TREASURES OF TUSCANY

TREASURES OF TUSCANY 

Tuscany is simply one of the most charming corners in Europe. Enjoy the amazing architecture, stunning scenery, fascinating history and tasty cuisine of this Jewel of Italy!!!

5 DAYS
from

  700 €

FLY
from

  Your local airport

  A tailor-made tour for young Dutch tourists in summer!!!

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Arrival at Pisa Airport
Departure from Pisa Airport
Transfer between airport and accommodation
4 nights at the lovely Ostello San Miniato in San Miniato
Accommodation on B&B basis
Triple rooms
English- speaking tour guide on tour
All sightseeing tours as mentioned
Travel on tour by minibus or coach
All local and airport taxes/service charges

PRICES: 700 € per person

 

 

 

DAY 1:SAN MINIATO

                  
 

DAY1:SAN MINIATO

Arrival at Pisa Airport. A coach will take you to the lovely Ostello San Miniato  in San Miniato, a town located on three hills in the heart of Tuscany.

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Our walking tour starts with Grifoni Palace. This Renaissance Palace was built by Giuliano of Baccio d’Agnolo for Ugolino Grifoni, Secretary of the Grand Duke Cosimo I of the Medici Family, in 1555. The building was destroyed during the Second World War, later it was restored and regained its original splendour.

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We can continue our tour towards Piazza del Popolo with its Church of the Saints Jacopo and Lucia, also called San Domenico’s Church, with its adjacent Cloisters of the Convent. This church dates back to 1330 so it is very old, as we can see from its façade. Inside the church we can admire some works of art such as Antonio Domenico Barberini’s frescoes.

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Next to the church we can admire the amazing Via Angelica, which is an ancient path that runs along the right wall of the Church of the Saints Jacopo and Lucia. In the past it was the connecting route between the town and the countryside. Along this ancient path there are three chapels decorated with 14th-century frescoes and 18th-century decorations.3

We next visit the Archconfraternity of Mercy in Roffia Palace , which contains devotional objects connected with the role of this important institution such as a 19th-century horse-drawn ambulance, 18th- century lanterns and some splendid paintings.

Our tour continues towards Piazza del Seminario, where we can admire the Palace of the Seminary. The square has an asymmetric shape. The palace dates back to 1713 and it is characterized by its concave façade decorated with 18th-century frescoes and phrases in Latin.

We next the  head for Piazza dl Duomo, where we can admire the Cathedral, which is dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and San Genesio. It was built in the 12th century and has a beautiful Romanesque façade, which also exhibits Gothic and Renaissance architectural elements.

  Its Bell Tower, called Matilde Tower, has an asymmetrical clock and dates back to the 12th century. Its name refers to the Countess Matilde of Canossa,who was probably born in San Miniato.

In Piazza del Duomo we can also admire the Bishop’s Palace, the Imperial Vicars’ Palace,dating back to the 12th-century, and its Tower, which was used as a prison.

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2Leaving Piazza del Duomo behind us, we head off to the Sanctuary of the Most Holy Crucifix. This Baroque church, which stands between the Fort, the Cathedral and the Town Hall, was built in the 18th century. While the decoration of the façade is very simple, the walls inside the church are completely painted with “Scenes from Jesus Christ’s Life” by Antonio Domenico Bamberini. On the main altar there is a tabernacle containing the famous “Holy Crucifix”, which is venerated and thought to be miraculous.

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????????????????????????????????????In front of the Sanctuary there is the Town Hall, which was built at the end of the 13th century. Inside we can admire two beautiful rooms decorated with the 14th and 16th- century amazing frescoes: La Sala delle Sette Virtù and La Sala Consiliare. “La Sala Consiliare” is situated next to the “Sala delle Sette Virtù” and it contains Francesco Maria Galli Angelini’s famous frescoes depicting the history of San Miniato during the Middle Ages.

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Don’t miss the visit to the Oratory of Loretino, whic was built inside the Town Hall as the governor’s private chapel at the end of the 13th century. It became an important place of worship in the 14th century when the Most Holy Crucifix was placed there.

