Split is a beautiful port and well worth the stop. Dolphins greeted us as we sailed into the port. We decided that we wanted to see some of the countryside so we took the Salona and Trogir excursion. Our guide was knowledgable and experienced. This was a worthwhile excursion involving a trip to a 2,000 year old Christian burial ground and to a walled city with labyrinth passages.
This was 3 hour walking trip that was enjoyable and informative. We were guided through the city while we heard about the history and architectural features of the buildings we saw. At the end we stopped at a cafe for our complimentary cookies and water, and then the guide walked us to a point where it was easy to walk to San Marco Plaza and split off from those who were returning to the ship. That was helpful as it would be very easy to get lost on the Venetian streets and alleys.
The coastline is gorgeous. I wish I had been able to see it but a tourist who sat in front of me on the bus insisted on closing the curtains during this scenic tour. She wrapped the curtains around her so that she would not be exposed to sunlight and would not listen to feedback that she was blocking others' views. She refused to sit on the inside seat of the bus or to switch to an open seat on the shaded side of the bus. Her selfishness and stubborness made for an unpleasant trip. We handled this by switching our seats at the first possible opportunity but we missed some of the best views of the steep coastline because of that. This person(who all the time was covered head to toe) then had no difficulty jumping off the bus for photo ops in the bright sunlight! Go figure! I gave the low rating because of my experience with this fellow passenger and not because the tour itself was bad. One word of caution though: the windy roads do tend to cause some motion sickness in those who are susceptible.
We have been to Rome before and it was blistering hot so we just walked into Civetevecchia and had lunch at a cafe. There weren't alot of restaurants here and the food was disappointing but we did get to see the crew from 2 Royal Carribean ships having fun on their day off.
The drive into Florence is quite long but was made interesting by the guide. Florence is gorgeous and the architecture is fascinating. We went into a cathedral where Galileo and Michelangelo are buried. The restaurant that the guide recommended was wonderful. We had a terrific pasta and some Chianti. The excursion lasted 11 1/2 hours with the bus trip, walking tour, free time, and tendering time.
It is easy to tour this country independently but we took the tour. We found it helpful as our guide informed us that the palace has a wing which is tourable, and told us where to find the graves of Princess Grace and Prince Albert. We also got a ride over to the Grand Casino which was closed but we were able to see the outside and look at the fabulous cars parked near the casino.