Lucca & Pisa + winery in Montecarlo from La Spezia
Lucca, Pisa and the winery is a relaxed-pace day trip with lots of variety with reasonable driving times from the port of La Spezia. The wine region of Montecarlo is off the beaten path for most tourists but well-respected in Tuscany.
A NOTE ABOUT DRIVING TIMES
La Spezia-Pisa, 1 hr; Pisa-Lucca, 30 min; Lucca-winery, 25 min; winery-La Spezia, 75 min.
The primary component of this day trip is Lucca, an elegant city best known for its imposing exterior walls, the top of which has been transformed into a unique urban greenspace. In Pisa we’ll tarry just briefly at the Field of Miracles to have a look at the Leaning Tower. The Montecarlo wine region just east of Lucca produces excellent wines of all colours.
DETAILS: LUCCA & + PLUS MONTECARLO WINERY from La Spezia
This tour is a full-day service with a choice of either a simple wine tasting or lunch at the winery.
With the simple tasting, which lasts about an hour, you’d be in Lucca from about 10am to 2:30pm. If you choose to have lunch at the winery your time in Lucca would be from 10am to about 12.30, still sufficient to have a nice look around, and you’d spend the afternoon at the winery.
The day begins by visiting Pisa.
On Pisa's “Campo dei Miracoli” you will find not only the world’s most famous bell tower but also the cathedral, baptistery and cemetery, which are all remarkable monuments.
Although our visit of Pisa is brief, there is time to climb the Leaning Tower; it only takes 15 minutes. We can pre-book tickets for you (see the bottom of the page for costs). You'll still have time to see how many creative shots you can get of your group "holding up" the Leaning Tower.
- The Tower climb is OPTIONAL for an additional fee and must be pre-booked. Children under 8 not permitted to climb.
- If you'd like to enter the baptistery (acoustics demonstration on the hour and half hour) or campo santo, tickets should be booked in advance.
- The Pisa cathedral does not open til 10am. We don't recommend going inside but if it's imperative you should let us know in advance. (Note that in some cases it might not be possible to modify the schedule to accommodate this.)
If you have young children, Lucca is a great kid-friendly place. You can stroll the ancient wall and let your kids run off some steam, or rent bikes (for reasonable cost) and cruise around together. There are lots of big shade trees so it is quite pleasant even in the heat of summer. Climbing Guinigi Tower is a great way to get some exercise and there is no minimum age requirement (as compared to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, where kids have to be at least 8 to climb).
If you think the top of the wall is cool, wait til you see underneath it! The cavernous, brick-vaulted interior of the wall (yes, the wall is so massive that there are warehouse-sized spaces inside it) is not only a beautiful and peaceful space but also home to crazy works of art in paper. Every two years Lucca is home to the world's biggest festival of paper art, the Lucca Biennale.
Lucca also features beautiful shops (major fashion brands as well as boutiques brimming with artisan creations), really good gelato and excellent cuisine.
Our agenda in Lucca includes:
- a panoramic drive around the ancient walls
- the Romanesque church of San Frediano (monumental golden mosaic on the facade)
- Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, site of the former Roman amphitheater
- church of San Michele in Foro (intricately carved facade dating back to the 13th Century)
- Piazza Napoleone
- the cathedral of San Martino, featuring Jacopo della Quercia's sculpture of Ilaria del Carretto, deemed the most beautiful funerary monument in Italy and a work of art to compare with Michelangelo’s David, and the Volto Santo, a wooden crucifix dating back to the 8th century, the subject of much lore.
The Montecarlo di Lucca wineries we recommend are
The tasting at Carmignani is very generous. The property is modest but great if you want an intimate, family atmosphere. For more wow-factor we suggest Tenuta del Buonamico, where the estate is modern and rather unique. Buonamico also produces Prosecco, which is quite rare in Tuscany.
LUCCA & PISA + MONTECARLO WINERY from La Spezia
DURATION: 8-9 hrs
OTHER COSTS & NOTES
The following rates for optional items that we book for you are valid if you pay in cash, and reflect 10% off the full rates that apply when paying by card or Paypal.
- PISA OTHER COSTS
- Leaning Tower of Pisa (open daily), 22 Euro per person
Children under the age of 8 are not permitted to climb the Leaning Tower. The price of pre-booked tickets is subject to change (due to increases implemented by the issuing organization and not having to do with us).
- WINERY OPTIONS IN MONTECARLO DI LUCCA
- Enzo Carmignani - Winery tour and guided tasting with a variety of local products, 6-8 wines, 25 Euro per person (lasts about an hour)
- Tenuta del Buonamico - Formula Special: winery tour and guided tasting of 5 wines plus olive oil, 18 Euro per person (lasts about an hour)
- Winery tour, guided tasting and lunch, 33 Euro per person (lasts 1.5-2 hours)
- Formula Luxury: winery tour and guided tasting of 5 wines plus olive oil and a sampling of typical Tuscan products, 25 Euro per person (lasts about an hour)
- Formula Special with Lunch: winery tour and guided tasting of 5 wines followed by 3-course lunch paired with wine, 55 Euro per person (lasts about 2 hours)
- CHURCH DRESS CODE
Proper attire is required to enter churches (bare shoulders must be covered and shorts/skirts must come down to your knees).
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