It was 07:38am, when 'AIDAperla' arrived at the harbor entrance of Livorno, where she docked at 'Cruise Terminal Alto Fondale' berth 46 and 47 at 08:12am. It is forbidden, to walk in the harbor area, and the shuttle bus is mandatory therefore, as well as the fee of €5.00 for a return ticket. 'AIDAperla' was cleared at 08:47am, and I left the ship. In the hall, next to the exit on the other side, I purchased a ticket for the shuttle bus at a counter, the shuttle bus departed 10 minutes later from the terminal for a 12 minute drive to the 'Municipio Di Livorno' in Via Claudio Cogorano, some meters north of Piazza Grande, from where it is some further meters towards east to public bus stop 'Grande' in Via Grande. A public bus ticket to Livorno Centrale station with bus line 'LAM Blu' purchased on the bus costs €1.70, busses depart many times per hour, but I chose to walk, since I had plenty of time until the next Trenitalia-train to my first excursion destination today would depart. I arrived at station Livorno Centrale at 09:44am, purchased a ticket at one of the machines for the 10:12am departure to Firenze Santa Maria Novella, validated the ticket which costs €9.70, and entered the train which departed on time then. It was supposed to be another sunny day, but with some thin and high clouds sometimes, and I had no idea into what kind of adventure the nature would put me into later.
After some intermediate stops, Pisa was the first one among them, the train arrived in Firenze Santa Maria Novella at 11:34am, the main train station of Firenze, the city that promotes itself as Infectious Beauty. I proceeded through the historical old town to the giant 'Duomo Di Santa Maria Del Fiore' with 'Campanile Di Giotto', further towards Ponte Alle Grazie, with view on famous Ponte Vecchio, and then the stairs up to Piazzale Michelangelo with its great panorama on entire Firenze, maybe the only place to get the big Duomo and Campanile together on a picture. What an overwhelming view on every single sight of Firenze and the nearby typical Toscana gardens and cypresses, wow, this is Italy! Back down the stairs to river Arno, and over Ponte Vecchio to 'Palazzo Vecchio' with its famous 'Statua David Di Michelangelo' and 'Statua Ercole E Caco', masses of tourists, not only on Piazza Della Signoria, but also pushing through the narrow alleys. Once again, I came along the Duomo and Campanile, before I went back to Firenze Santa Maria Novella main train station.
It was a little bit strange, I already had purchased a train ticket to Pisa for €8.40, got it validated, and was about to enter the train, when the display showed that the journey was cancelled. Since I did not know the reason, I also did not activate plan B, the bus from Firenze to Pisa airport, which is in walkable distance to Pisa main train station. Instead, I rushed into the adventure of the day, of which I still did not know that it would escalate nearly every hour. I was a little bit annoyed, when the next train to Pisa finally departed at 03:31pm, because it meant a time loss of valuable 40 minutes, and my visit in Pisa would be shortened. At 03:57pm, the train stopped in Empoli due to a fire on the track, what I found out later due to my lack of Italian language skills. Total chaos in Empoli, but I was directed to 'Pullman', after asking staff in the station. Train service replacement buses, great, in Germany there is lots of bus replacement service, I already feel like at home! But this is nature, and there is a big draught this year in Italy. A giant mass of stranded passengers was occupying the entire piazza in front of the station, no taxis around. I had already seen a bus departing, and thought that I was a lucky one, when a second bus stopped with the front door just in front of me. The door opened, an official stepped out and indicated what kind of persons he would allow to enter the bus first. Bambini, Donne, Anziani! For that, my Italian was sufficient. Some persons were picked out of the mass in a lengthy process and were allowed to enter the bus. Meanwhile, I was already waving my 'Bordkarte' in front of the official, trying to tell him that I would miss my nave crociere. Eventually, the mass behind me just started to push me into the bus, the official gave it up. It finally departed at 04:37pm, with a mix of passengers, by the way, not just children, women and old people. The bus arrived in San Romano at the train station after a trip of endless 28 minutes. I jumped into the next train towards Pisa, after trying to ask staff and other travelers about the departure time, and whether this is the right train to Pisa at all. However, the train departed in San Romano at 05:19pm and arrived at Pisa Centrale 26 minutes later.
Full of doubts, I could miss the ship on the one hand, and the only and main sight in Pisa on the other hand, to which I was so close to now, just a 20 minute walk away, I decided to risk it, went very quickly to Piazza Dei Miracoli with 'Duomo Cattedrale Di Santa Maria Assunta' and the world-famous 'Torre Pendente', shot some photos while the sun was already moving behind the buildings. But I had luck again, a short minute without tourists fooling around and stepping on the green lawn, which is forbidden, in front of my camera. I took the time to marvel the really gigantic and impressive building ensemble, before I went back to Pisa main station very fast, just to find out, that the chaos caused by the fire on the track meanwhile had extended to obviously entire Toscana railroad system. The next train to Livorno was delayed, I purchased a ticket for €2.60 at a machine, validated it, and got back to the taxi stand outside the station hall, but taxis were not available, even after waiting for longer. I gave it up and decided to take the train back to Livorno.
At 07:03pm, less than 1 hour before departure of the ship, the train from Pisa to Livorno finally departed with a delay of 31 minutes. Shortly before the train arrived in Livorno at 07:17pm, I coincidentally met a family of 4 from the ship, and we tried to find a taxi after arriving in Livorno. There were no taxis, and we ended up in the local bus 'LAM Blu' from Livorno Centrale to bus stop 'Grande' in Via Grande, it departed 7 minutes after we arrived in Livorno by train. Since the last shuttle bus already departed some time ago, it was announced to be at 07:00pm, the woman of the family had contacted the ship's emergency number printed on the 'Bordkarte' several times with her smartphone meanwhile, in order to find out how to get to the ship without the shuttle bus. We were stranded at the shuttle bus stop some 20 minutes before departure of the ship, no taxis in sight. We tried to call one, but no success, when suddenly a taxi van raced around the corner at Piazza Grande, directly towards us, being in slight despair meanwhile. We jumped into the taxi 6 minutes before departure of the ship, and the driver made it quickly. At 08:03pm, we entered 'AIDAperla' after a quick security, very luckily, and we were told that 20 other passengers are still being expected. The fire on the railroad track delayed the departure of 'AIDAperla' to 08:42pm. The ship passed the harbor entrance some 15 minutes later, and sailed away from Italy, with some very lucky passengers on board. The 'Weite Welt' restaurant served cuisine from Toscana this evening again, and I granted to myself the biggest serving of gelato since ever! After midnight, the lights of Corse were in sight, and I had a late meal and something to drink.