Reached the refined town of Lucca, you will be able to explore on your own, the stretch of city walls overlooking the majestic palaces, glorious churches, and imposing towers of the city center.
Admire Piazza San Michele, the beating heart of Lucca, which features the exquisite white limestone Basilica, dating back to the twelfth century, and the magnificent Palazzo Pretorio, a restored town hall that was built in 1370 as a Hall of Justice for the Podesta. The Basilica is topped by two angels and a statue of St. Michael the Archangel. On the lower part of the façade, visitors can observe the statue of the Madonna salutis portus, designed by Matteo Civitali in 1476 to hail the end of the plague.
The cobblestone streets display numerous shops leading to the Piazza del Mercato, a former second-century BC Roman amphitheater.
Continue on to the eleventh-century Cathedral of San Martino, a gothic masterpiece featuring the tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, an Italian aristocrat married to Paolo Guinigi, the lord of Lucca from 1400 to 1430, and the Torre Guinigi, constructed in the 1300s, with its rooftop garden brimming with holm oaks that symbolize rebirth and regeneration.
Originally, the kitchen was located on the floor below the rooftop, where a vegetable garden was kept.
The tour then leads to the Versilia coast and the beach town of Forte dei Marmi, a pristine Mediterranean resort, popular with the rich and famous. The resort is set against the awe-inspiring white-marbled Apuan Alps. The old town, which showcases numerous upscale shops and cozy outdoor cafés, stretches along the palm-tree-lined waterfront with views of stately villas in the distance.
Forte dei Marmi is named after the marble fortress in the center of the main square, which was built by Grand Duke Peter Leopold, later known as Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1788. The fortress, originally erected to guard the coast from invaders, was eventually used to house the coveted Alpi Apuane's marble prior to being exported.
A visit to Forte dei Marmi would be incomplete without a stop at one of the many seafood restaurants on the shoreline, perfect for refueling after an invigorating swim in the inviting waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
After a leisurely lunch, the tour sets off for the celebrated city of Pisa, where visitors will stop by the spectacular Piazza dei Miracoli, a UNESCO world heritage site, overlooked by four sacrosanct Romanesque masterworks: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistery, and the Camposanto Monumentale. These sites date back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and display innumerable works of classic art. The Piazza also features Pisa's most emblematic monument, the Campanile, commonly known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, constructed over the course of 177 years, beginning in 1173.
• Departure and Meeting Point:
Tour departs at 08:25 am, from Piazza della Repubblica, in front of Gilli Cafè
No penalty for cancellations up to 48 hours in advance of the schedule departure time. Less than 48 hours and in case of no show, 100% of penalty