Cruising Guide: Italy

By our travel expert Mike

“Italy is one of my favourite places to go sailing. Here’s my whistle-stop guide to this amazing country.”

Florence, Rome, and Milan are all gorgeous cities, and some of the world’s most popular holiday spots. But because of their popularity, Italy’s most popular hotspots can get too crowded for most people to enjoy. Get a real taste of Italy without the tourists by heading out to sea and reading our low down of the best places to sail in Italy.

Amalfi Coast

In the whole Mediterranean, the Amalfi Coast is probably the most colourful. It’s a fantastic sailing destination, especially with Sorrento and Capri to add a little glamour. It’s no surprise that celebrities and holidaymakers alike are lured in by its beauty and charm since all of the coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Getting to your yacht is easy as the main charter marina in Salerno and Procida are both close to the airport in Naples.

Top Tip

Go to Conca dei Marini, and swim in its incredible Emerald Grotto.

Tuscany

There are a series of islands off the west coast of Tuscany, between the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian Seas, known as the Tuscan archipelago. Sailors don’t often think of the Tuscan Islands; as the region is more associated with rolling hills and vineyards than beautiful cruising grounds. However, we’ve fallen in love with sailing around the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, affectionately known as the Seven Sisters. The Tuscan Islands are a great destination for sailors who love good food, awesome scenery, and sailing!

Top Tip

Dive Elba’s Formiche della Zanca cave, where you can see rare and colourful sealife.

Sardinia

Sardinia’s mainly known for its chic residents and visitors, stunning scenery, and delicious food. At the northeast tip of the island are the La Maddalena Islands, with gorgeous beaches and crystal-clear water. Since it’s a national marine park, you’ll need a permit to go in, but it’s a great place to sail. Another reason to sail from Sardinia is that you can visit another country; Bonifacio in southern Corsica is worth a visit.

Top Tip

Head to Porto Cervo for a spot of superyacht spotting.

Sicily

Sicily is often overlooked when choosing a place for a sailing holiday during the summer. But don’t be fooled by these presumptions. Sicily and the nearby Aeolian Islands are the perfect place for a very Italian, relaxing sailing holiday.

I love the Aeolian Islands. Whenever I’m sailing past them I make an excuse to drop in. These volcanic islands are linked by a 110nm ridge that stretches from Mt Etna to Mt Vesuvius (not to mention Stromboli too), giving them a rugged and volcanic landscape. Their volcanic landscapes have earned them UNESCO status; so pretty special.

Top Tip

Take a night sail past Stromboli and hopefully you’ll see some volcanic activity giving a light glow to the night sky.

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