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Home > Member Reviews > meyers's Port Reviews of Portofino, Florence (Livorno), Venice, Taormina (Messina), Dubrovnik, Naples

meyers's Port Reviews of Portofino, Florence (Livorno), Venice, Taormina (Messina), Dubrovnik, Naples
Legend of the Seas cruise in June 2008
Member Name: meyers
Cruise Date: June 2008
Embarkation: Civitavecchia
Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
Member Review: meyers's Legend of the Seas Review
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
PORTOFINO: Boat tender into this beautiful 'village'.  Becomes very busy mid morning with other tourists.  Go early and avoid the crush.

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Florence (Livorno)
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
LIVORNO:  Transfer bus is 12 euros to the centre of town. When you leave the transfer bus you need to buy a bus ticket in the tobacco shop - 1euro - to the station. Validate your ticket ON THE BUS in the machine. (Charge for not validating your ticket is very high).  You could also hire a taxi from LIVORNO port to the train station.
IF you want to see FLORENCE, then you can do it easily by direct train. My preference is LUCCA, a beautiful walled town, easily accessible travelling via PISA Centrale (15 minutes by train to Pisa and then another 20 to LUCCA). Buy and VALIDATE your train ticket BEFORE you get on the train. BOTH Lucca and Florence train stations are right opposite the centre of town. You could do both Pisa and Lucca in a long day.

We tried, unsuccessfully, to get to Cinque Terre. Sadly, the first train was cancelled and we were sent to the wrong platform and missed our other connection.  Italian trains are ok for a short distance but not for a multi-change daytrip!

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
VENICE:  You can transfer into town via the public vaporetto located near the ship. It's well signposted for the ferry passengers.  Cost 12.50 euros return direct to and from St. Marks square.  Ship transfer cost is 20 euros for one return journey. OR take a single to St Marks @ 6.50 euros and then buy a pass.
NOTE: If you are staying in port overnight you may want to go in to town twice one day and again the next morning. Thats 3 trips @ 20 euros each by ship transfer. 18 euros for a 36 hour pass.

Alternatively, walk to the train station (15 minutes) and buy a 12, 24 or 36 hour pass for ALL vaporettos. Use the No 1 to take a leisurely ride down the Grand Canal to St. Marks (stops at every stop) or the No 2 to get you there quicker. Be adventurous, get on and off and just wander.  You can't get lost and the vaportettos run constantly in all directions. The Rialto bridge becomes clogged with people quickly, so do it early.  The shops on the Rialto are excellent.

The girls at the information desk tried to tell me that this couldn't be done and that it was an hour to St. Marks by foot.  Don't be fazed, you don't walk all the way!  You will ALWAYS find a steady stream of adventurous people going off and doing it themselves.

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Taormina (Messina)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
MESSINA:  Take the train to TAORMINA.  The station is just a 10 minute walk away and the trains are very good.  Check the train times (go to the trenitalia website) as there are only a few in the morning (8.00am, 9.30 and 12 noon) but plenty coming back. Alternatively, the bus takes 2 hours there! (No need to validate your bus ticket). The Taormina bus is near the train station too. On reaching Taormina you need to use a local bus to take you from the train station up to Taormina town, but these are cheap and regular. ASK the locals and they will help.  Better still go on the web and find out for yourself.

If you can't use either then take a taxi. 

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
DUBROVNIK: Tranfer here is reasonable but taxi's are available.

Walk the walls early as they get very busy.  Go up to the first street level on your left to eat a delicious lunch. Alternatively, stop half way around the walls and go down to a cafe overlooking the sea!


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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
NAPLES:  The port is full of taxi's and ferries to anywhere you wish.  The hydrofoil to CAPRI runs every 20 minutes and takes 50 minutes. BUY your ticket FIRST from the ticket office (16 euros each way). It will tell you the time your boat leaves and from which berth.  If you go to CAPRI you also need a ticket to use the funicular - 1 euro 40, each way.  Once up there make sure you leave the crowds and walk out of town.  The views are spectacular. The shop prices are also something else!

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