During our walking tour we stop at Retrobottega for lunch. Here you can taste typical Tuscan food created by the famous butcher Sergio Falaschi and his staff by using high-quality local products and enjoy a wonderful view of the countryside. We suggest you have “crostini” and a selection of “salumi” (cold cuts) such as “soprassata”, ham, “rigatino”, “finocchiona”, “spuma di gota”,  “mallegato”, pasta with sausage and leek sauce, “pappa al pomodoro”, Fiorentina steak with grated truffles and “cantuccini” with “Vinsanto”.

  

After lunch we head off to the Tower of Frederick II, called the Fort, which is a 37-metre tall tower, built by Frederick II of Swabia in 1217. It was the central core of the Imperial defensive system. It is the landmark of the town.

 The tower was destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt in 1958.From its top you can admire the special ribbon-like layout of the town and stunning landscapes such as the area of the Lower Valdarno, Volterra’s hills, the Apennines and the sea. Pier delle Vigne, Frederick II’s Chancellor, was imprisoned here for treason until his death, as Dante writes in “Inferno”(13th “Canto”) in his “Divine Comedy”.

We leave your enjoy your afternoon at leisure. We suggest you have a walk along the famous Via Francigena , which runs through the town centre and touches small villages in the countryside. The landscape is enchanting with tobacco mills, old boroughs, amazing Medici villas and ancient churches.

     

 

If you are interested in ancient history, you can visit San Genesio’s Archaeological Site. The site was considered one of the main stops along the Via Francigena, which  was the  pilgrimage route  from Canterbury to Rome in the Middle Ages.

We suggest you have dinner at Pizzeria Vecchio Cinema, located in the town centre. Your hostel offers you the chance to have a meal here at a very special price just showing the hostel card.

You can choose two dishes from the menu, which consists of “bruschetta”,  a wide selection of  saumi” (cold cuts) and ham or chickpea soup, “pappa al pomodoro”, pasta with pesto sauce or spaghetti with tomato sauce, chicken stew with beans or pizza and a bottle of water or a soft drink.

If you want to taste high-quality meat, you can have dinner at La Bisteccheria,  a nice restaurant where you can have a large variety of starters such as “crostini” and a wide selection of  salami” (cold cuts), “tagliata” or Florentine steak with roast potatoes and “cantuccini” with “vinsanto”.

After dinner you can stop at Caffè Centrale, where you can listen to music and play board games with friends or at the lovely Chalet, which is a pleasant open-air meeting place. Here you can chat with friends and listen to music, sitting at the tables located in front of the kiosk.

 

If you love music you can go to Le Piscine , where you can dance at the poolside. The disco opens at about 12.00 p.m. and closes at about 3.00 a.m.

In summer San Miniato attracts lots of young people and tourists as a great variety of events are organized in the town centre in the evening .The main  events are La Notte Nera, La Luna è Azzurra, Prima del Teatro, A Castle of Sounds, Francigena Melody Road,Pinocchio in Strada and Meravigliosa Francigena, .

   

Overnight stay at  Ostello San Miniato .

 

DAY 2: LUCCA & COLLODI

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DAY2 :LUCCA & COLLODI

After breakfast we head for Lucca, which is a destination for many tourists thanks to its charming churches and wonderful museums.

Our tour starts with Porta Sant’Anna, one of the six gates. The city is surrounded by about four kilometres of walls. Lucca had four rings of walls. The first, built by the Romans, had a square shape and encircle the city centre today. The other three rings were built in the 13th, 16th and 17th centuries. The walls, which are twelve metres tall, are lined with towering trees  from which we can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.

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We will have a cycling tour on the lovely avenue running along the top of the walls.During our cycling tour  we can admire the lovely garden of Pfanner Palace, one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. This 17th-century palace was named after the Pfanner family. Felix Pfanner, who was an Austrian brewer whose family was from Bavaria, bought this palace and set up a brewery there in 1846. Its garden featuring grassy lawns, ornamental flowers, exotic plants, lemon trees, fruit trees, an octagonal fountain and 18th-century statues depicting Greek Gods and the Four Seasons, is an excellent example of a Baroque garden. Inside the palace you can admire a large reception hall with 18th-century frescoes and a collection of surgical instruments. Lots of films, such as The Portrait of a Lady, were set in this palace.

