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25th October, 2012


After fifteen years of regular expansion I found that, yet again, the port for Rome is set to grow another hundred metres or so. Well at least the breakwater is, which had new yellow buoys planted off the end and a red one reducing the width of the entrance channel. The pilots are not amused, and the one who boarded us (another familiar face) smiled wryly when I suggested that if the breakwater was extended yet further it would be getting pretty close to Livorno.

I elected to stay aboard and later received the local officials who were coming down to exchange first visit plaques. There must have been at least a dozen, including the mayor, harbour master, port police, pilots, linesmen and our local agents. One of the few passengers left on board suggested rather glibly that they thought I was about to be ‘taken away’. In fact, of course, there were several of these guests that could have done just that if there had been some sort of marine transgression. Fortunately it was a purely social occasion and one that didn’t last so long, but we now have seven rather magnificent plaques that will fill up a large space around our Deck 4 Academy.

The various tours went off to Rome; The ‘Panoramic’, ‘Rome and the Vatican’, ‘On foot through ancient Rome’ or ‘Rome for the free spirited’. Something for everyone by the sound of it, and in case all those had been done before then there was ‘Ostia Antica’, an afternoon excursion to the archaeological site of the original port for Rome apparently, long since silted up and now several miles inland.

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