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6th October, 2016


Following the departure from Salerno on late Tuesday evening, we had a relaxing sea day to look forward to. However being near magnificent Stromboli Island I decided to take a small detour to show our guests the beauty of this Volcano.

So on Wednesday morning at approximately 7.30am we made a scenic cruise past the island, home to one of Italy’s three active volcanoes. It had been quite a few years since I sailed past Stromboli but I knew all too well on a good clear night the volcanic activity, including spouts of lava, could be seen in quite spectacular form. Although we arrived there just after sunrise, the view was no less impressive. As we approached, I could hear quite clearly from the Bridge the loud gasps of amazement from our passengers and crew on the open decks. It truly is a magnificent sight and one I am sure our passengers will remember for a long time to come.

After the sail-by we set the course towards the Messina Strait, this being the body of water which separates Sicily from mainland Italy. We arrived there in time for morning coffee and our passengers could enjoy the lovely views on both sides of the ship for these first 12 miles or so, of the 285 nautical miles to Brindisi.

We finally made our approach to the Brindisi pilot station at 7 o’clock and after the swing, docked shortly before 8. Yet again the weather did not fail us and in the lovely sunshine our guests ventured ashore. Some independently exploring the nearby city, others on organized tours to Ostuni, the Apulian countryside or Lecce.

Due to its architectural heritage, Lecce has been given the name ‘Florence of the South’. This tour started at the historic Porta Napoli, and the guide led our guests along narrow streets lined with elegant mansions to the magnificent Cathedral and Archbishop's Palace on Piazza Duomo. The Cathedral was built between 1659 and 1670.

The tour continued to Piazza Sant'Oronzo, in the heart of the town, where passengers could see Lecce’s most important Roman relic, an amphitheatre from the 2nd century AD that seated 20,000 spectators. Nearby is a column that was one of a pair that formerly stood in Brindisi to mark the end of the Appian Way.

They then visited a papier-mâché workshop, to admire handmade local products, and continued along narrow streets to the magnificent Basilica of Santa Croce, built between 1549 and 1679, and considered the finest building in Lecce.

Captain Krzysztof Majdzinski

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.