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Yacht charter Italy – enjoy a world famous lifestyle on your charter boat

The beauty of Italy is legendary and one city is more attractive than the other. The country has an immensely rich culture and history, magnificent cuisine, and the famous lifestyle and elegance. For yacht charter guests, it offers wide and varied sailing grounds as well as pretty harbours. This, combined with all the breathtaking views, stunning nature and the Italian “dolce vita”, makes for the perfect sailing vacation.

Why is yacht charter in Italy so popular?

Italy and its islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea lie right in the center of the Mediterranean. A boat charter in Italy is a great opportunity to explore the incredible Italian culture and multitude of beautiful towns. With 51, there are more UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy than in any other country in the world. And on top of that, you can enjoy fantastic food and great shopping.

The coastline, especially the Italian Riviera in the west, offers many beaches and bays perfectly suitable for anchoring. The islands of Italy lie mainly off the west coast of the mainland and all have their own individual character. A favorable climate and the almost absence of tides provide good navigation conditions and there are many interesting possibilities for different navigation itineraries. Italy has a long tradition of boat building and sailing, so sailors benefit from a high frequency of ports. The infrastructure in the charter regions north and south to Rome is very good.

The main airports are Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Olbia, Alghero, Cagliari, Reggio Calabria, Palermo, Trapani and Catania.

Here is some general information about yacht charter in Italy:

Location: Central Mediterranean Sea

Total length of the coast: 7,600 km

Capital of Rome

Main bases of charter flights: Genoa, La Spezia, Piombino, Follonica, Castiglione della Pescaia, Salerno, Sorrento, Tropea, Reggio Calabria. Sardinia: Cagliari, Carloforte, Olbia, Alghero. Sicily: Trapani, Palermo, Portorosa.

Population: approx. 60,675,000

Climate: Temperate, Mediterranean

Country code: +39

Charter Season: May to October

What are the best charter areas in Italy?

The main charter regions for sailing in Italy are concentrated on the west coast of the continent, that is, Liguria, Tuscany, Elba, Bay of Naples, Capri, Sardinia and Sicily. The Adriatic coast on the eastern side is not so attractive for sailing. Possible charter bases are Polignano a Mare near Bari, the area around the Gargano National Park and the Venetian Lagoon where you can sail straight past the world famous old town and its impressive buildings.

In the capital of Liguria, Genoa, is the Porto Antico that contains the largest aquarium in Europe and many other places of interest. From there it is only a short walk to the old town. After approximately 14 nautical miles you will reach the impressive port city of Portofino in its sheltered bay. From here it is approximately 30 nautical miles to La Spezia and on the way you will pass through one of the most picturesque tourist destinations in Italy, a group of five picturesque and colorful seaside towns located in a national park called the Cinque Terre. La Spezia is part of the national park and is the second largest city in Liguria. It is conveniently located in a deep gulf surrounded by high hills.

A little further south is the Tuscan archipelago that contains the islands of Gorgona, Capraia, Pianosa, Montechristo, Giglio, Gianutri and the largest and best known: Elba. There are very good charter bases on the Tuscany mainland to go and explore these islands, or maybe even Corsica. They are Viareggio, Piombino, Follonica and Castiglione della Pescaia / Punta Ala. On Elba, the main city and port is Portoferraio, on the north coast, which is well worth a visit. The island also offers lovely large bays and great anchorages. At the southern tip of Tuscany lies Port San Stefano, a coastal town on a peninsula with a yacht harbor and a massive fortress.

Sardinia offers a great mix of exclusive sailing locations and ports such as the Costa Smeralda and Porto Cervo, as well as unspoilt sailing territories such as the famous Maddalena archipelago. There are very good ports such as Cagliari, Cannigione, La Maddalena, Olbia, Palau and Portisco. Savor the impressive and varied landscape, including the pink beach of Spiaggia Rosa and the fjord-like gulf of Cannigione.

The Bay of Naples and its islands, the Amalfi Coast, and the Pontine Islands archipelago offer other brilliant options for yacht charter itineraries. The Amalfi Coast is located between the charter bases of Sorrento and Salerno. It is a 50 km stretch of coastline with very picturesque villages nestled on steep rocky cliffs. The towns of Amalfi and Positano are just two examples.

From the mainland you can go to the islands of the Gulf of Naples. The exclusive Capri is the place where the international jet set meets. The main town and the port with its high-end boutiques and first-class restaurants are located on the north side. However, it is very crowded and expensive. You will find a good anchorage on the south side at Marina Piccola. There are no sandy beaches on Capri, its coast is quite rugged and picturesque. The water is deep, so there aren’t too many safe anchorages.

