43:32.90N 10:17.88E Livorno

Ariel of Hamble
Jim and Valerie SHURVELL
Thu 29 Jul 2010 19:40

43:32.90N   10:17.88E    Livorno


As the weather was good and the wind favourable for moving south to Livorno we left the little bay of Le Grazie.  We had a good sail to Livorno covering 36 miles.  We had hoped to visit the Marina di Pisa as this is closest to Pisa airport for the girls return to England but on further investigation it was not so inviting so we carried on to Livorno and the marina Porto Mediceo.

Livorno is a large industrial port and is a big port for ferries both local ferries to Corsica, Naples, Sardinia and the islands such as Elba and Capraia.  The cruise liners such as Royal Caribbean and Thompson also appear daily.  The marina suffers with continual swell and it is very noisy with continuous movement from the big ships/ferries.  It is a shame as when you walk around the town you find a canal built in 1573 from Livorno to Pisa when Cosimo I built many 16th and 17th century buildings around the old harbour.  In 1620 the Porto Mediceo was completed under Cosimo II.  Two explorers born in the town were Amerigo Vespucci (who gave his name to America) and Giovanni de Verrazzano.

It is from Livorno that Shelley met his death when he set out on a tragic sailing trip to return to Lerici.  He set out with Captain Daniel Roberts who had built the boat and two friends.  A sudden storm blew up off Viareggio and the boat sunk. The bodies were not washed up until 10 days later on the 17th July, 1822.  Byron made the funeral arrangements for Mary Shelley and the bodies were cremated because of the quarantine laws.

The marina although run by very nice chaps and are more than happy to take the lines has nothing to offer but a pontoon and a shower cubicle.  From our visitors pontoon to the harbour wall was a draw bridge which is at least 4 feet off the pontoon.  So it is a leap either way, not much fun with the shopping. Two large dogs that seem to have the run of the place 24 hours a day leave their calling card everywhere but this marina is convenient for Pisa and Florence.

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