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knilor1961

Florence/Pisa

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Will be overnight in Florence/Pisa in November aboard Viking Star.  Just wondering if there is anything around the port or do you have to cab it everywhere.  I will have my 85year old parents with me

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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I can state with absolute certainty that the Star will not be docked in Florence or Pisa.

 

If your are docked in Venice, it is about a three hour drive to Florence.

 

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30 minutes ago, knilor1961 said:

Will be overnight in Florence/Pisa in November aboard Viking Star.  Just wondering if there is anything around the port or do you have to cab it everywhere.  I will have my 85year old parents with me

 

 

The port of Livorno is not walkable at all.  You'll need to take a taxi or whatever other mode of transportation might be available to get out of the port.  There are rental cars available if you're so inclined.

 

Livorno is a good port to do a ship's or private tour...

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Our last time in Livorno, we were on one of the outer berths, where you could not walk to the port gate. Agree with previous responses, nothing worthwhile visiting just outside the port gates.

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I agree with above poster.. not walkable..please take a ship tour or a private tour..

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It is a commercial port and they don't want you walking through it, no matter how spry you are. Liability issues. Security issues.

 

Viking offers a shuttle to the center of Livorno (schedule will be available the night before). There is a taxi rank at the drop off point. If you are among the first to arrive, you might even get someone to offer you a full day fee for a day in Florence -- or wherever else you might want to go from there.

 

The purple S above the McDonald's marks the shuttle stop. The Tourist Information is also right there.

image.png.e0b519a1aeb45f5233b638997d7c8599.png

 

There are also cabs available on the dock--but not a huge rank of them. They may also offer a flat fee for a full day.

 

On our first day in Livorno with Viking, we took the train to Florence (we had already seen Pisa). We took the shuttle to the center and then a cab to the train station. We wrote down the times of the trains we wanted (choosing direct trains so we didn't have to worry about about changing trains) and handed it to the cashier. Much easier than trying to explain what we wanted. The return trip had a 2 hour window and again, we made sure to get on a direct train. We had a long shopping list for Florence (limoncello filled chocolates, leather goods at the Leather School behind Santa Croce) plus tickets to the Uffizzi and that filled our day.

 

NOTE:  Florence is a lot of walking and the historic town center has no buses plus restrictions on vehicles. (If you take a bus tour, you will be dropped off at the edge of the restricted area and then spend the rest of the tour making your way through the town on foot. )

 

The second day, we took the Viking tour to the old city of Lucca -- again, a lot of walking but a beautiful city.

 

All that said, Florence is, imho, the jewel in the crown of this tour and I would look into private tour guides who will pick you up at the ship, drive you into Florence and then drive you around to the places you want to see, driving you as close as possible to the places you want to get out and see (especially if walking is an issue for your parents). 

 

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5 hours ago, Homosassa said:

I can state with absolute certainty that the Star will not be docked in Florence or Pisa.

 

If your are docked in Venice, it is about a three hour drive to Florence.

 

However, on the Iconic Western Med cruise, which these folks will be taking, the itinerary lists their stop at the port of Livorno as, "Florence/Pisa, Italy", hence the confusion.

Edited by odblnt

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55 minutes ago, odblnt said:

However, on the Iconic Western Med cruise, which these folks will be taking, the itinerary lists their stop at the port of Livorno as, "Florence/Pisa, Italy", hence the confusion.

They list it the same on our Odyssey cruise in April.  My husband has a bad back and can't walk too far.  Florence has me concerned and I am trying to find an excursion with Viking that is not too much walking. 

 

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13 minutes ago, carollouise said:

They list it the same on our Odyssey cruise in April.  My husband has a bad back and can't walk too far.  Florence has me concerned and I am trying to find an excursion with Viking that is not too much walking. 

 

 

I just did a quick look at the tours that Viking may be offering to Florence. They all focus on the sites that are within the old part of the city where the tour bus are not permitted to drive and they are marked as demanding. You will be dropped at one edge of the restricted zone and will  meet the tour bus a few hours later on the far side of restricted zone. Not only is it a long walk from one side to the other but it is on cobblestones.

 

Cabs and cars have access. Look at taking the OYO bus to Florence and then hiring a guide with a car who can drive you from site to site. Or find out about hiring a pedicab ( I think I saw them on the streets).

 

Lucca is a lot of walking. The bus drops you at the gate to the walked city and then you walk the rest of the time. We did the OYO. The tour escort walked us from the bus to the place where we would meet at the end of the tour. Cute town, especially when it isn't raining -- but again old city with cobblestone streets.

 

The tours to Pisa basically take you to see the tower. They drop you several blocks away.

