The Tuscany region of Italy was a port of call on our 12-day Mediterranean Cruise. If you only have 1 day in Tuscany, this should give you some ideas for what you can expect if you pack your schedule!
I finished reading ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ during the first few days of our cruise when we had a few days at sea to get me in the mood for Italy. I then watched the movie on my laptop.
I was a little nervous about fitting everything in, but we had an awesome driver named Gianmaria “Gian” (pronounced John) with Rome in Limo Tours who gave us the most wonderful tour of the Tuscany region!
From port, we drove 20 minutes down tree-lined streets to Pisa. We beat the crowds and got great pictures of the Baptistery, the Duomo and, of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. (Yep, it’s still leaning!)
From there, we drove an hour to Florence, passing several sunflower fields along the way. We saw way more of Florence than I was expecting in the short amount of time we had!
We visited the Duomo (Florence’s Cathedral) and the Campanile (Grotto’s Tower), which were massive and impressive. We also saw the Baptistery and Ghilberti’s Bronze Doors.
Next, we drove to Palazzo Vecchio, which is like an outdoor museum with many statues in the square, including a replica of Michelangelo’s David (where the original used to be; now located in the Academia).
We walked around the square and along the Arno River where we ended up by the Ponte Vecchio (“old bridge”) (which sells mostly gold from the little shops along the bridge).
Sam ordered a coffee at a local café and we perused the shops and the local market before heading back to meet our group. Again, we got more time in the city than we expected, but it certainly wasn’t enough! This just means we’ll have to go back some day!
Our final stop in Florence was Michelangelo Square where we were able to get some incredible views of all of Florence and the mountains in the background.
We traveled along more beautiful tree-lined streets on our way to Badia a Passignano where we had lunch at Ristorol’antica Scuderia.
This was a lovely outdoor restaurant at a vineyard, near what looked like a mini castle.
The food was great; the portions were a little small for some of the plates, but the ambiance was superb! Sam had tortellini and I had spaghetti with basil and mozzarella.
Once we were all full and happy, we took a partially bumpy road to the town of Montefioralle.
It was the cutest little town I think I’ve ever been to.
We didn’t see any residents and probably only 100 people live there.
It was a bunch of small alleyways with buildings made from brick/stone and cobblestone walkways.
There were flowerpots by doorways and in windows. I could live there! So quiet, so peaceful, so beautiful!
After Montefioralle, we continued through the Chianti Region and stopped in a town called Greve. We found a great place to sample many, many kinds of wine.
At Le Cantine, there were several Enomatic wine dispensing machines set up around a cellar-like room.
We loaded money onto a card and with the push of a button could choose from over 140 wines! I particularly liked a passito wine, which is similar to a moscato.
As souvenirs, we bought a bottle of dessert wine and flavored olive oils from a tiny store in Greve Square. Since this would be our last port of call in Italy, we had to stop for gelato one last time! There was a gelato store right off the square and we each got a waffle cone with Nutella on the bottom, filled with hazelnut gelato. So yummy!
I think this was my favorite day of our cruise thus far, even though every day had been absolutely wonderful! I definitely want to come back and spend more time here some day!
Want to keep exploring?
You can check out the other Mediterranean cruise ports we visited on our 12 day adventure!