Cool looking bicycle with Watermelon Wheels.
Arrival in Rome and Sail Away and 1st Port: Livorno (for Florence)
Exhausted from the flight from Houston-Charlotte-Rome, Mary Alice and I arrived in Italy aboard American Airlines on Saturday morning. I got about 2 hours sleep on the flight and Mary Alice about 4. We were kind of tired!
Like most arriving international flights we were routed through Passport Control. From there we were directed to baggage claim via a short rail tram ride. As we arrived in Baggage Claim we saw the Princess people holding signs and directing cruise passengers where to go. Thankfully, both of our bags arrived and we rolled everything out to the waiting bus.
The bus to the ship filled quickly and we were off for a 90 minute ride to Civitavecchia (Port for Rome). I dozed off and on all the way. We quickly went through port security and got our cruise cards and boarded the Royal Princess.
This is the newest and largest of the Princess ships and it is a big one. Our room is on the Caribe deck, 10th floor. We decided to have a late lunch at the Horizon Court/Bistro cafeteria style restaurant. We unpacked and arranged our cabin, went up later for a light supper and called it a “very long” day.
Royal Princess waiting for WW and MA to arrive!
Florence and Lunch at a Tuscan Castle on Sunday:
Room service for breakfast arrived right on time this morning at 6:30am. It was a light meal of rolls, yogurt, sliced oranges and coffee. We made our way to the staging area for all of the Florence tours. Our group, A10, was called and we were guided to a waiting bus where we met Lilly, our Italian guide.
Florence is about an hour and half bus ride from Livorno. We arrived at the Lungarno Della Zecca Square around 10:00 am. From there we walked and walked until finally getting to the Piazzi di Santa Croce. From there we were on our own until 12:15. This means we had two hours to see the things of Florence that would take most people a couple of weeks to see.
All of the churches were having services so I did not go into any of the cathedrals. Instead Mary Alice and I walked to the Palazzo Vecchio where I photographed some cool statues and a marching band. We walked on to the beautiful Cathedral known as the Duomo, took some photos, walked back to the Santa Croce and found a neat coffee café for cappuccinos and gelato while we waited for everyone else.
Florence on the Arno River
The Duomo of Florence………its trademark
One of the street muscians in Florence
Very nice honey!
Earlier I noticed Mary Alice was somewhat interested in a ring the guide was wearing and it just so happened the store that sells them was across the square. So we walked to the Gold Corner “just to look” and lo and behold we found MA a beautiful 18k gold ring.
Our next stop was lunch at the Tuscan castle known as Castello Vicchiomaggio. This was a wonderful Tuscan lunch with an antipasto of salamis, bread and olive oil, followed by two different pastas and biscotti. From there we went to a small Tuscan village for a winery tour with samples. It was a long day (check-in 7:30 am and arriving back at 5:30 pm.) Great dinner this evening (surf and turf) and now it’s time to call it a night.
Toulon, France tomorrow!
A sign of the times in Europe…………looking for terrorists