|April 20 - Livorno, Italy
Our first port in Italy was Livorno in central Tuscany. Most passengers went to Florence and Pisa. Not us. We'll be going there on our RV caravan so instead we took a shuttle bus into this city and then a city bus to the train station to try to reserve our seats for the trains from Venice to Frankfurt at the end of this cruise. Only able to get reservations from Venice to Milano, Milano to Zurich, Switzerland, where we plan to spend a couple of nights before joining the RVers in Frankfurt on May 2nd.
We had a frustrating experience on the city bus as the Tourist Office didn't make it clear that there are two prices: 1,20 euros if you buy tickets at a magazine or tobacco stand and 1,70 euros on the bus. We heard 1,20 and I had that exact change when we got on the bus. Turns out we owed an additional euro and as the bus driver didn't understand any English and we couldn't understand him, we held up progress for a few minutes. A young man standing nearby explained what the problem was, I dug out another euro and we finally got our tickets which we then were told by our helpful friend needed to punched in a yellow machine right after getting on the bus. I got rattled by this experience as it looked like the driver really got angry with us and we didn't know what to do! Whew! (Buying the train tickets wasn't very easy either but the second clerk understood what we wanted and cheerfully helped us.)