The second port of call on our Carnival Vista Mediterranean Cruise was Livorno, Italy. This port was the only stop on our cruise vacation where my daughter had put in a special request…to see the Leaning Tower.
Just a 40 minute drive from port, Miracle Square and the Leaning Tower of Pisa are well worth the tour. Although the tower is the biggest tourist draw in the area, our excursion included other significant sites such as the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Monumental Cemetery.
The Baptistery is home to a large round Romanesque dome and countless sculptures decorating the interiors. The Baptistery can be climbed for breathtaking views of the Leaning Tower.
One of the hidden treats of the Baptistery is when the guards sing into the structure at certain intervals creating an echo-fueled sound. If you are looking to cast your inhibitions to the wind, you can sing long notes by a wall and create beautiful chords on your own.
At the Cathedral, marvel at the colonnades, arcades, and large bronze doors adorning its façade.
Inside, artwork from Giambologna, Della Robbia, and other major artists adorn the walls and ceilings.
No attention to detail was overlooked in this holy place.
Also on the tour was the Campo Santo Monumentale or Monumental Cemetery, a huge cemetery building filled with interesting art. From ancient Roman sarcophagi to the medieval, “Master of the Triumph of Death”, the Monumental Cemetery is not to be missed.
The draw of the tour, the Leaning Tower, located in the Piazza del Miracoli, was originally constructed as the bell tower for the Cathedral. To climb the tower, reservations must be made in advance. Even without climbing, a visit to the tower was well worth it. The exterior architecture is marvelous.
While the cathedral, baptistery and tower were all bustling with tourists the day we visited, the side streets branching out from the square were less crowded and made for a fun adventure.
Yes, if you read my post on our Marseilles excursion you’ll know about my obsession with door porn. Pisa was no exception.
We made it as far as the Palazzo della Carovana…a palace in Knight’s Square.
The entire structure is covered with sgraffiti (fancy plaster graffiti) which dates back to the 19th and 20th centuries.
On our way back to our charter bus I spotted more door porn flanked by what looked like a gelato ATM machine. Hey, a girl can dream!
The tour lasted about 4 hours and took us around the tower and to the neighboring sites. It was listed in the “Fun Ashore” booklet as “Leaning Tower of Pisa” and ran $69.99 for an adult and $59.99 for children.
Wondering what else there is to do on a Mediterranean Cruise? Check out this post: 11 Day Carnival Vista Mediterranean Cruise Highlights See what we did in France here: Exploring Ex en Provence
Special thanks goes out to Carnival for hosting me and my daughter on this cruise. I was not compensated to write this post and all opinions are my own.