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Old March 21st, 2010, 10:31 PM
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Default Florence and Pisa

Can you do both on a stop in Livorno? If so, what is the best mode of transportation?
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:10 PM
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The trip to Florance is a few hours but thentrip to pisa is very simple. Just take the local bus to the train station and catch a train. From the train station in pisa to the tower is a 15 minute walk. It's easy. A lot of people took the train to pisa it was a nice town
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 07:04 PM
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How do you get from Livorno to Florence?
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:52 PM
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jen1206,

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Can you do both on a stop in Livorno? If so, what is the best mode of transportation?
I took a shore excursion that visited both Florence and Pisa on my first visit to Livorno, and I still regret it. There simply is not enough time in a day to do justice to both.

Florence is about an hour and a half from Livorno by motorcoach, so any trip to Florence means three hours in transit. If you want to go there, I strongly recommend booking one or another of the ship's shore excursions, as this will provide totally seamless transportation as well as bypassing queues for admission to the attractions that it visits. Most of the shore excursions include lunch at a local restaurant, so you'll get to sample the local fare, and they also allow some time on your own after lunch for shopping or whatever.

If you want to maximize your time on your own in Florence, the best way to do so is to book the "shore excurision" called "Florence on Your Own" or something similar. This "shore excursion" basically consists of round trip motorcoach transportation between the pier and the heart of the city. Upon arrival in Florence, the "guide" gives a brief orientation and instructions as to where and when to meet for the return trip, then sets you free to do whatever you wish until the appointed meeting time.

There's also a separate half day shore excursion that visits only Pisa, which is excellent. On some lines, it's possible to do the excursion to Pisa and a separate excursion that visits a Tuscan winery.

Norm.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 10:10 PM
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trying to do both Pisa and Florence in one day is tuff. U can do it if you hire a private tourguide. They will maximize your time in both Pisa and Florence; and get you back to the ship in plenty of time. I used Romeinlimo for my stop in Florence/Pisa; they met my group at the port with two nice size air conditioned minivans. the driver/guides were great. They know the area; know how to get around the area; and will give u some great facts about both Pisa and Florence. One thing I liked about www.romeinlimo.com
they can pull their minivans right up next to the tower of Pisa; where tour buses have to park several blocks away. A great way to see both cities and still make it back to the ship.
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 01:12 PM
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Hi Jen,

If you'd really like to see both Pisa & Florence in a day, and money's not an issue, the easiest way to do it would be by taking one of the private tours as AF1 suggested above. It would maximize your time, that's for sure.

If you like to play it safe and want to stay close to your fellow cruisers, "Florence and Pisa On your Own tour" is the way to go.
Honestly, there is nothing much to see in Pisa apart from the leaning tower so the tour will give you a chance to spend some 20 min around the Field of Miracles, take the famous shot and that's it! And as I said, there's no point spending more time there anyway.
After visiting Pisa, the tour will proceed to Florence and give you about 4 hours there.

On the other hand, taking a train is much cheaper!
You asked how to get from Livorno to Florence so here it goes, some instructions on how to get there on your own, by train...

Not sure which cruise line you'll be with but last season one of them (RCI) had an option of booking a special transfer bus straight from the ship to the train station as opposed to the port bus that takes you to Livorno Piazza Grande.

This bus wasn't advertised AT ALL and it was only for those who specifically inquired about it at the Shore Excursions desk. However, this season this might not be the case and you won't know until you get to the ship (and as I said it all depends on the cruise line and their tour operator).

If that doesn't work out, you can always take the regular port bus to Livorno Piazza Grande which all cruise lines organize.
As most people go on organized tours, those do not depart very frequently early in the morning, and they always wait for the bus to be full.
So it can easily happen you'll be sitting on that bus for 20-30 min before it actually departs.
For those in the rush to get to the train station at the time THEY have in mind...oh, well, they might be in for some stress.
Especially those who have their times set to enter the Academia or Uffizzi!

Keep in mind that regardless of the fact that your ship might dock in Livorno at 7am, you probably won't catch earlier train than 9:10 am!