Continuing our tour we reach  Piazza del Duomo, where we can admire the Baptistery, a small 14th-century building with a Gothic dome and a wonderful baptismal font. We next visit the Cathedral of San Martino, dating back to the 6th century. Its most ancient part is its façade in the Romanesque style. Inside the church we can see amazing works of art such as the Holy Effigy by Civitali and the Sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto by Jacopo della Quercia, one of the finest examples of Renaissance sculpture.

Ilaria del Carretto was the wife of Paolo Guinigi, the Lord of Lucca from 1400 to 1430, and she died in 1406 at the age of twenty-six. The typically classical “putti” holding festoons on either sides of the sarcophagus underline the calm and serene beauty of the woman lying here. On the one of the sides we can see the Coat of Arms of the Guinigi-del Carretto family.duomo-lucca

Leaving  Piazza del Duomo behind us, we head off to Piazza Napoleone, used for many events and public occasions. You can see the marble statue of Maria Luisa di Borbone  in the centre of this square. In front of the statue there is the outstanding Palazzo Ducale or Palazzo Pubblico, used for Council meetings and conferences. It dates back to the 14th century, but it was restored and completed for Maria Luisa di Borbone  in the 19th century.

On the right side of the square there is one of the two schools for Fine Arts in Lucca. The other two sides of the square are lined with shops, cafés and expensive restaurants. On the north-eastern corner of the square there is Piazza del Giglio with its Neoclassical theatre, “Teatro del Giglio”.

Our tour continues with the Church of San Michele in Foro, built between the 11th and 14th centuries. It is one of the best examples of Romanesque style and it is made of white limestone. San Michele ‘s statue dominates from the top. Inside the church there are many works of art, such as Andrea della Robbia ’s “Madonna with Child”.san-michele-in-forno

Near the church we can visit  Giacomo Puccini’s House, housing Giacomo Puccini’s manuscripts and personal items. Giacomo Puccini, the great Italian musician and composer, was born and spent the early years of his life in this house. Later he moved to Torre del Lago in Versilia, where we can admire Giacomo Puccini’s Villa, now known as the Puccini Museum.puccini-casa

From here it is easy to reach the Roman Amphitheatre, which is the area where gladiators’ shows and games were traditionally held in Roman Times. It was built in the second half of the 1st century A.D. The square is very picturesque and is lined with ancient buildings, typical shops, restaurants and cafés.lucca-piazza-anfiteatro-1

During our tour we stop in one of the best restaurants in Lucca, Giulio in Pelleria, located in the city centre. Here you can taste traditional  dishes such as spelt and bean soup, “farinata”, home-made pasta with meat sauce, stockfish with “polenta”, salted codfish with tomatoes and olives, stewed tripe and “cioncia” .giulio-in-pelleria-esterno

We suggest you have an ice cream in one of the best ice cream shops in Tuscany, Gelateria Veneta, where you can taste a large variety of ice cream.
You can also stop at the famous bakery,Taddeucci, where you can buy the delicious Buccellato di Lucca, a cake made with white flour, sugar anise seeds, raisins and beer yeast. There is an old saying in Lucca: “Don’t say you have been to Lucca if you haven’t eaten Taddeucci’s Buccellato.

After lunch you can walk along Via Fillungo, the most lively, popular and sophisticated street in Lucca. It is characterized by Medieval buildings and important monuments. If you like shopping, this is the best place to go, because it is full of exclusive shops, boutiques and jewellers’ stores.via-fillungotorre-delle-ore

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Via Fillungo you can also visit La Torre delle Ore, which is a 13th -century tower and a perfect place to enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
The 12th-century  the Church of San Frediano is worth a visit. We can admire the beautiful mosaics on its façade. Inside the church you can see a  wonderful Romanesque baptismal font and an amazing altar by Jacopo della Quercia.chiesa-di-san-frediano

Don’t forget  to visit Guinigi Tower, which is an example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Its main feature is its garden covered with holm oaks, located on its top. From here you can admire Lucca architectural jewels.

