Live like an Italian for a day in Livorno, Italy

The Duomo, Florence, Italy
The Duomo, Florence, Italy

As the gateway to Tuscany, Livorno is home to quintessential Roman architecture. Budding with evidence of the late Renaissance period, this city has inspired the likes of Dante Alighieri, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo. Neighboring Pisa and Florence have their fair share of architectural and historical prowess, and it is in this port region that passengers on a Mediterranean cruise will undoubtedly see some of the most wonderful artwork in the world. While exploring the Italian coast, visitors cannot resist venturing into small bakeries and restaurants, smacking their lips and saying "molto buono" like a true local.

Livorno is located in the corner of Tuscany and boasts beaches and stunning landscapes that have maintained their peace and serenity for thousands of years. There are protected sanctuaries and wildlife reserves surrounding the port city that give shelter to deer, falcons and the occasional flamingo. Princess passengers on European shore excursions will have the opportunity to take a walk around the port and gaze out into the water, where dolphins often play.

Just a short ride away from Livorno, Florence is home to the stunning Duomo, a classic church that is emblematic of the wealth and power of the area in the 15th century. Designed by Fillipo Brunelleschi, a master architect of the Italian Renaissance, the Duomo took 14 years to build and is the fourth largest church in the world. The exterior facade is comprised of white and green marble, reflecting upon the turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea.

While in Florence, Italy cruise passengers have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the towering Statue of David. Situated within the Piazza Della Signoria, Michelangelo's David symbolizes the strength and resilience of the Italian people during the Renaissance. Standing at 17 feet tall, this masterpiece took more than three years to complete. Depicting the biblical David who slayed Goliath, his face is tense in anticipation for battle. His eyes are turned toward Rome, serving as a reminder of what it took to create the Florentine Republic.

Europe cruise passengers will have a chance to sample some of the best Italian food at a top-rated restaurant in Florence. Florentine food is simple, but with the combination of slow cooking and fresh ingredients, diners will treat their taste buds to the finest spaghetti and meatballs they have ever tried. Paired perfectly with a glass of red wine, a plain wedge of cheese never tasted so delicious.