Then there is the picturesque and colorful Procida with many beautiful bays and beaches and the nature reserve of the island of Vivara, which is linked to Procida via a bridge.

You can sail to the popular and crowded Ischia, which is the largest island in the Gulf of Naples. It is an extinct volcano with a rich landscape, hot springs, large bays and secluded beaches. The three main ports are the port of Ischia, Casamicciola and Forio. The south of the island is greener and wilder with a beautiful coastline and the north is more populated.

Finally head to the Pontine Islands. From Ischia to Santo Stefano, uninhabited and virgin, it is about 22 nautical miles. There it is only allowed to anchor in the North of the island. Visit the neighboring island of Ventotene and then cruise the next 22 nautical miles to the northwest Pontine islands, Gavi, Palmarola, Zannone and enchanting Ponza with its many caves and grottoes. There you will find very well protected anchorages and an interesting rugged coastline.

Very popular for yacht charter holidays is Sicily, of course. Choose from major charter bases like Marsala or Portorosa in the north, from where you can also explore the Aeolian Islands Lipari, Stromboli, Vulcano, Alicudi, Filicudi, Panarea and Salina. Other possible ports for a bareboat charter in Italy are Messina, Taormina, Catania and Syracuse on the east coast. Reggio Calabria on the mainland is also a very good starting point for chartering a sailboat in Sicily.

What weather systems are important for a bareboat charter in Italy?

In Italian waters there are no significant tides. The prevailing winds in summer are from the northwest. The afternoon sea breeze is usually moderating the heat. Long, dry and hot summers create the perfect weather for sailing.

A brief summary of the sailing time in Italy with the example of Naples:

Months with the highest average temperature: July/August, 25°

Months with the lowest average temperature: January/February, 9°

Prevailing Wind Speeds: 3 – 5 Bft.

Month with highest average precipitation: November, 140 mm

Months with the lowest average precipitation: June/July/August, 30 mm each

Months with the highest average sunshine: July/August, 10 hours a day

Month with the lowest average sunshine: December, 3 hours per day

Months with the highest average sea temperature: July/August, 26°

Months with the lowest average sea temperature: February/March, 14°

How much does it cost to rent a yacht in Italy and what types of charters are there?

The average price of a yacht charter in Italy is around €3,100 per week but you could rent a 10m sailboat, for example, from around €1,600. The price depends on the size, model and equipment of the rental boat. In Italy it is quite common to rent a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) for an excursion on the water. For a weekly or longer sailing holiday, you can choose to charter a bareboat or skippered boat and choose between chartering a sail or power boat, respectively, chartering a catamaran. Then there is luxury yacht charter, usually with a full crew catering to your individual needs. Flotilla holidays are a popular way to navigate Italian waters. And a day charter can be a way to test if you enjoy life on board.

What other highlights are there in Italy besides sailboat charter?

Be sure to visit Rome and its incredible ancient sites like the Forum, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon. Other incredibly impressive tourist destinations in the Eternal City are the Vatican and the Church of Saint Peter. Sit in the Spanish Steps, admire the Trevi Fountain, and soak up the bustle of beautiful Piazza Navona and the pedestrian area with its endless shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. This city offers so much that you will simply have to return again and again.

Tuscany is the perfect place for sightseeing. Florence is second to none in the world when it comes to Renaissance art and architecture. There is the statue of David, the great Uffizi museum, the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo and much, much more. Pisa and the leaning tower are another fantastic attraction. Equally beautiful and worth visiting are Siena, San Gimignano and Lucca.

If you have a day before or after your sailboat charter, head a little further inland to Bologna with its beautiful old town that is nice to behold from the top of the church tower. It has the oldest academic institution in the world, dating back to 1088 AD

Explore the Cinque Terre, five stunning villages perched on the steep hills by the sea surrounded by wonderful nature. Manarola, for example, is a very pretty and colorful town.

Between charter trips, check out Pompeii, near Naples. It was destroyed by Vesuvius in AD 79 and now constitutes a “city frozen in time”.

Visit the city of Amalfi and its cathedral, old shipyards and paper mill, among others.

Drop anchor in Capri and visit the Blue Grotto – the large cave is filled with spectacular blue light from below.

Climb up the Castello d`Ischia, an Aragonese castle built in 1438 and originally dating back to 475 BC.

As you cruise your charter yacht around the Aeolian Islands or eastern Sicily, admire the active volcanoes of Stromboli and Mount Etna.

Finally, take a break from sailing to enjoy the stunning scenery in one of Sardinia’s natural parks, such as the Parco Nazionale del Golfo di Orosei e del Gennargentu.

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