 

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11 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I just did a quick look at the tours that Viking may be offering to Florence. They all focus on the sites that are within the old part of the city where the tour bus are not permitted to drive and they are marked as demanding. You will be dropped at one edge of the restricted zone and will  meet the tour bus a few hours later on the far side of restricted zone. Not only is it a long walk from one side to the other but it is on cobblestones.

 

Cabs and cars have access. Look at taking the OYO bus to Florence and then hiring a guide with a car who can drive you from site to site. Or find out about hiring a pedicab ( I think I saw them on the streets).

 

Lucca is a lot of walking. The bus drops you at the gate to the walked city and then you walk the rest of the time. We did the OYO. The tour escort walked us from the bus to the place where we would meet at the end of the tour. Cute town, especially when it isn't raining -- but again old city with cobblestone streets.

 

The tours to Pisa basically take you to see the tower. They drop you several blocks away.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to help! Can I ask what is the OYO bus?  Is this a company or line? I like the idea of the cab or cars.  Will search to look into Pedicabs! 

 

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2 minutes ago, carollouise said:

Thank you so much for taking the time to help! Can I ask what is the OYO bus?  Is this a company or line? I like the idea of the cab or cars.  Will search to look into Pedicabs! 

 

 

OYO=On Your Own

 

image.png.37d1aba98eed06366cbb6a640b7ae146.png

 

Viking calls this "Easy" but I disagree. You have at least 5 hours in Florence, most of it spent on your feet.

 

Look at the Day in Tuscany tour as well. It doesn't include Florence at all but it seems to be a much more leisurely pace  than trying to a million and one "Must-Sees" in Florence. Also, maybe the Winery tours..

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8 minutes ago, carollouise said:

Thank you so much Peregrina!  Fantastic tips and maybe there is hope! LOL

 

 

 

There is hope and I am sure that you will find just the right adventures for your two days in Livorno.

 

I'm sure that others will chime in as well with suggestions.

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Agree with Peregrina, as our Florence/Pisa tour included lots of walking. In addition to the 5+ hrs walking in Florence, in Pisa the coach parked about a mile away, so we walked a mile to and from the arched entrance.

 

Although we didn't use the train, suggest checking out the train schedules and then using local cabs, as in Pisa they can drop you outside the wall. 

 

For us, Florence was lots of walking over and it was really hot, so bit of a blur. However, you should be able to do some of the attractions by taxi. For the David Statue, suggest purchasing tickets in advance, as the queue for those without tickets was long and hardly moved. Even with timed tickets we waited about 15 mins.

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11 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

For the David Statue, suggest purchasing tickets in advance, as the queue for those without tickets was long and hardly moved. Even with timed tickets we waited about 15 mins.

 

Or make do with the copy in Plaza della Signoria, just outside the Uffizzi.

 

Lucky OP, going in November. Heat won't be a problem. Nor will the summer and Christmas holiday crowds. 🙂

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Peregrina,

Thanks for the map of Livorno with the shuttle information. I have considered a couple of the Viking cruises of the western Mediterranean that have an overnight for Florence. We have been to Florence and Pisa twice each by land tours, and San Gimignano and Lucca each once. While I wouldn't object to seeing them again, I do look for new places when we travel. There is an excursion to Greve that would work for us, and maybe just a visit Livorno the second day. I think I may add one of those cruises to my future travel list.

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12 minutes ago, lackcreativity said:

There is an excursion to Greve that would work for us, and maybe just a visit Livorno the second day.

 

I can tell you there's really not a lot to see or do in Greve proper.  If the tour includes other, more interesting stops, I'd say go for it, but to drive to Greve and back would not be my idea of a day well spent.

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11 hours ago, odblnt said:

However, on the Iconic Western Med cruise, which these folks will be taking, the itinerary lists their stop at the port of Livorno as, "Florence/Pisa, Italy", hence the confusion.

Sorry, but this information was not included in their post. However, the ship still wouldn't be at anchor in Florence/Pisa.

 

I wasn't sure if it wasn't the same situation where cruisers think they are cruising from Orlando, Florida or other inland cities with no cruise ship port.

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39 minutes ago, -Lew- said:

 

I can tell you there's really not a lot to see or do in Greve proper.  If the tour includes other, more interesting stops, I'd say go for it, but to drive to Greve and back would not be my idea of a day well spent.

I love Italy in all its versions, and would enjoy a chance to visit  someplace outside of the larger cities we have seen. In addition, there is a visit to the  9th-century Vicchiomaggio Castle for a tour of the wine cellar with an included dinner. Generally, even the ride through the Tuscan countryside is a pleasure to me.

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1 hour ago, lackcreativity said:

In addition, there is a visit to the  9th-century Vicchiomaggio Castle for a tour of the wine cellar with an included dinner.

 

Now you're talking!!  

