Day 5 was a wonderful and SUNNY sea day! It was also the day when the upper half of my body would turn a nice burned red colour……ahhhh, no cruise would be complete without sunburn and so the fun began.
Today was also the day of the infamous passengers Vs crew pool activities, always a great laugh especially when they don’t play by the rules! There’s nothing quite like someone trying to go from one side of the pool to the other with a bucket on their head, sitting in a life ring and being harassed by the other team…..that in itself deserves a medal!
As the afternoon wore on it was time to head back to the cabin and once again get turned around ready for a peaceful evening at sea, tomorrow we had a busy day ahead of us in Italy.
Day 6 was the day, we finally arrived in Italia. I must admit Italy and sister country Sicily are my favourite parts of the world. I fall in love with something else about them every time I visit, especially Sicily. I am convinced I will re-locate there one day, well I am hoping too.
Another thing with Italy is the accent. I can’t even say to you why but I know many of you will fully understand what it is I am trying to say, that thick Italian accent behind the most English of words like “Tea”, the tone of the voice and the rolling of the R’s. Up until today our captain was Italian (no he didn’t change nationality, he would leave today and be replaced by someone else) and for the entire time up until now each time he spoke on the ships PA system I was transfixed. Before anyone makes a funny remark I can assure you I was not the only one however I will admit most of the people I caught doing the same thing were female 😉
Anyway let’s move on……….today we would spend the morning in Pisa, home to theLeaning Tower. This would be my third visit to the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) but to be honest the sight of this amazing place never gets old. OK the first time you see the Leaning Tower you get a bigger WOW effect but even after three visits I was still finding things I had not seen previously. Our visit this time would also allow us to take a little visit into the Baptistery, this was very interesting and the views from the small windows as we made or accent on the inner stairs were amazing! It was only 5Euro to enter and it was worth it just for that one picture alone. It was pretty empty inside, and you could literally see right up to the roof from the ground floor, it really did make you question how on earth they managed to get right inside the dome to finish the building. If you visit and can’t manage the stairs within the Leaning Tower then this is certainly a great substitute.
The craftsman ship on the outside I will admit was far superior to that on the inside. Although the architecture lacked inspiration in a way the bronze sculpture of St. John the Baptist at the centre of the font was very impressive as was the Pulpit. In fact the work that clearly went into making this Pulpit was truly amazing.
Did you know that the tower actually leans at an angle of 3.97 degrees! This means that the top of the tower actually leans 3.9 metres from where it would if it stood perfectly vertical. Everything in Pisa leans, simply because of the ground the buildings were built on. Not only in Miracle Square either. If you venture along the waterfront numerous buildings here also have a slight lean.
Our visit here was only 4 hours so in the afternoon we decided to head into Livorno. The morning had been blistering sunshine with a small shower but the afternoon was a complete washout. We got back on the ship, quickly changed into our jeans and jackets then headed back onto the dock to wait for the shuttle bus. This shuttle bus took an absolute life time! We were both starting to lose the will to live and the front desk manager who was overseeing the operations on the dock was far from impressed. We chatted for a while, stole his umbrella and then finally a bus turned up. We jumped on board still with the giant umbrella in tow and off we went.
Although having been here 3 times this was my first visit to Livorno city centre. Most places were closed but we did come across and amazing little Pizzeria and then a delicious ice cream parlour. It made the wait in the rain worthwhile that is for sure.
If you visit Livorno, for Pisa/ Florence I probably would suggest you in one way or another do an organised trip or head off somewhere other than Livorno on your own. I had heard on previous cruises that they had a strange store opening timetable here and it was very true, most stores had 4 different times as to when they were open and closed within 1 day! It is certainly a place you should certainly explore but on a wider scale. Even if you have been to Pisa before why not pop back and this time take time to enjoy the delicious food instead of the sights? It gives a slightly different feel to an otherwise familiar location.
As we arrived back at the ship, finally with the rain having stopped, we made our way back to the cabin to freshen up and change ready to make our way down for dinner. This was the night I ordered lasagne but then decided I wanted the tandoori chicken instead….knew I should have just went with my gut instinct but no. After we finished yet another lovely meal we made our way up to Lido deck to meet up with friends before heading down to the show. I did have some time between dinner and the show so I made my way to the bow of the ship to watch our sail away from Livorno. It is such a narrow way in and out; I really am surprised at how some ships manage to fit through!
As the later hours approached it was once again time to retire to our cabin, tomorrow we would be in Cannes………..
Video 1: Cruise Ship Fun in The Sun
Video 2: Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles)