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Livorno - Cinque Terre or Stay Onboard?

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On my upcoming Med cruise, one of the ports is Livorno. It's very industrial with nowhere to just walk around so you need an excursion or to stay onboard.

We are going to celebrate my MIL's 60th birthday but she doesn't fancy any of the excursions and wants to stay onboard. She's happy to stay onboard alone but my husband will probably stay with her. 

I've been to Pisa and Florence and have always fancied Cinque Terre - even more so after seeing @Traveler's photos.  Question is, do I go it alone or stay onboard and relax?


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I have friends who were just there in Livorno and they said it is a lovely town.  Take the shuttle bus from the port into the town.  No problem to spend the day there exploring she said.

Have a look at some Youtube videos online and do some research, it seems like a lovely place.

Sometimes you do not have to go so far inland to find a great town to explore and have a great time.

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Cinque Terre on the Jewels of Cinque Terre excursion! My husband and I did this excursion in October 2018 on our honeymoon and it was AMAZING! We visited 3 of the villages and had a beautiful Italian lunch at one. Perfection. A boat picks you up right as you get off the ship and you take the boat to each village. 

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I disagree that there's nothing to do in the port  itself. My husband and I enjoyed walking around the town center and enjoyed a delicious lunch and the best glass of wine I had in all of Italy, actually. I think we took the shuttle from the port to the city square next to the visitor's center. We had thought about taking a bus tour out to Pisa, but Livorno was our last stop on a port-intense itinerary and we were exhausted. So we walked around and found quite a bit of shopping and two HUGE markets, one indoors and one outdoors. It was fun just to walk around looking at how daily life is lived in a coastal town. There are some museums available and it's Italy so there's a historic church on any corner you can explore. 

On the flip side, Cinque Terre is not the well-kept-secret it used to be. Now it's very crowded and even more "touristy" than most places in that area. It's still beautiful but be prepared to deal with crowds and inflated prices. When it comes down to it, you're in Italy and you can't really make a bad choice!

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