Our final stops on our Disney Cruise were all in the beautiful country of Italy. We LOVE Italy. We love the people, the food, the wine, the scenery, the history, basically everything. If we could pick anywhere in Europe to live it would be…… Switzerland, because it is basically Colorado with better chocolate, but Italy would be a close 2nd.
We stopped in the port city of Genoa. The views in the morning were very welcoming.
We decided to head down to the harbor and spend the day at the aquarium. The aquarium is only a 20 min walk from the cruise port. When we got off the ship it was a bit warm (cue toddler meltdown). The friendly ladies from Treecycle Genoa were waiting for riders at the exit. They typically do a full Genoa tour but they were more than happy to give us a short ride over to the aquarium in their rickshaws.
O loved it.
During the ride over, they pointed out important landmarks in Genoa and gave some history. This was a nice bonus for us, as we didn’t know too much about this northern city of Italy.
We spent the morning at the Aquarium, which was rather large and well maintained.
The Biosphere is also a popular attraction. It sits right next to the Aquarium.
Genoa was a bit of a gritty city. There were some pick-pockets and swindlers along the harbor. However, I think it is a city with a lot of potential and I know several people who pick Genoa as one of their favorite cities in Italy. Though I think knowing it is the home of pesto may sway people a bit.
Livorno is typically the big cruise stop where people can access Florence and the Tuscany region. We spent a week in the Tuscany area last year and absolutely loved it. You can see the posts about those trips here: Tuscany Part 1 , Tuscany Part 2
We spent the day shopping in Livorno. We picked up some favorite Italian treats and had a lovely leisurely day.
Naples is probably best known for pizza and the ruins of Pompeii that sit outside the city. Seeing Pompeii has been a big bucket list item for me. Gavin volunteered to stay on the boat with the kiddos so I could truly see Pompeii and not just chase children around Pompeii while dishing out snacks. I did an adults only excursion through Disney.
We had a fantastic tour guide. She was able to get our group around the site with ease and gave us excellent details about each area. Pompeii is actually a rather large site so I was grateful to have the tour guide to help navigate the city.
Of course I took a picture in the brothel. It is like a required picture for all tourists.
Overall I really enjoyed my visit to Pompeii. Thank you Gavin for letting me have my own little adventure for the day.
The final stop on our cruise and where we disembarked the ship was Civitavecchia, Italy. Cruise lines like to call this stop Civitavecchia (Rome) but the port itself is about 90 minutes from the big tourist sights of Rome.
We used a lovely tour company called Tours around Tuscany during our week in the Tuscany area last year. The owner Gianni is just a fantastic person and he helped set up a private transfer from Civitavecchia with a half-day tour of Rome for us to finish our cruise. This was icing on the cake. Our guide was absolutely fantastic and he got us around to all the major sights.
These pictures are Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Palatine Hill, and the Orange Garden
Somehow our guide was able to maneuver an 8-passenger van around the streets of Rome and find parking within feet of most of these sights. He knew the city extremely well and negotiated through the notoriously crazy traffic with such ease. It was amazing to watch. He also drove us by the Forum, the Spanish Steps, the Parliament building and (just as we were leaving town) the Pyramid of Cestius.
The tour gave us a great overview of all of the iconic sights and it helped us get a better understanding of the city. This is exactly what we were looking for as we plan to (hopefully) travel to Rome again for a more in-depth visit.
Until we meet again Italy! Ciao!