 

We did the Vicchiomaggio Castle and winery tour in October 2012 with RomeCabs (Stefano) which included a wine tasting and lunch.  The three hour wine tasting and lunch turned out to be dinner at noon...LOL!  It was over the top!  You're in for a real treat.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Agree with Peregrina, as our Florence/Pisa tour included lots of walking. In addition to the 5+ hrs walking in Florence, in Pisa the coach parked about a mile away, so we walked a mile to and from the arched entrance.

 

Although we didn't use the train, suggest checking out the train schedules and then using local cabs, as in Pisa they can drop you outside the wall. 

 

For us, Florence was lots of walking over and it was really hot, so bit of a blur. However, you should be able to do some of the attractions by taxi. For the David Statue, suggest purchasing tickets in advance, as the queue for those without tickets was long and hardly moved. Even with timed tickets we waited about 15 mins.

Thank you Heidi13.  So good to know these tips ahead of time before we chose. On the Odyssey Cruise we are only in Livorno port for Florence/Pisa for one day.  That's a huge amount of walking you did and it would defineatly not work for us!

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I have another question.  We have 3 days in a row with potential long days of sightseeing.  Florence/Rome/Naples.  If we choose non included (paid extra) tours through Viking and then decide physically if it is just too much and decide not to do one day of them, will Viking refund?  If they refund is there a time limit before that you are allowed to cancel? 

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56 minutes ago, carollouise said:

f they refund is there a time limit before that you are allowed to cancel? 

 

Yes, you must cancel 36 hours in advance. 

 

Consider this plan:

 

Florence --paid tour, which over one appeals.

 

Rome -- I was going to suggest the included tour but they have changed it and it is now a 9 hour tour.  So my alternate suggestion is to skip Rome and take the tour to the Etruscan Necropolis and the Archeology Museum in Tarquina. There are steps down into the tombs, one flight, and it is mostly a quick lecture and then you can wander the small area at your own pace. I went into one tomb and DH did a bunch of them. Then a ride into Tarquina proper and on your own for an hour and half or so or follow the guide around the town. We chose to do the museum on our own and then wander. There are a couple of cafes across the street from the museum where you can sit and watch the world go by. Spend the rest of the day on the ship relaxing.

 

image.png.57b8d08b2d689b887881355b63198cd7.png

Etruscan Necropolis -- interior

 

Naples --  Don't bother with the included tour--sounds like too much walking. Choose either the 3.5 hour to Herculaneum (not the easiest of walking but much more compact than Pompeii) OR get in a cab and spend as long as you want at the National Archeology Museum (it is magnificent). You can see Mt. Vesuvius from the ship.

 

 

image.png.283e74327a58742957d5e3900de698f3.png

Herculaneum -- just a few city blocks in size

 

 

Also, consider not booking one or more of the optional until you board the ship. Sometimes, depending on the popularity of the tour,  you can sign up morning of the tour and get the seat of a no show.

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21 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Yes, you must cancel 36 hours in advance. 

 

Consider this plan:

 

Florence --paid tour, which over one appeals.

 

Rome -- I was going to suggest the included tour but they have changed it and it is now a 9 hour tour.  So my alternate suggestion is to skip Rome and take the tour to the Etruscan Necropolis and the Archeology Museum in Tarquina. There are steps down into the tombs, one flight, and it is mostly a quick lecture and then you can wander the small area at your own pace. I went into one tomb and DH did a bunch of them. Then a ride into Tarquina proper and on your own for an hour and half or so or follow the guide around the town. We chose to do the museum on our own and then wander. There are a couple of cafes across the street from the museum where you can sit and watch the world go by. Spend the rest of the day on the ship relaxing.

 

image.png.57b8d08b2d689b887881355b63198cd7.png

Etruscan Necropolis -- interior

 

Naples --  Don't bother with the included tour--sounds like too much walking. Choose either the 3.5 hour to Herculaneum (not the easiest of walking but much more compact than Pompeii) OR get in a cab and spend as long as you want at the National Archeology Museum (it is magnificent). You can see Mt. Vesuvius from the ship.

 

 

image.png.283e74327a58742957d5e3900de698f3.png

Herculaneum -- just a few city blocks in size

 

 

Also, consider not booking one or more of the optional until you board the ship. Sometimes, depending on the popularity of the tour,  you can sign up morning of the tour and get the seat of a no show.

You have given me so much great advice and your time!  I really appreciate it!  I will look into all of these options.  Never thought of waiting till on the ship.  This will be our first Viking cruise.  After this one we will go on the Homelands! Very excited!

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There are a few taxies that are near the bus stop off spot in florence. Very hard to use a walker or cane in the cobblestones. There is an eco tour you can search for that uses golf cars and are very good if you have 2 couples. I arranged this for my parents last time we went there. Lucca was great and so pretty. If you really want to enjoy Florence then why not stay over night. No question you need advanced tickets to Uffizi or Plazzo Vecchio secret tour

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