Lucca & Pisa + winery in Montecarlo
A relaxed-pace day with lots of variety but not a lot of driving. The wine region of Montecarlo di Lucca wine region 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 excursion is Lucca, an elegant city best known for its imposing exterior walls, the top of which has been transformed into a unique urban greenspace. Pisa, where we’ll tarry briefly to have a look at the Leaning Tower, is a convenient stop on the way to Lucca. The Montecarlo wine region just east of Lucca produces excellent wines of all colours.
This is a full-day service (8-9 hrs) with a choice of either a simple wine tasting or lunch at the winery in Montecarlo di Lucca.
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. 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. Frankly we don't recommend going inside but if it's imperative you should let us know in advance. Note that with some excursions it might not be possible to modify the schedule to accommodate this.
Lucca Our itinerary 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 the 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
- Enzo Carmignani
- Tenuta del Buonamico
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.
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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