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The country of Italy has so much to see and do that the first option that comes to mind may not be cruising along its coasts; even for seasoned sailors. Inland landmarks like the Roman Coliseum and Sistine Chapel are on many people’s bucket lists. But, Italy also has all the right ingredients for a memorable cruising experience.
So where to go? Aside from the glitzy, better known destinations there are also plenty of places where you can get off the beaten track and really enjoy the essence of Italy’s coastal culture. Sailing season in Italy generally runs from May to October, with July and August having the highest temperatures, biggest crowds and lightest winds.
The Islands of Tuscany
Made famous by many films, recipes and books like Under the Tuscan Sun, Tuscany is also home to an archipelago made up of seven beautiful islands. They range from the larger island of Elba to the smallest which is Giannutri.
In the way of sailing these islands offer everything from crystal clear waters to beautiful beaches and friendly winds. You’ll also find opportunities to hike and visit famous landmarks. A good tip is to plan a Tuscan island sailing vacation for Spring instead of Summer; you’ll avoid the crowds while still enjoying lovely weather.
Winds rarely reach gale force and normally blow from West to North-West.
Naples and the Amalfi Coast
Set off from the exciting ports of Salerno and Naples for a cruise that includes gorgeous beaches, dramatic rocky coastlines and great nightlife if you’re so inclined. You’ll also be able to enjoy shorter legs between marinas and the chance to really soak up some of the glamour and yacht culture of this exclusive region of the country.
Regional highlights include the Blue Lagoon on Capri, volcanic island of Ischia and the archaeological site of Pompeii. During the more popular summer months the winds tend to be lighter in the morning and stronger in the afternoon, blowing from the South-West and South-East.
Sicily and the Aeolian Islands
Sicily’s rich and diverse culture makes for a unique experience in and of itself; the region has been inhabited by various Asian, African and European cultures.
The Aeolian Islands are a favourite of Italian celebrities and well to do families; those in the know understand that they are excellent for enjoying majestic natural scenery as well as vibrant cuisine and interesting landmarks. The island of Stromboli, for example, has an active volcano which can be observed spewing molten rocks and lava; a natural spectacle unlike any other.
The region’s seven small islands are perfect for a sailing adventure. They are surrounded by deep seas and feature geologically formed beaches and caves. Views of the islands are best enjoyed from the decks of your own private yacht.
Sicily’s weather and sailing conditions are typical of the Mediterranean, with dry weather and North-West winds.
A bit more off the beaten track for many yacht charterers, Sardinia is also frequented by Italian royalty and sophisticated holidaymakers. It offers a diverse landscape in which each vista is different from the last.
La Maddalena offerd pink sands, clear waters and unique coves, making them excellent for those who want to enjoy unspoilt nature at its finest.
In terms of sailing, Sardinia is not necessarily for beginners. Those with experience who enjoy more challenging sailing will truly enjoy the experience. Both the Saharan Chirocco wind and Maestrale wind from the North make for exciting conditions.
To find the perfect offer for your Italian sailing adventure, browse our bareboat offers for Italy and contact our advisors today.