Florence (Livorno) Wine Tour Excursion Reviews
The winery was a disappointment. I was expecting something more along the lines of the winery I visited during my study abroad time, but this was really more of a farm that was designed to feed large tour groups authentic Italian food overlooking the Tuscan countryside. They did have a small vineyard and an olive tree grove, but it really wasn’t impressive. However, the food was fantastic. Homemade pasta in a very nice bolognese sauce, and lots and lots of crusty bread, olive oil, various cured meats and cheeses, olives, and some of the best sundried tomatoes I’ve ever eaten. And wine of course. :)
Florence and wine tasting at a Tuscan Castle was very good as well. The Tuscan country and the wine tasting were highlights. In Florence (and anywhere in Italy I suppose), be careful of the illegal street vendors, they can be pushy and can get aggressive if you refuse to buy something. We were told that you can be fined 1000 euros for buying something from them. The city of Florence was lovely but it was very crowded. The shopping is great! Only thing that didn't impress us from Norwegian is that they try to sell you water bottles just before your shore excursion when they are very well aware that most shore excursion booked through Norwegian provide you with water bottles for free (at least both of ours did).
Went to a winery outside of Lucca for a tour and tasting. Followed by a walking tour of Lucca on our own. Guide was fantastic.
Part of the Ships tour was to visit a vineyard and experience wine tasting and local meats and cheeses. We had expected a couple of sips of wine and a hard sell for wine but it was actually just under two hours of a sit down wine tasting where we tasted 8 different wines (and they were not stingy) and a olive oil and a balsamic vinegar. Yes there was the usual sales pitch but no hard sell and you never felt obliged to buy. Quite funny as they kept pouring my DS the same amount of wine where he did have a small taste of each luckily there was a spit bucket on the table that he could pour the rest into - if I'd also drunk his he would've had to carry me back to the bus!!