Today we sailed to Tuscany to experience some of the quintessential elements of the medieval period – a marble sculpture workshop, a quiet provincial town, and the magnificent Cathedral and Campanile of Pisa.

On a beautiful sunny day we arrived ashore in Viareggio, a seaside town with countless beach clubs, sun chairs and beach umbrellas. The promenade was lined with palm trees and extended for miles along the waterfront.

On the way to Pietrasanta we saw the jagged peaks of the Apuan Alps and stark white areas where marble is quarried. At the workshop we see both traditional and modern sculptures, as well as the methods of reproducing them. A casual stroll through the beautiful town of Pietrasanta was capped off by a hearty lunch of antipasto and pasta, washed down with some red wine.

At Pisa, with its renowned leaning tower, we got a sense of how wealthy this republic was during its heyday – the “Field of Miracles” is built almost completely in beautifully carved marble. The incredible frescoes adorning walls of the Camposanto cemetery featured some of the most impressive artworks of the era. Our first day in Tuscany was definitely one to remember.