Destination Immersion

Seven Things to do in Tuscany

Friday, January 31, 2020
By Azamara

The Italian port of Livorno acts as a gateway to Tuscany for cruise passengers. It's an ideal location for late-night departures or overnight stays, so Azamara guests have plenty of time to explore and take advantage of Azamara Shore Excursions tours. It's easy to fill your time when visiting an area that has so much to offer!

Here are seven of our favorite things to do in Tuscany. 

1. Eat!

Tuscany is a gourmet paradise. From street food to fine dining, the region has it all. Liver crostini and thinly sliced meats are popular menu items. In Florence, try pappardelle pasta and the city's famous Florentine steak. 

Look for dishes that include wild boar - cinghiale - a tasty local delicacy. And of course, eat plenty of gelato!

An assortment of Italian gelatoAzamara guest Vanessa tried a different flavor of gelato in every port she visited during her Mediterranean voyage.

The small medieval town of San Gimignano is home to the award-winning Gelateria di Piazza. Master gelato maker Sergio is known for such flavors as Cream with Saffron and Pine Nuts, and Pink Grapefruit with Sparkling Wine.

2. Admire Art

One of the many reasons Florence was recently voted the best city in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine is art. Galleria dell'Accademia is home to Michelangelo's most famous masterpiece, the David. 

The Uffizi Gallery boasts the greatest collection of Italian paintings and is among the oldest and most famous art museums in all of Europe. There's also plenty of art to admire in churches and public spaces.

3. Visit Pisa

Choose a Azamara Shore Excursions tour of Florence or the Tuscan countryside that includes a stop in Pisa. If you've never been, you'll be glad you did. See the famous Leaning Tower and explore the beautifully manicured lawns and stunning religious buildings of Miracles Field.

4. Taste Wine

It should not come as a surprise that Tuscany was featured on our list of ten travel destinations for wine lovers. The area is home to the famous Chianti  wine, as well as Brunello di Montalcino, and the region’s most renowned white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. 

Wine lovers will enjoy visiting the Tuscan town of Lucca for a wine tasting. If you're spending your time in Florence, take a break from sightseeing at a quaint enoteca and ask to sample a few regional wines. 

5. Explore at Night

Some voyages feature an overnight stay in Livorno. With two full days to explore Tuscany, guests will be able to do plenty of sightseeing before and after dark.

6. Travel Back In Time

Tuscany is full of beautiful medieval towns that will make you feel as though you've traveled back in time. Volterra, Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano are among the favorites. 

images of several historic landmarks in Tuscany

Try an Cruise Global, Meet Local tour in Lucca, available on some voyages. This unique, small-group tour will really take the medieval town experience to a whole new level. The hillside estate we'll visit was built by Count Cosimo Bernardini in the 1700s One of the count's descendants will escort guests around the villa's expansive gardens. Guests will enjoy a Tuscan brunch, and learn about the prominent family's role in the history of Lucca. 

A beautiful house in the province of Lucca, Italy

7. Shop 'Til You Drop

There's no doubt about it - Florence is a shopping delight. The region is known for Italian leather goods, and you'll find them everywhere - designer boutiques, outdoor markets, and the renowned Santa Croce leather school. Florence is also known for its artisanal marbled paper, which makes a lovely souvenir. 

Olive oil, truffles, and other tasty treats also make wonderful souvenirs! Florence's San Lorenzo market is the perfect place to go - grab lunch of a gelato while you're there! 

Baskets of fruits and vegetables in the San Lorenzo market in Florence, Italy

Designer shops are all over Florence, and a few fashion houses began there. On top of stores, fashionistas can also visit the Gucci and Ferragamo Museums. 

The famous Ponte Vecchio was once home to butchers and fishmongers - until 1593 when Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewelers could have shops along the bridge. To this day, it's a popular place in Florence to purchase jewelry or window-shop. 

One of Florence's most unique shops is Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella - the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella. This shop was established as a pharmacy by monks in 1221 and opened its doors to the public in 1612. Today it is an elegant perfumery that sells a variety of products.

The Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella

Feeling inspired? We sure are! Browse upcoming voyages calling on Livorno.

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