The boot-shaped country of Italy is easy to identify on a map. Once the center of the ancient world, the country of some 61 million residents boasts a temperate climate and thousands of kilometers of coastline. Italy shares land borders with Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, France and San Marino.
Top sailing cities
The amazing Amalfi coast is practically always peppered with sailboats, catamarans, houseboats and fishing boats. Amalfi’s prime location just 17 NM from Capri, 30 NM from Ischia and 55 NM from Ventotene makes Amalfi one of Italy’s most popular sailing cities. Lake Como boasts a number of sailing schools where novice sailors can ‘learn the ropes’ on generally gentle waters. Experienced sailing enthusiasts find Lake Como an ideal spot to rent a boat in Italy and join a lake regatta.
Things to do
Visitors who desire a variety of experiences find an amazing number of things to do and see in Italy. The Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in Rome are wonderfully historical attractions, but they’re not the only things to see in Italy. Explore Venice by gondola at night and join a Tuscan wine tasting tour. Hire a crewed yacht or rent a bareboat and set sail for Spiaggia dei Conigli where you can spend a summer day bird watching or simply basking on a beautiful beach.
When in Italy, eat as the Italians do. Delightful pasta dishes, fresh Sicilian seafood and a bounty of local veggies make Italian one of the great cuisines of the world.
Set sail at Portisco to reach Tavolara / Spalmatore. Anchor for the night, or sail on to Bonifacio harbour at Isola di Caprera. Obtain fuel and provisions at the marina, then proceed to Isola Budelli. The run from Catania to the Lipari Islands via Syracuse and Portopalo offers spectacular views, smooth sailing and enchanting stops along the way. For an extended excursion, embark at Milazzo and sail to Panarea. Allow a couple of days to explore Stromboli, then sail on to Salina, Lipari and back to Milazzo.
The Bay of Naples and the Italian Riviera tend to receive less wind than do islands such as Sardinia and Sicily. On the whole, Italian winds slow down during summer months. When this happens, you’ll be glad you rented a bareboat with a motor.
Best time to visit
Italian beaches and major cities tend to be crowded with tourists in July and August, which also happen to be the hottest months in this pretty part of the Mediterranean. April, May and June offer easier access to historical sites and museums, as do September and October. Late summer and early fall are great times to participate in a flotilla off Sardinia. Rent a bareboat in Italy and cruise from Costa Smeralda all the way to Corsica.
How to get there
Three major airports serve travelers to and from Italy. Milan Linate Airport sits in the north; the airport in Florence is nearer the center of the country. If sailing, fishing and watersports are for you, fly into Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. High-speed trains take passengers into Italy from London and other European cities.