Later in the afternoon our coach takes us to Collodi, which is an ancient village in the hills of Tuscany, which was made famous by Carlo Collodi (Carlo Lorenzini’s pen name), the author of the Adventures of Pinocchio(1883), the most famous and best loved children’s book in the world.

Here you can visit Villa Garzoni Garden, the Butterfly House, Pinocchio Park and Pinocchio Museum.

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After the visit to Pinocchio Park, we have dinner at the picturesque Osteria del Gambero Rosso, a lovely pizzeria in Collodi , where the waiters and waitresses are dressed as the protagonists of the famous children’s book.. Here you can taste “panzerotti “(fried dough) with ham and cheese, a large selection of pizza and “schiacciata”, “tordelli” with meat sauce, tortelli with with mushroom sauce, roast pork or chicken with roast potatoes, fruit salad and ice cream.

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After dinner we head to Lucca, where you can enjoy one of the wonderful concerts of Lucca Summer Festival in Piazza Napoleone in the heart of Lucca, from 9.30 p.m. onwards.

 

The famous Lucca Summer Festival has taken place in Lucca since 1998. It starts at the beginning of July and lasts till the end of the month .It attracts thousands of young people from all over Europe, because concerts and performances by famous national and international rock and pop stars such as Laura Pausini, Elton John, Norah Jones, Duran Duran, Green Day  and Eric Clapton are held here every summer.

Overnight stay at your hostel in San Miniato.

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DAY 3:FLORENCE

 

Day 3: Florence

After an early breakfast we head off to Florence. Our walking tour starts in Piazza del Duomo, where we can admire three marvellous buildings: the Baptistery, the Cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore, Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s Bell Tower.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is worth a visit. It was started by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1296 and completed by Brunelleschi and Giotto in the following centuries. Its famous white, green and pink Gothic façade has three bronze portals with mosaic decorations and statues.
Inside the cathedral you can admire frescoes by Vasari and works of art by Giotto and Luca della Robbia.

Outside the cathedral you can see Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, which is a wonderful example of Florentine Gothic style, and the Baptistery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, famous for Ghiberti’s Porta del Paradiso and its mosaics.

From Piazza del Duomo it is easy to reach Via dei Calzaioli, which is one of the most famous streets in Florence, lined with ancient buildings, exclusive shops, cafés, hotels and restaurants.

Our tour continues towards Piazza della Signoria , where you can admire the magnificent Palazzo Vecchio, also known as Palazzo della Signoria. This square, which has been the political centre of the city since the Middle Ages, is one of the most spectacular squares in Italy. Here you can also admire the lovely Loggia dei Lanzi, aOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA late Gothic structure, and beautiful sculptures such as a copy of Michelangelo’s David , the equestrian statue of Cosimo I of the Medici fontana-nettunoFamily and the Fountain of Neptun.

 

 

 

 

Palazzo Vecchio is Florence Town Hall and was designed by the great architect, Arnolfo di Cambio in the 13th century. As soon as we enter this beautiful palace we can admire a nice courtyard frescoed by Vasari.

Near the courtyard, there are two flights of stairs leading to the lovely Salone dei Cinquecento decorated by a team of painters chosen by Vasari. A door leads to the amazing Salone dei Duecento, the State Apartments and the Hall of the “Gigli”, so called because it is decorated with golden “fleurs de lis” on a blue field. In the adjacent clock-room there is the famous Map of the World.

Our walking tour continues towards Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence. Here you can get a splendid view of the River Arno. Nowadays the bridge is lined with expensive shops, goldsmiths, jewellers and silversmiths’ workshops.