So, be on that bus AT LEAST one hour before your train to Florence/Pisa leaves.

Even so, always make sure you get off that bus first, buy your local bus tickets in the tobacco first, be at the train station counter first...I'm not joking, use your elbows, beat the crowds!

Trains to Florence go only once an hour and sometimes seconds decide whether you'll be on that train. If not, you might be wasting an hour of precious time.

So here's the procedure:
- Get off at Livorno Piazza Grande
- Rush to the tobacco across the street and buy your local bus ticket here (not the train ticket, they'll rip you off).
- at the square, cross the street in front of Mc Donalds, wait for bus 1 or 1A.
- rush off the bus straight to the ticket counter at the train station, be the first in line!
- validate your ticket in the yellow box on the way to the train
- get on the train...relax!

You'll be in Pisa in about 20 minutes. If you decide to get off and go to the tower, always check when your next train to Florence is. Try to do this whole Pisa thing in about an hour or you will waste too much time!
If you do Pisa, keep in mind you probably won't be in Florence earlier than noon!

Catch the local bus to the tower just across the street from the train station, I think it's numer 1 or 1A, too. Not sure, you will see other tourist doing it, too. Note: be aware of the pickpockets on the bus! They come "in form" of cute little teenage girls!

Once you get to Florence, buy your tickets to go back straight away!
Later on in the afternoon the line can be way too long and you risk to miss your train and your ship! I think the latest train to take to be sure you won't miss your ship is the one that departs around 3:30!
So, that would give you about 3 hours in Florence. Not much really...but then again enough to see the Cathedral, Santa Crocce and the Ponte Vecchio and have a quick cappuccino.

Allow more than an hour to return from the train station in Livorno to the cruise ship if you're gonna be using the local bus/cruise line bus.

Make sure you inquire with your cruise line what time the last bus is from Piaza Grande Livorno to the ship! Sometimes it's actually one hour before departure or all aboard time! If you'll be taking a taxi (normally 15-20 euros) to the ship, you can allow less time (30 min) before all aboard time.

If you decide to do both on your own in a day, it could be stressful. So, if i had to chose between Florence and Pisa, I would ALWAYS go for Florence!

Taking a taxi to the train station - most taxis that are allowed to be parked right in front of the ship want to take you for a whole day tour and won't be willing to take you to the train station. However, if you walk only 50 m towards the dock exit, you might find local taxis that will take you to the train station.
Walking to through the dock area is absolutely not allowed and it would take you hm...an hour or more to the train station anyway!

Hope this helps! Have a great day in Florence!
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Old April 6th, 2010, 09:52 PM
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Med Chick,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
If you'd really like to see both Pisa & Florence in a day, and money's not an issue, the easiest way to do it would be by taking one of the private tours as AF1 suggested above. It would maximize your time, that's for sure.
I don't agree. The interiors of both the Duomo (Cathedral) and its Baptistry (actually a separate building) in Pisa (the "leaning tower" is actually the Cathedral's bell tower) have very interesting art and architecture that are well worth taking time to see.

Also, I think that you can now climb the leaning tower again.

Norm.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 01:10 PM
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The best thing in Pisa is that all that tourist attraction (tower, cathedral, ecc) are all in one place, Piazza dei Miracoli. So you do not need to go from place to place.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
jen1206,
I took a shore excursion that visited both Florence and Pisa on my first visit to Livorno, and I still regret it. There simply is not enough time in a day to do justice to both.

Florence is about an hour and a half from Livorno by motorcoach, so any trip to Florence means three hours in transit. If you want to go there, I strongly recommend booking one or another of the ship's shore excursions, as this will provide totally seamless transportation as well as bypassing queues for admission to the attractions that it visits. Most of the shore excursions include lunch at a local restaurant, so you'll get to sample the local fare, and they also allow some time on your own after lunch for shopping or whatever.

If you want to maximize your time on your own in Florence, the best way to do so is to book the "shore excurision" called "Florence on Your Own" or something similar. This "shore excursion" basically consists of round trip motorcoach transportation between the pier and the heart of the city. Upon arrival in Florence, the "guide" gives a brief orientation and instructions as to where and when to meet for the return trip, then sets you free to do whatever you wish until the appointed meeting time.

