When the large cruise ships arrive at the port of Livorno, on the coast of Tuscany, there is always a big request of minivans and drivers for the private shore excursions. It can happen that the supply of minivans and drivers from Livorno is not enough to meet the demand so we are often called to get there from Florence and help.
Now, for a driver from Florence, a shore excursion from Livorno is a very long day of work, usually around thirteen hours, and the day is very tiring, packed with things to see and do. Sometimes I think that for the tourists too must be very tiring and I often joke with them: “It’s really hard work being a tourist!”
We usually pick our passengers up at 8 am and drop them off, back at the ship, at around 5-5.30 pm. The most popular places they want to visit from Livorno are Pisa and Florence. One day I was heading to the ship to pick up a couple who had all the itinerary already planned by an agency and it was something like this: first stop in Pisa for a little free time around Campo dei Miracoli and the leaning tower; then off to Florence to meet a local guide for a walking tour and a visit to the museum of Accademia; after that a little free time for lunch and then we had to drive to a winery for a short one hour wine tour and tasting, and finally back to the ship.
That was the plan, but that couple, Robin and Maggie, had something else in mind, something easy, something relaxing. First of all they asked me what the itinerary that was planned for them was, and then, they asked me if it was possible to change it. They told me that they didn’t want to see Pisa and they asked me if it was possible to get the guide to meet them in Florence one hour earlier. They also wanted to cancel the visit to the winery. I made a few calls. The guide was very kind to come one hour earlier and it suited her fine too. The winery didn’t have a problem with the cancellation as the tour of the cellars and wine tasting was already paid for.
After the walking tour in Florence, Robin and Maggie just wanted to have lunch at a restaurant in the Chianti wine area, possibly a place with tables outside and a nice view. I took them to Montagliari and they loved it. They spent the rest of the day there until it was time to get back in the car and return to the cruise ship. When we got back to the cruise ship I was very happy when they told me: “Thank you, it was a perfect day”.
I was glad I spent it with them.
If you would like something simple and relaxing too, departing from Florence, please check KISS, our suggestions for a day out visiting a town and a winery for lunch.