Observations from a cruise to Italy

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 05:06 PM.


I typed that exclamation sitting on our cabin’s balcony overlooking the port facilities of Livorno, Italy.

My wife Ann and I are doing a European cruise thing we’ve been planning for most of the past year. Unlike most military readers back home, I’d never been to the Mediterranean and was greatly looking forward to a number of adventures.

We just got back from our first adventure, which was an eight-hour tour of Florence and Pisa. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed but for reasons that are self-inflicted by we tourists who are like locusts, albeit locusts with credit cards.

I’d always thought Las Vegas was a stupendous destination, but apparently the whole world wants to come to Italy, and a lot of the world was already there when we docked. I figure about 1,500 folks from our ship participated in this particular tour, and our boat is only one of many cruise liners in port.

Our first stop was Florence, and since the streets are too narrow for bus traffic, we got off and walked around the city.

In the past, I’ve made fun of scenes of tour guides walking backwards holding up signs admonishing their respective broods, "We’re walking this way, walking this way."

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