Lucca & San Gimignano or Volterra + optional winery

A great mix of the Renaissance and the Medieval. Kid-friendly.


Lucca is 30-40 minutes north of Livorno and San Gimignano is 90 minutes south (Volterra 75 min south), so this excursion involves a lot of time on the road (about 4 hours).

Lucca is an elegant city best known for its ancient fortified walls, the top of which has been transformed into a unique urban greenspace. San Gimignano and Volterra are wonderfully Medieval. The optional wine tasting is at Podere La Marronaia, a family-run winery that implements organic farming techniques.

We usually go San Gimignano first, when crowds are fewer, and spend 60-90 minutes there, but timelines are flexible depending on your interests.

The typical timeframes are:

  • 08.00-09.30 pickup at the ship, drive to San Gimignano
  • 09.30-11.00 San Gimignano
  • 11.00-12.30 drive to Lucca
  • 12.30-16.15 Lucca
  • 16.15-17.00 drive back to port

To include the winery:

  • 08.00-09.30 pickup at the ship, drive to San Gimignano
  • 09.30-10.45 San Gimignano
  • 10.45-11.00 drive to the winery
  • 11.00-12.00 wine tasting at Podere La Marronaia
  • 12.00-13.30 drive to Lucca
  • 13.30-16.15 Lucca
  • 16.15-17.00 drive back to port

San Gimignano
To reach San Gimignano we will pass through the most wonderful Tuscan countryside — classic rolling hills, neatly-rowed vineyards and silvery-green olive groves, a living picture postcard!

San Gimignano, “the Manhattan of Tuscany”, is best known for its watchtowers that were a display of power and prosperity in Medieval times. Although only 14 of San Gimignano’s original 72 towers remain the effect is still dramatic and will give you lots of great photo opps.

Take your time strolling the narrow cobbled streets and open piazzas, and be prepared to step back in time. Art lovers may wish to spend some time in the church of Sant’Agostino to see the charming cycle of frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli as well as a substantial selection of paintings and sculpture by some of Italy’s major Medieval and Renaissance artists. San Gimignano is also home to award-winning gelato; look for it in the main piazza.

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 winery
The location of the optional wine tasting is Podere La Marronaia, just outside San Gimignano. The property is a charming country estate where you will feel you’ve come to visit old friends at their home. The tasting comprises wines of every colour (including a red from Chianti) but the star of the show is their Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a crisp white that the region is known for.


1-2 persons € 580

3-4 persons € 620

5-6 persons € 660

7-8 persons € 700

These rates apply if you pay in CASH IN EURO. That's 10% off our full (credit card) rates!

The rates stated are the TOTAL (not per person).

For multi-booking, off-season, and family rates, please contact us.

If you book with less than 72 hours of lead time a 50€ supplement applies.

These wine tasting rates are valid if you pay in cash, and reflect 10% off the full rates that apply when paying by card or Paypal.

    OPTIONAL WINERY tour & guided tasting at Podere La Marronaia
  • Simple tasting with a little snack, 25 Euro pp for adults and wine-drinking youths, 15 Euro pp for children over 5
  • Tour & guided tasting with snacks and local cheeses, 33 Euro pp for adults and wine-drinking youths, 20 Euro pp for children over 5 (wine-drinking) person

    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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