There's also a separate half day shore excursion that visits only Pisa, which is excellent. On some lines, it's possible to do the excursion to Pisa and a separate excursion that visits a Tuscan winery.
I read Rome also is an hour and a half away from the cruise port. The fact both are that far away and worth spending more than a day at makes me wonder how I can pick one to embark or disembark at. Can I fly to Florence, see that area for 2-3 days, then ride a train to Rome and stay there a few days before embarking in Civitavecchia?
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Old July 18th, 2010, 11:31 PM
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Is it possible to purchase ticket in advance if I will be in Venice prior to cruise?
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:06 PM
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I know many cruisers prefer private tours, but I still do mostly ship sponsored tours. In 6/09 on the Summit Classical Med we did a 10 hr day with a walking tour and lunch in Florence and two hrs in Pisa. It was plenty for my friend and me. Too much for my cousin and her bad back. She likened the walking tour of Florence to the Bataan Death March and changed her 10 hr tour of Rome to 5 hrs.
On any cruise you have to understand that you will not get a really comprehensive tour of any port or surrounding area. Pisa is not a large area and easy to do in a short amount of time. I don't want to exhaust myself doing too much and not enjoy other aspects of the cruise.
In Athens, my friend and I ended up doing it on our own because the tour guides were on strike. We probably wouldn't have survived the 10 hr tour in 95 degree heat. By using the ship shuttle, walking to the Acropolis and riding the double-decker bus afterward it took 5 hrs and we were barely breathing by the time we got back to the ship. We had filled up our water bottles at the Acropolis restroom but it didn't last long. In deference to my friend's age (77) I let her have the shower first while I drank water like it was going out of style. We found some lunch then came back to the cool room and collapsed.
I love cruising the world but don't expect to see much more than the highlights.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 02:27 PM
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You know, any tour anyplace is a matter of picking and choosing what you want to see and how much time you can budget.

Pisa has one big attraction -- the Leaning Tower. As pointed out above, there are many other things there that are interesting, the Baptistry being a main one. But there are many many churches in Italy equally interesting. So most people budget 20 minutes here for "the picture" and then move on.

Florence, OTOH, is a place of many amazing things to see and do. It is totally impossible to see it in depth in a few hours. But when we cruise, that is the choice we make. The cathedral and the famous doors are the centerplace, David is a must, and then just a bit of time for all the rest of the city and the museum.

If you are going to try it all in one day, quick efficient transportation is the main thing. Frankly, I would not try to navigate local transportation on my own when I am in a hurry. Missing a connection anyplace messes up the whole plan.

The ship's excursions are usually highly efficient and move from one attraction to another on schedule. Of course, that means THEIR schedule. We have found, in Italy as in many other places, that hiring a private guide gives huge advantages, and allows us to see what WE want to see in accordance with our priorities. I strongly suggest finding a guide who will work with you and plan it YOUR way.

We used Dock and Discover Dock & Discover Tour Operator Civitavecchia Italy Escursions to Rome Florence Pisa Venice Pompei Private shore excursions iin Tuscany and were very happy with the way that they worked with us.

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 04:09 PM
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We used a Private Driver to do both our first med. trip. I'm glad we got to see both. He was also able to take us to the front of the line to see David. Which piffed of a lot of ships tour passengers behind us. Cost can be quite reasonable if you can find a group from your roll call.

We've subsequently been back to Tuscany for a land trip and have been able to spend more time in Florence, which it truly deserves.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 11:07 PM
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Andrea,

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I read Rome also is an hour and a half away from the cruise port.


Yes, that's about right. I think that the distance from Civitavecchia to Roma is about sixty miles, so the drive should take an hour, but the traffic in the immediate vicinity of Roma is notoriously awful....

Quote:
Originally Posted by you
The fact both are that far away and worth spending more than a day at makes me wonder how I can pick one to embark or disembark at. Can I fly to Florence, see that area for 2-3 days, then ride a train to Rome and stay there a few days before embarking in Civitavecchia?
Yes, you certainly can do that. If that's your plan, I have two specific recommendations.