From here it is easy to reach Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace. The spectacular Boboli Gardens are the largest monumental green area in Florence. It dates back to the 16th century. Here you can walk along the alleys and admire works of art such as Neptune’s Pond with a bronze statue of Neptune, the charming Buontalenti Grotto, and the Oceanus Fountain located in the centre of a small lake called Piazzale dell’Isolotto

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bobolifig1After the visit to Boboli Gardens we enter Pitti Palace, one of the most imposing Renaissance palaces in Florence. The palace dates back to the 15th century and was bought by the Medici Family in the 16th century. Cosimo I and his wife Eleonora di Toledo lived here and commissioned Vasari to build the famous Vasari Corridor, a corridor which connects Palazzo Vecchio, their old palace and the seat of Government, with Pitti Palace running through the Uffizi Gallery and above Ponte Vecchio. Inside the palace there are several art galleries such as the Palatine Gallery, the Silverware Museum, the Porcelain Museum and the Modern Art Gallery, containing works of art by Macchiaioli painters and 19th- and 20th-century painters.

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We recommend you have lunch at the lovely All’Antico Vinaio , a typical Tuscan restaurant located in the city centre. There you can taste a large selection of ham, “salumi” (cold cuts) and cheese, “focaccia” and Chianti wine.antico-vinaio

Italian meat platter - prosciutto ham, bresaola, pancetta, salami and parmesan

 

 

 

 

 

A trip to Florence has to include a visit to the Uffizi Gallery, which is the oldest art gallery in the world and one of the greatest in Europe. The Uffizi Gallery was designed by Vasari for Cosimo I of the Medici Family  in the 16th century. The gallery has 45 rooms and houses very beautiful works of art by Italian and foreign artists such as Giotto, Cimabue, Masaccio, Raffaello, Rubens, Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.

Here we can also admire paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries such as Botticelli’s Allegory of Spring, allegoria-delle-primavera

 

 

and The Birth of Venus, Duccio di Buoninsegna’s  Maestà, and Giotto’s Madonna in Glory. We visit Rooms 10-14, Botticelli’s Rooms, which were re-opened in 2016. Here you can admire two famous
15th-century masterpieces by Botticelli: The Birth of Venus and       The Allegory of Spring, which are two of the most famous works of art in the world.

 

 

 

During our tour we can have an ice-cream at Gelateria Venchi, which is the best ice-cream shop in Florence.From here it is easy to reach the main shopping streets in Florence, such as Via Roma, Via dei liu-jo-uomo-5Calziaioli and Via dei Tornabuoni. These streets are lined with Renaissance buildings, cafés, expensive designers’ shops such as “Tiffany & Co.”, “Gucci”, “Ferragamo”, “Prada”, “Guess” and “Liu Jo” and chain shops such as “Coin”, “Zara”, “H&M” and “La Rinascente”.gucci-744x445

Late in the afternoon we head for  Piazzale Michelangelo, an enormous panoramic terrace situated on the hills in the southern part of the city where you can get a breath-taking view of Florence.

We suggest you have dinner at the famous Florence Central Market  ,where you can tasty  Tuscan delicacies.

After dinner you can wander through the cobbled streets of the city, sit in a café in Piazza del Duomo or Piazza Della Repubblicawhich is home to the historical “Caffé Gilli”, “Caffé Paskoski” and “Caffé delle Giubbe Rosse”, which were meeting places for famous artists and writers in the first decade of the 20th century.

 

You can also attend one of the main events organized in the city centre in summer. Florence offers a large variety of events in summer such as  Calcio Storico Fiorentino, St. John’s the Baptist Fireworks,  Renaissance Night, Florence Dance Festival and Fiesole Summer Festival.

 

These events attract thousands of tourists who love staying outside after sunset and enjoying the starlit Tuscan sky.

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Overnight stay at the hostel in San Miniato.

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 4 :PONTEDERA & PISA

DAY 4  : PONTEDERA & PISA

After breakfast at Caffè Cantini in Piazza del Popolo, our coach takes us to Pontedera, a small town between San Miniato and Pisa, where we visit the famous Piaggio Museum. The world-famous Vespa Piaggio is produced by the Piaggio Company in this town.

