And onto Pisa

We slipped lines from PortoFerraio at 0700 and motored out into the bay and towards the north east corner of Elba to catch some wind and set a course for the mouth of the river Arno, some 10 miles west of Pisa.

Leaving Elba

The sail was a combination of sailing and motoring and motor sailing, around half the trip under sail. We weaved our way through anchored cargo ships off the port of Livorno and after this I served up a couple of portion of spaghetti carbonara.

Then a fine sail all the way to the entrance of the river where we put the engine on and dropped sails and started our way towards the entrance and the bar.

Just before the beginning on the fishing nets the depth dropped to 2.6 metres. We were advised by Paulo, the owner of marinanova, that we should keep 20 to 30 metres south of the nets. Once past the first set of nets, the depth rose and stayed at 5.5 metres all the way to the marina, located on the south side of the river.

Local, horizontal fishing nets, which are to be found along the entrance and all the way up stream to our marina.
The marina bar
Marina entrance as seen for the roadside

The marina is standard stern to morning onto a wooden pontoon. However, be careful of the river current flowing downstream as this can reach 3 knots and as us you can be caught out. Once ashore we were warmly greeted by Paulo and give access cards and WiFi codes. Needless to say the WiFi was either very slow and only useable in the marina office/area, or non existent where we were berthed. Also the 3G signal was pretty poor and no 4G at all.

We stayed on board the first night and had a fantastic chicken dish presented by Ed. Waking up the next morning to a quite river mooring was blissful, with swallows flying low across the water and boat picking off insects in full flight.

We made our way to the bus stop which was left out of the marina and on the opposite side of the reload and caught the 0914 bus into Pisa, for a single fare of €3.50. It take approximately 30 minutes to get into the centre of Pisa, and then a 10 minute walk to the tower, through quaint street.

A county house just next to the bus stop, outside the marina
Our first view of the tower was quite impressive

At the top
A view from the ancient city wall

Upon arriving in Pisa, we had our customary coffee and light snack, before making a 10 minute walk toward the tower. When it first came into sight it was quite an incredible structure and the white marble of the tower complimented the lush, green grass around it. We bought our tickets €18 each and were allocated a slot of 1130, which gave us plenty of time to view the cathedral. The walk up the tower gives you an unusual feeling as the stairs first lean this way and then the opposite way. Once at the top, its an unusual queezy feeling and quite disconcerting and I was quite glad to be down on terra ferma.

We then, quite by chance, found an amazing Tuscan restaurant called Galileo on Via San Martino 6/8. Fantastic food, spaghetti vongole, followed by the most amazing steak with green peppercorns sauce. Quite the best steak. All of this and wine at a very reasonable cost. The restaurant was full of local Italians with their friends and families. A GREAT FIND and a must visit.

Ed and the steak
Wonderful steak on green peppercorn sauce

Then back by bus, to the marina and an early, restful night before our departure the next morning.

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