Europe always has something to offer, every time different and interesting.
I must say that on this cruise what was really on our mind is to get a good knowldege of Italy and its cities of art. And this we did ! First I was a little astonished by the look of the Livorno Port, containers and containers but we did know that we had some miles to go to get to Florence. We chose to make and effort and allow ourselves a private tour, so we were expecting a driver from the company our agent booked to be at the pier waiting for us. Elizabeth from bestlimosinrome was there, and she drove us off to Pisa in a nice car. The leaning tower is incredibly attractive, but what really cathed our attention was the Baptistery of Pisa. We decided to go inside and we did exactly what we were told the ancient priest did at those time, we stood in a specific point and believe it or no, we heard our voices echo produced by the gallery with 13 arches, that is located on the upper part of the dome. I really felt how the genious of those architects could emphasize and amplify the gregorian songs of the monks, creating a deep mystical atmosphere. Beautiful. After 45 minutes, and 2 capucinos, off we went to Florence. It was a nice ride, of about 1 hour and the landscape was green and precious. We had a reservation for the David, so we went right in, and here he was , a fantastic work of art made by Michelangelo. He really looks proud and strong, and i did not think he was that huge. Well, having fell in love with Michelangelo, our driver who spoke quite good English, took to see something I thought was only in Rome, another masterpiece of Michelangelo the pieta. This, Elizabeth told us , was made by the artist in his late 70's and was suppose to be on his grave. It is beautiful in its tragic look. An emaciated Christ is being hold under his arms and his mother transpires the sorrow and pain in an incredibly profound way. They told us, that Michelangelo tried to brake it down with an hammer, as he thought it was horrible, but its absolutely beautiful. Not to be missed.
The next day we were in Rome, and with the same company we were on a private tour of Rome and of course the Sistine Chapel. The traffic is just incredible, and we thought we would not be able to see much. Wrong. We discovered that there are areas where not all the cars can go, and we managed to see all of the sites we wanted to see. Skipping the line at the Vatican was great, thanks to a previous reservation, and the Genesis, the very personal interpretation of Michelangelo gave us the sense on how great was the genius of this man, that could paint in such a beautiful way as he could sculpt.
Finally Naples, with its Volcano. Pasquale form the same company, was there and drove us to Pompeii and got us Enzo a local guide and kind senior archaeologist that told us about the way the lived in the 1 st century AD, and the view of all those bodies, choked to death was quite thrilling. Sorento was elegant and full of pretty things to buy, followed by Positano and a great restaurant were we could enjoy the real napolitano food at la Tagliata place.
The rest of the cruise was also interesting, but no where near what we saw, The ship is fabulous, and with some extra tips the service is brilliant.