Supestrada del Palio (a famous horse racing area) and you'll go over Cassia Road (one of the ten Roman consular roads that are still used.) The tour continues to the town of Montalcino where many wines are produced and you may get to stop at some of the old vineyards here. Finally, you'll come to Pienza, a Renaissance city created by Pope Pius II, with amazing Renaissance architecture throughout.
Many cruise lines offer specially arranged tours for their passengers that will fit the ship's schedule and include transportation to and from the dock. Contact a cruise travel agents for available options on sailings you are considering.
More Tuscany Excursion Options
Other options to consider include tours through Siena and San Gimignano (requiring at least a full day), Lucca and Carrara tours, and Montepulciano and Cortona tours.
Book any of these tours through Tuscan local tour guides prior to arriving. Many offer websites where you can see what's available during the time you'll be in port. Your cruise line may also offer prearranged Tuscan excursions.
In a cruise destination filled with culture, history, art, and more, different cruise ship excursions Tuscany options will let passengers explore this remarkable Italian port and experience all it has to offer.