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Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

7th March, 2018

Italians are loud. So are Croatians. And Greeks. So it felt almost like home when I came to the Bridge early in the morning with all the chatter over the radio on the Bridge. It gets loud and busy on one channel. In Livorno, you have to listen to three. The port is always busy, as many ferries that connect Sardinia and Corsica depart from it.

Everybody likes to come here as it’s the closest port to take a tour to Florence. Beautiful scenery as you drive through the countryside which is lovely and pleasant. Unless you have a bus driver who mistakes the bus and local road for Imola race track and Ferrari! But no bus drivers like that for our passengers.

For us that decided to stay in Livorno, a shuttle bus drive to city centre was the option. Some guests wanted to go for a walk, but they were directed to take the bus as no walking is allowed in the port area.

I spoke with some guests before going ashore and acted as a quick tour guide as I have come to Livorno quite a lot. I recommended two taverns at the port gate with seafood specialties; fried and grilled calamari or pasta with vongole and mussels accompanied with focaccia bread and a glass of white wine.

My other recommendation was to go and have a walk around the Piazza della Repubblica and Cathedral of San Francesco and just sit down in one of many pizzerias. Which one to choose is always a challenge. My advice, go to one that has no English menu available. Usually no one speaks English either, though. However, rdering food and drinks is still easy. Pizza is Pizza. Beer is birra. Add prego as please and all you have to do now is wait.

If you doubt your Italian skills, use your hands. Italians all use hands when they talk, so blend in…. Be loud. It helps. For reference, google Hugh Grant and his movie Mickey Blue Eyes or Billy Crystal in Analyse This.

Staff Captain Franko Papić

The tours continued with their artistic theme with trips to Pizza, two trips to Florence including a guided walking tour of Renaissance Florence, a Walking Tour of Roman and Mediaeval Lucca and an Easy Taste of Tuscany with a scenic ride in a horse drawn carriage.

It was a very windy departure from Livorno with a storm brewing to the north of Corsica. Therefore, for the comfort of our guests, I made the decision to change the voyage plan to Palma and we would transit the Bonifacio Strait.

Captain Richard Lambert

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.