Livorno, Italy...later...

As we pulled into the port of Livorno, Italy.

Views from the ship were limited.

Historic buildings lined the streets in Livorno.
Yes, we have now been in Italy for the past 24 hours, yesterday in Livorno and today in Civitavecchia, the port that brings us within an hour and a half drive to Rome.
 
It may have been easy for us to board the bus and visit Rome now. But, the excursions priced at as much as $395 per person, would leave us only five hours to explore. We'd decided awhile ago to save touring Italy including Rome when we can drive on our own from Florence, where we'll spend the summer with a car. 
Exactly how we envision Italy, isn't it?
At $865 per month for the rental car, most certainly we'll be heading out to explore the many points of interest all over Italy throughout the summer, perhaps staying overnight in a few areas in the process.

The cruise ships and ferries were lining up to let off the tourists.

 Boarding yet another bus with sneezing and coughing passengers was hardly appealing to at this point, let alone while still recovering from our recent illness which lingers in its annoying subtleties.
 
As the time nears to move into the house in Tuscany, we've contacted the owners to complete the payment.  Originally, they'd asked for cash in Euros for the balance for the two and a half months.  With all this cruising and frequently moving about, we've preferred not to carry much cash with us based the dangers of pickpockets. 

From afar, we could see the Norwegian Epic, the ship we didn't like due to poor design and...where we experienced the 50 foot waves while crossing the ocean.

When one travels for a few weeks, it's no big deal to get cash off of a credit or debit card at a cash machine, paying fees upwards of 10% in a foreign country.  For us, traveling constantly, this would be an outrageous expense.  Carrying around large sums of cash is also foolish.  Thus we've used PayPal and credit cards (not debit) for rental payments which has worked quite well up to this point.
 
With the owners  of the Tuscany property asking for cash in Euros for the extended period, we've been in a quandary.  We could go to any bank and pay more fees to have our bank wire the funds to us to convert to Euros. 
 
We could use a cash machine each day in order to accumulate smaller amounts, paying huge fees, or we could open a bank account at a European bank which we'd prefer not to do, not knowing at this point how long we'll be in Europe for the long haul.
This is not an issue for any of our future rentals.  Thus, it didn't make sense to go through all of this.  As a result with angst looming, yesterday we contacted the owners of the property by email, offering to pay PayPal or credit card fees which most certainly would be considerably less than the up to 10% fees we'd pay at a cash machine.
An old grain elevator close to the port.
Much to our delight and gratefulness, they wrote back (using Google translate since they don't speak English), telling us not to worry and that we could pay however we'd like, at any time we'd like.  Their kindness prompted us to offer to pay the entire amount now using a credit card, paying the appropriate fees.  We shall see how this rolls out but at least we can stop fussing over this at the moment.
 
It's peculiar to us how the worries of our daily lives have changed as we've traveled; transportation from here to there, dirty laundry, exchange rates, runny noses, decent food, and most of all, time zone differences allowing us to Skype with family.   

The sunset shortly after our shipped pulled out of the harbor.


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