>> 1. It's best to book your hotel in Roma as a pre-cruise package through your cruise line, as the package will include the transfers between the hotel and the pier. Also, your cruise line will have agents at a "hospitality desk" in the hotel's lobby to assist the cruise line's guests with local arrangements. Those agents also offer special tours of the major attractions exclusively for the cruise line's guests.

>> 2. Use tours to visit the major attractions, especially in Roma. Queues for general admission to the major attractions are typically two to three hours long, so you'll waste half or your time waiting in queues for admission if you don't. The tour groups have pre-reserved times, so they go directly to the group entrance, bypassing the queues, when they arrive at the attractions.

But having said that, you might want to consider doing a post-cruise package in Roma if your cruise ends there. The flights to the United States leave Fiumicino's Leonardo da Vinci Airport very early (IIRC, the last flights to the States depart Fiumicino around 10:00 AM), so the ships begin disembarkation by 5:00 AM for passengers transferring to the airport. The hotel transfers operate at a more civilized hour to meet the hotel check-in times. Also, several of the hotels that the cruise lines use in Roma, including the Crowne Plaza St. Peter's, offer complementary shuttles to the airport in Fiumicino timed for the flights to the States, but no shuttles the other way. (The Crowne Plaza St. Peter's, located in a residential neighborhood behind the Vatican, also offers complementary shuttles to the downtown area throughout the day.)

And again, if you book a post-cruise package through your cruise line, the package will include the transfer directly from the pier to your hotel.

Norm.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 03:50 AM
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"How do you get from Livorno to Florence? " The train is not difficult. Take a cab from the port to the Livorno train station. about one mile. The Florence station is close to the center of Florence. All the major sights of Florence are walkable from the station. However, be aware that lines at the Uffizi museum and the Academy (for David) are long. I do understand there are ways to make reservations for specific times at a small price.

When we went to these many years ago there was no line delay, but there is now.

Bob
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Old December 13th, 2012, 03:56 AM
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Hello, this is Alessandro Cammilli, a professional driver.If I understand right the rules, I am allowed to post a message, otherwise I apologize.My company is a Car Rental with Driver since January 2012 and my license was issued by the city hall of Florence.I am available for private shore excursion from Livorno to Florence, Pisa and return.
Feel free to visit my website
Thanks.
Alessandro Cammilli

Last edited by Mike M; January 10th, 2013 at 09:12 AM. Reason: remove commercial link
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Old January 10th, 2013, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AF1 View Post
trying to do both Pisa and Florence in one day is tuff. U can do it if you hire a private tourguide. They will maximize your time in both Pisa and Florence; and get you back to the ship in plenty of time. I used Romeinlimo for my stop in Florence/Pisa; they met my group at the port with two nice size air conditioned minivans. the driver/guides were great. They know the area; know how to get around the area; and will give u some great facts about both Pisa and Florence. One thing I liked about www.romeinlimo.com
they can pull their minivans right up next to the tower of Pisa; where tour buses have to park several blocks away. A great way to see both cities and still make it back to the ship.
Cheers
Thanks for sharing, I second your recommendation of RomeInLimo company, had a great time with them.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 11:52 PM
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Buses and taxis are the best way of transport in Florence because Florence lies on the country’s main north-south train line, rail connections are highly dependable and efficient. Tickets and bus passes can be purchased at the ATAF ticket booth at Piazza Stazione you can get a timetable of buses as well.

Last edited by malickk; September 29th, 2013 at 12:10 AM.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 04:21 PM
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If going to Florence seems too hectic, combining Pisa with Lucca is very easy by train from Livorno--beautiful cities, no stress, little expense!
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Old May 12th, 2014, 03:45 AM
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Visiting both Pisa and Florence is tuff but doable. It basically means you will spend 3-4 hours in Florence and maybe 1 hour in Pisa. You'll be on the road the rest of the time. If I could do it over again, I would max out my time in Florence and spend 15 minutes in Pisa. Did not get the tickets to climb the Tower so photos take only 15 min.
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