You know, one of the amazing things about Carnival Cruise Lines is that you can practically go anywhere with them - like to Livorno, Italy, just a short drive from Florence and Pisa. Since I received our airfare and booking on the Carnival Sunshine Mediterranean cruise complimentary, I was able to book more excursions than I normally do when I cruise. I purchased the Pisa on Your Own Shore Excursion through the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship for just $50 a ticket, and well, you can see for yourself the highlight of our excursion...
Our Pisa On Your Own Carnival shore excursion was a very basic excursion, which just included transpiration to and from Miracle Square in Pisa via an air conditioned bus, and the ride was about 35-40 minutes each way. Our excursion guide was knowledgable and while our excursion didn't actually include a tour, he spent the drive to Pisa telling us about the Roman Road - named after Auralio - we traveled, a bit of history on Pisa and helped to prepare us for what we were about to see. For instance, we didn't know that the Leaning Tower of Pisa was made completely of marble!
Our guide mentioned that you could climb the 300 steps of the Leaning Tower of Pisa all the way to the top - for an admittance fee of $18 euros, which makes the Tower of Pisa the most expensive monument to enter in all of Italy!
Now, Miracle Square isn't JUST The Leaning Tower of Pisa; it is also home to the equally beautiful Pisa Cathedral and Baptistry, and when you walk into Miracle Square, they are lined up in a neat little row, so it's breathtaking monument after breathtaking monument, culminating in the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
While the tickets to climb the Tower were sold out long before we reached our destination, that was fine by me...300 steps in the summer heat is a bit much, don't you think?
The streets of Miracle Square surrounding the monuments was full of friendly vendors peddling their souvenirs, which were pretty reasonably priced. We purchased 6 Murano glass necklaces for just $20, which will make fantastic gifts for our family and friends back home! There were also many cafes serving gelato, pastas and pizza, which were pretty tasty and surprisingly, reasonably priced.
There was also an amusing street performer, which you will find at most tourist attractions throughout Italy. I know there was some trick up his sleeve but we weren't able to figure out exactly how he accomplished sitting without a support...
We found that we had about 30 minutes after exploring Miracle Square, so we headed back towards the meeting point to meet up with our guide. We passed by the gates to a cemetery, which I hadn't noticed on our way in...what a find! Angeline found it a bit depressing and went to check out the souvenirs again while I explored the cemetery, which was beautiful in its own way.
If you are considering a cruise through the Mediterranean, I suggest booking NOW, as the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship with Mediterranean ports of call will be leaving Europe this fall to head to New Orleans, and then settling at Port Canaveral in Orlando. Don't miss your chance to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa - and the other incredible monuments scattered throughout the Mediterranean!
You can find our more about the Carnival Sunshine Mediterranean cruise by checking out Carnival.com.