Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Livorno, darling ...

SometimesMany times things are presented as something they're not. We can agree with this statement, right? It's why we "get ready" to go out in public, why we rehearse talking points, and why we spend a lot of time back-pedaling and clarifying.

Livorno, Italy, is no different. Billed as Florence for cruise ship passengers, can I just say that Livorno is NOT Florence? Good, I feel better. A 1.5 hour train ride to the high-art city, we found ourselves in this port on Monday morning (which coincidentally was my birthday but that's neither here nor there) amidst a mass transit strike. Our plan had been to ride the train up to Florence to see the sights but when we learned the only way up was a $200 Euro taxi ride, we bagged our aspirations of seeing the David (replica because museums in Italy are closed on Monday). Actually, Schwyn went because they were all organized-like and had booked an excursion. J-Dawg and I put on our happy faces and disembarked because it was Italy and we had to put our feet on the terra firma, right?

I can only describe Livorno as Italian Ghetto Fabulous, but more ghetto, less fabulous. We attempted to tag along with some really fun British guys who were also making the most of it and seeing the medieval waterfront forts, but J-Dawg had rocked his party the night prior and was feeling a little small. During this quick tour I saw the most decrepit, arthritic little terrier walking down the street behind a woman whose physical qualities mirrored his somewhat. That was my impression of Livorno.

Did that stop us from getting gelato? Hell no. Nothing stands in the way of gelato where I'm concerned. Did it prevent me from scurrying back to the ship to lounge poolside by noon? Negative. When life hands you lemons you make limoncello (in Italy, anyway) so I slid on my trunks and read my book for the rest of the day. I had to call it a wash and, you know, that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

1 comment:

Allan Fromberg said...

Bravo. Precisely our take on Livorno a few months back when we swung by on the Norwegian Gem. Everytime we even hint that Livorno (Florence) wasn't the be all, end all, we face these disapproving sneers....but we know better. Honesty rules!