ABOVE: Costa Magica at the Savona cruise terminal, directly opposite downtown Savona. (During our visit, Costa Mediterranea was also in port.)
by Durant Imboden
Recently, we enjoyed a 7-day Western Mediterranean cruise aboard Costa Magica, which took us from Civitavecchia to Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Marseilles, Savona, and back to Civitavecchia (a.k.a. the port of Rome). We'd never been to Savona, Italy, and the town was a pleasant surprise.
Savona is a port with about 62,000 residents on the coastline of Liguria, not far from the French border and Monaco. The town has been around since ancient times, and its claims to fame include Christopher Columbus (who lived in Savona for many years) and the original Capella Sistina, which predates the architecturally similar Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.
Costa Cruises uses Savona as a turnaround port for many of its cruises in the Western Mediterranean, and on our cruise, passengers could board or disembark at any city along the cruise's itinerary.
We'll have more to say about our Costa voyage and Savona in a future cruise review at Europe for Cruisers, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures from our one-day port visit:
ABOVE: I snapped this photo early in the morning from the balcony of Cabin 7400 of Costa Magica as the ship arrived in Savona.
ABOVE: Here, you can see the Costa Magica (left edge of photo) approaching Savona's centro storico or historic center, where the cruise terminal is located.
ABOVE: From the pier, we crossed a pedestrian drawbridge to Savona's main business district and its arcaded shopping street. (Downtown Savona looked extremely prosperous, with high-style jewelry and clothing stores, cafés, etc.)
ABOVE: We visited the Priamar Fortress, which offers views of Savona and its beaches. (Admission to the fortezza is free; if you have time, you can explore the archaeological museum or have lunch in the fortress restaurant.)