With its totally recognizable geographical form that reminds people of a tall boot in the Mediterranean, Italy is a shockingly long country and one that is practically surrounded with pristine coasts. The country’s coasts add up to 7600 kilometers in total, and are broken up into widely known and loved vacation regions and magical bays, endless beaches and idyllic harbor towns. Some of the amazing regions and towns hugging Italy’s waters are the Amalfi Coast on the Gulf of Salerno the holiday towns Atrani, Maiori, Minori, Positano, and Vietri sul Mare, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cinque Terre between Punta Mesco and Punta di Montenero in Ligurien, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The Adriatic coasts boast the towns and cities Ancona, Bari, Pesacara, Brindisi, Bibione, Caorle, Chioggia, Eraclea Mare, Grado, Giulianova, Venice, Ravenna, Rimini, Jesolo, San Benedetto del Tronto, Pescara, Vasto, Termoli, Vieste, Trani, Trieste, and Otranto… a list of famous and treasured coastal towns and sailing regions throughout Italy could extend almost indefinitely. Some more options for exploring exist around the Gulf of Naples at the islands Capri, Ischia and Procida, around the Gulf of La Spezia on the northwestern coast of Italy, at Golfo Paradiso between Genoa and the Cape of Portofino around Bogliasco, Pieve Ligure, Sori, Recco and Camogli, and the huge Gulf of Tarent in Apulien and Catabrien, which offers countless fish and incomparable marine life. The Italian word Riviera was originally used only for the area from the French border to the Gulf of Genoa in Tuscany. Now, however, it is used worldwide as an encompassing word to describe beautiful coastlines. This change very clearly shows the significance of the sea in Italian culture. The original Riviera and its resort towns Bordighera, Alassio, Diano Marina, Santa Margherita Ligure, Sestri Levante and Lerici which, among others, have been popular destinations since the 18th century, enjoys a mild climate throughout the year, versatile and picturesque landscapes, plus the typical Mediterranean way of life, captured in the phrase “Dulce Vita” (sweet life). The Riviera dei Fiori (Riviera of Flowers) and Riviera delle Palme (Palm Riviera) are especially worth seeing. The Riviera dei Fiori stretches from Andorra, Cervo, Diano Marina, Imperia, Taggia, San Remo, Ospedaletti to Ventimiglia, and owes its name to the many flower fields in the region. The Riviera delle Palme is the region in which Celle Ligure, Varazze, Savona, Bergeggi, Noli, Spotorn, Finale Ligure, Pietra Ligure, Loano, Borghetto Santo Spirito, Ceriale, Albenga, Alassio, and Laiguelia lie.
Marinas and romantic anchor stations can of course be found along the many coasts of Italy, including in the south and on the country’s two largest islands, Sardinia and Sicily. Recommended areas for water sports and sailing activities on the islands are, among others, the Sardinian Costa del Sud between the Capo Teulada and the village of Santa Margherita di Pula, and the Gulf of Cagliari from the Capo Carbonara to the Capo Spartivento, where there are many small and large bays with beautiful sandy beaches and steep headlands that stretch up to alternating granite and sandstone cliffs. The Gulf of Asinara, on the northern coast of Sardinia across from Corsica, is no less picturesque. An itinerary suggestion for Sardinia is available here. The area offers a well developed tourist infrastructure and incomparable views of the sea and the adjacent Costa Paradiso, with its beautiful beaches around Santa Teresa di Gallura in the Olbia-Tempio province. The Sardinian east coast, in turn, lies on the Gulf of Orosei and is speckled with ancient cities like Dorgali, Galtellì, Onifai and Siniscola, and has long beaches such as Cala Cartoe, Cala Fiuli, Cala Goloritze, Cala Osalla, Cala Luna, Cala Sisine, and Cala Mariolu, all of which people are always happy to visit. Between these coasts and towards the mainland, and to the neighboring island of Sicily, stretches the popular sailing district of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the islands of the Tuscan archipelago in the north, including Elba, Montecristo and Pianosa. The Pontine islands, Capri, and Ischia near Naples are just as attainable by boat as the Egadi Islands Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo at the Strait of Sicily and the Vulcano Aeolian islands – Lipari, Salina, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and Stromboli – further east, near the Strait of Messina. The mountainous Sicily with its many cliffs is always a place that sailors enjoy circling more than once. The area provides particularly stunning landscapes, including the Gulf of Palermo on the northern coast between the nature and maritime reserve at Capo Gallo and Capo Zafferano, which water sport enthusiasts particularly enjoy for its 8 square kilometer large Ustica Island near Palermo, known for an international water sport exhibition that has happened every year here in June and July since 1959.
The Sicilian southeast is a bit flatter and smoother, and Capo Passero, named after the Isola di Capo Passero, is Sicily’s southernmost point. The area’s many grottos and underwater rocks make it a popular site for diving. The east coast between Messina, Canaia, Siracusa and Pachino is mainly dominated by the volcano Mount Etna, which also has a regional park dedicated to it (Parco dell’Etna). The southwest coast and the coasts of the Ragusa, Caltanissetta, Agrigento and Trapani provinces present their visitors with late baroque cities, magnificent architecture, and the Isole dello Satgnone nature reserve, near the city Marsala, which is famous for its wine. It isn’t uncommon to find a festival in the area, usually of a religious nature. Sciacca serves as Sicily’s Carneval center, the ancient archaeological site of Gela performs classic tragedies in the summer, and the “Discesa dalla Croce” (Descent from the Cross) is reenacted in San Cataldo every year on Good Friday.
Choosing from the hundreds of Italian beaches and marinas might seem a little overwhelming, but is made a bit easier on vacationers with the “Blue Flag” system. Recognized in over 40 countries around the world, the blue flag has been awarded to 248 beaches and 62 marinas in Italy. In the Lazio region around Rome, some of the blue flag locations are Base Nautica Flavio Gioia in Gaeta, the Porto Turistico Riva di Traiano in Civitavecchia (RM), Emilia Romagna the Portoverde in Misano Adriatico and Marina di Riminia in Tuscany, Marina di Punta Ala in Castiglione della Pescala and Marina Cala Galera in Monte Argentario. A detailed overview of all the facilities and beaches that meet the strict criteria for the Blue Flag award is available at www.blueflag.org. Choosing from the innumerable diving areas around Italy is not any easier. There are perfect dive sites for all kinds of different tastes: a wreck dive on the south coast of Sardinia, places to observe red scorpion fish, cuttlefish, groupers, moray eels and flounder on the Calabrian Capo Vaticano near Mantineo, and Stromboli, with its black sand and volcanic rocks creating an exciting contrast with the colorful coral reefs in the underwater world near the islands Lampedusa, Pantelleria and Ustica. Lastly, the underwater landscape at Punta di Fetovaia on Elba, which is part of Tuscany, is at least as pronounced as pronounced and distinctive as that on land.
There are currently 1356 sailboats, 146 catamarans, 40 motorboats, 2 houseboats, and various canoes and kayaks available on the new and international platform for yacht and fishing charters of all kinds in Italy: YACHTICO.com. Many boats are available for charter in Portisco. The majority of the offered boats were built between 2005 and 2012, and weekly packages range widely in price. An Optimistjolle is available from 350 euros for a week, whereas an Aicon 72 motor yacht from Palermo has weekly packages starting from 26,500 euros. Most boats, however, can be hired for 1000 to 3500 euros per week.