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15th November, 2019


After a night of impressive thunderstorms, the rain refused to relent as we approached Livorno port. Heading into the busy harbour, I was suitably drenched on the open Bridge-wing whilst ‘parking’ Saga Sapphire just as dawn broke.

Forgetting the rain, Tuscany is renowned for its art & architecture, history and evocative landscape. The damp shouldn’t take anything away from this experience, and indeed everyone was eager to head off to enjoy seeing the sights after breakfast.

The large port city has a lively waterfront with a 16th century fortress, the Fortezza Vecchia, as well as a superb maritime museum, and some great pizza restaurants I can vouch for from personal experience. Further afield lies the pretty Tuscan countryside splattered with pleasant villages and of course famous towns such as Florence & Pisa.

Florence is said to be the birthplace of Renaissance (I am certainly no expert on such matters) and as such our Explore Ashore team ran some interesting sounding trips there. Our guests could also choose to venture into the pretty countryside and visit a Tuscany farmhouse and enjoy locally grown & cooked food cooked along with cooking guidance, some charismatic singing, and of course plenty of local wine.

Perhaps our most relaxed sounding tour was ‘Easy Peasy Pisa,’ an excursion promising all the sights in the famous town but with very little in the way of physical exertion. I wonder how many people dozed off after lunch during this trip…?

Well, there were fortunate parts of the day where the rain gave us a break – and one of those periods was at precisely 17:30; as we were due to depart. It was with a certain haste therefore that we undocked and swung the ship about in the harbour, pointing her promptly westward after the breakwater had been negotiated. Next stop: a distinctly drier France, I am assured…

Captain Kim Tanner

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.