Our family of four took a 12 day Mediterranean cruise June 15th, the second voyage on Carnival’s newest ship, the Breeze. This was our second cruise, and first time to Europe. We’ve fallen in love with cruising, and hope you find this information helpful.
For our second port on our 12-day Mediterranean cruise, aboard the Carnival Breeze we docked at Livorno. It’s the gateway for reaching Pisa and Florence.
We had from 7am-7pm for the day, but Pisa is about a half hour from the port, and Florence is even further. We knew we would need a tour company for this port.
Like our cruise prior, I utilized the message boards on Cruise Critic. I know I’ve mentioned them before, but the boards are a huge resource of information. We were able to find people on our sailing, and found various groups to join that helped make the costs of the tours cheaper.
We chose to go with Your Tour in Italy for an 8 hour tour that included Pisa and Florence. They met us, and another family of four up right where the ship docked. I made sure that they reserved us tickets at the Accademia so we wouldn’t need to wait in line to enter the museum. Always book, or purchase tickets in advance. You don’t want to waste precious time sitting in the hot sun.
Our first stop was the Leaning Tower of Pisa . We made it before the crowds, and the heat. It was the perfect time to visit. Miss. Superstar and Miss Spitfire had seen a YouTube video as prepared for our trip, and Miss Superstar was intent on high-fiving while we were there.
She did. It was awesome. The girls had so much fun.
I was surprised at how clean and bright the tower was. For some reason I expected it to carry the grime of the years. It’s a goregous square, with refreshing fountains.
It was in Pisa when we decided we would start a magnet collection of our travels. Magnets are usually about 3 Euros, and they are easy to pack, and fun to find. It makes me so happy to see them stuck on my fridge.
From Pisa we drove through Tuscany to get to the Accademia. Tuscany is gorgeous. So peaceful and green. Maybe one day we’ll be back.
There were quite a few galleries to see in the Accademia. For some reason I was expecting the museum to be larger. By the time we find the room where Michaelangelo’s David was all I wanted to do was snap pictures. Turns out the museum might tap on your shoulder, shake their head, point at your phone, and frown at you to prevent you from taking photos of David in all his glory. Don’t ask me how I know…
I was also awed by all the unfinished pieces of marble that Michaelangelo started before finishing David. After studying about art/history in high school and college, it was so fulfilling to see it in person. They exist!
If you need to use the bathroom, you’ll have to exit the exhibit area, and the museum won’t let you back in. There was a pink David I wanted to snap a picture of, but when your 5YO tells you they have to go, there’s no waiting to be had. So make sure to vist the bathroom before, or wait until you really are done visiting.
One of our favorite meals was in Florence at Da Pinocchio. At first we were a little apprehensive. There weren’t many people at the restaurant at first, and the name seemed like a tourist trap. However, our guide told us it was one of his favorites.
He turned out to be a man of great taste. The bruschetta was the best we’d ever had. The beauty of bruschetta are the simple ingredients. When the ingredients are so carefully grown, and plucked, it’s no wonder the food is mouthwatering. I’m still craving that bruschetta.
Just looking at this picture triggers my insta-salivating.
After lunch we walked the streets around the Ponte Vecchio. It was hot, so we had to get some gelato. The shops built into the Ponte Vecchio bridge used to be butchers. Today, the shops are jewelers, and souvenir shops.
The vibe of the downtown area of Florence is very busy, and crowded. Then again, June is the start of tourist season.
It’s always nice to find a fountain to cool off, or fill up a water bottle. Dude. Europe just has cool fountains.
ps. I am not being compensated in anyway to post about cruising. I like information, and am sharing information that I would want, if I were considering a Mediterranean cruise.