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VESPA PIAGGIO

Some people do not know the world-famous Vespa scooter is produced by the Piaggio company, whose premises are located right in the middle of Tuscany, in Pontedera.

The cOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAompany was founded here in the second half of the 19th century, while the museum was opened in March 2000. Since then the museum has welcomed more than 400,000 visitors and today it is one of the most visited industrial museums in Italy. It is located in a part of the historical premises of the company and it was opened to highlight its history and the development of  Italian industry, economy and society.

 

 

Inside the museum an English-speaking tour guide gives us details about the history of the company and the marvellous Vespa scooters, which are on show there. Our visit lasts an hour.

We can admire a wide collection of Vespa scooters:

  • The 1943 MP5, nicknamed “Paperino”,
  • The 1945 MP6,
  • The 1946 98cc,
  • The 1951 Vespa 125cc, the model used by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck on the set of the film “Roman Holidays”,
  • The 1953 Vespa “U” (as in “Utilitaria”),
  • The 1955 Vespa GS 150cc,
  • The 1963 Vespa 50cc,
  • The 1965 90cc Super Sprint,
  • The 1967 125cc Primavera,
  • The 1976 Vespa 125cc Primavera ET3,
  • The 1975 Vespa 200cc Rally,
  • The 1977 Vespa PX 125

At the end of the visit you can browse hundreds of stylish goods of official Vespa merchandise at the museum shop.

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After visiting the museum you can enjoy an aperitif or a cappuccino in Pontedera and have a walk in the town centre for a shopping tour of Italian designers’ clothes, bags and shoes.

We suggest you have a Vespa tour in your free time. A private English-speaking Vespa tour guide will accompany you for the whole tour and will show you the villages and the attractions along the route with a particular focus on the landscape, the local traditions and the historical and agricultural features of the area.

 

Later  we head off to Pisa, which is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Pisa is known for its Leaning Tower all over the world and contains more than twenty famous churches, several palaces and various bridges across the River Arno.The city is also home to the University of Pisa, which dates back to the 12th century.

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Our walking tour starts with the stunning Pisa Walls, which were built in the 12th century and were restored by the Medici Family when they conquered the city in the 16th century. You can have a walking tour along the City Walls on particular days. From here you can get a breath-taking view of Piazza dei Miracoli and the city.

 

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We next head for Piazza dei Miracoli, which a miracle of architectural achievement , and is located in the heart of the city. The name “Piazza dei Miracoli” was created by the Italian writer and poet Gabriele D’Annunzio. Four buildings: the Cathedral, the Leaning Tower, the Baptistery and the Monumental Cemetery form one of the most outstanding architectural complexes in Italy.

The Baptistery is worth a visit. It is a round Romanesque building. It is the largest baptistery in Italy. The Baptistery has a two-colour scheme similar to other monuments in Pisa and four entrance doors. On top there is the bronze statue of St. John the Baptist dating back to the 15th century.

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Inside the Baptistery we can admire a magnificent baptismal font and the famous 13th- century pulpit by Nicola Pisano. It is well- known for its perfect acoustics. If you get as close to the centre as possible and you sing a loud note, it will echo in the Baptistery. The Baptistery Guards often demonstrate this breath-taking effect.

We next visit the Cathedral, which is located to the west of the Baptistery. It is a medieval Cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta.

 

“The life of Christ” is depicted on its bronze doors. Inside the Cathedral there is Nicola Pisano’s pulpit and the tomb of St. Ranieri, the Patron saint of Pisa. We can also admire a 15th-century chandelier known as Galileo’s Lamp. According to the tradition, Galileo figured out the law of pendulum movement by observing it swinging back and forth.

 

 

 

 

We also pay a visit to the Monumental Cemetery, which is the most beautiful cemetery in the world. The building of this huge, rectangular Gothic structure was created in the 13th century by the architect Giovanni di Simone in order to place the tombs of the noble families from Pisa together. The courtyard of the Cemetery, with its lawn and cypress trees, gives people the impression of being in a cloister. It houses Roman sarcophagi and funerary monuments.

 

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Leaving the Cathedral museum behind us, we head off to the Leaning Tower, which is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. It is the symbol of Pisa and it is a unique building in the Romanesque Style.It is 56 metres tall and was built between the 12th and 14th centuries. The tower is cylindrical in shape and the interior has a spiral of 294 steps leading to the top.

The Leaning Tower is famous even because from its top and thanks to its inclination, Galileo carried out some of his most famous experiments concerning the gravitation of the bodies.immagine1

Our tour continues towards Piazza dei Cavalieri, which was a political centre in the Middle Ages. In 1561 it became the headquarters of the order of the  knights  of St. Stephen. A 16th- century statue of the Grand Duke Cosimo I of the Medici Family stands by the fountain in front of Palazzo Cavalieri. palazzo-dell-orologio-statue-cosimo-piazza-cavalieri-pisa-tuscany-italy

 

 

Today the building houses the famous Scuola Normale Superiore, a highly selective university.  The palace was built and decorated by Giorgio Vasari for the headquarters of the St. Stephen’s Knights in the 16th century. Next to the palace we can admire the 16th-century Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri.

Don’t miss the visit to the Church of Santa Maria della Spina. This tiny building, created in 1323, is a jewel of Gothic architecture. Its name derives from a reliquary containing a thorn from Christ’s Crown of Thorns, once preserved inside.

 

Dunandooring our walking tour, we stop at the lovely pizzeria Da Nando for lunch. Here you can taste a large variety
of pizza and “focaccia” with ‘cecina’. Cecina is a typical dish in Pisa and it is prepared with chickpea flour and olive oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch, we head to  Piazza delle Vettovaglie.

Its name  literally means “Supply Square” and every morning it becomes a local market, boasting cafés, wine shops, butchers, fish-sellers, bakeries, and spice shops. At night, it is the heart of the city’s nightlife.

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From here it is easy to reach Corso Italia, where we can see Logge dei Banchi, a loggia created by the architect Bernardo Buontalenti. It used to host a market and today it is still used for this purpose, especially at Christmas.

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Later we can wander in the city centre. The best shopping streets in Pisa are Corso Italia and Borgo Stretto. Here you can find bookstores, exclusive and elegant shops, boutiques and jewellers’ stores, such as “Guess”, “Liu Jo”, “Kiko”, “Zara”, “Borbonese”, “Feltrinelli”, “Les Copains”, “Sisley”, hotels, restaurants and cafés such as the famous “Salza”, where you can have delicious cakes and sandwiches.

 

In your free time you can walk till Sant’Antonio Square, where you will discover one of Pisa hidden jewels, Keith Haring’s mural called  Tuttomondo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you love nature, we suggest you go to San Rossore Park, which is an amazing place immersed in nature located near Pisa .

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Our walking tour ends with dinner in a nice restaurant, Osteria Il Fantasma dell’Opera, where you can taste a typical menu:

 

PRELUDE –Parmisan and speck muffin along with a selection of local cheese.

FIRST ACT – Tagliatelle with “Fantasma” sauce.

SECOND ACT – Black Angus “Tagliata” with Parmisan and rocket salad.

 

 

We suggest you attend a cooking course while you are in Tuscany.

 

After dinner you can wander through the cobbled streets of the city and sit in a pub or a café’ or attend one of the events which are held in the city centre.

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In summer Pisa offers a large variety of events, such as Luminara, Regatta and Battle of The Bridge .

 

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Don’t miss walk in Piazza dei Miracoli at night. It is really impressive! It is quiet and lit by fantastic light purple lights. It is the perfect place to take  amazing photos!!

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If you come to Italy in summer ,you can go to Lajatico , Andrea Bocelli ‘s birthplace and attend the famous singer’s concert in the spectacular Teatro del Silenzio. If you come to Italy in summer ,you can go to Lajatico , Andrea Bocelli ‘s birthplace and attend the famous singer’s concert in the spectacular Teatro del Silenzio.

Our coach will take you to San Miniato. Overnight stay at San Miniato Hostel .