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By No owner — last modified Jul 09, 2018 02:27 PM

 Italy - Profile

Facts

  • Italy has well over 5000 miles of coastline, surrounded by the Tyrrhenian, Adriatic, Ligurian, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas.
  • The west coast can be extremely crowded in the summer, especially in the north. July and August are the months to avoid, but in the spring and autumn the coasts are more peaceful and the weather can be very pleasant. During summer weekends, booking ahead for a berth is essential.
  • Once the undisputed domain of power boating, many Italians have now discovered the beauty of sailing and to cope with this insatiable demand many marinas have been built, particularly along the Italian Riviera. South of Rome sailing yachts are not so common.
  • The east coast of Italy has been less endowed by nature and is less popular for cruising, even the local sailors often preferring to cruise in neighbouring Croatia.
  • Italy's best cruising spots are spread around the rim of the Tyrrhenian Sea where groups of islands alternate with attractive harbours on the mainland. Some of the most picturesque anchorages are on Sardinia, while close to the Straits of Messina one can either anchor in the shadow of Stromboli or within sight of Mount Etna.
  • The proximity of ports or marinas to all tourist attractions makes it easy to visit the main points of interest without leaving the boat for more than a few hours.
  • With a large resident boating population and also a considerable boat-building industry of its own, yachting facilities in Italy are of a very high standard. Purpose-built marinas or docks for yachts are available almost everywhere and the only deterrent can be the high docking fees charged in some places, some of the highest being those at Porto Cervo in Sardinia.
  • The best repair facilities are in the north-west of the country where most marinas are concentrated. There are boatyards all around Italy's coasts and for any repair or haul-out one is never too far away from help. Marine supplies and spares, particularly more common makes of diesel engines or outboards, are widely available, although everything is found more easily in the north. Essential spares that are not available locally can be imported free of duty.
  • Fuel and water are available in most ports and LPG containers can also be filled in most places although an adaptor may be necessary. Provisioning is good everywhere and most towns have a fresh produce market with a wide selection of fruit and vegetables. Because of the mild winters in the south of the country, fresh produce is available all year round.
  • If cruising the waters bordered by southern Sicily, Malta, Tunisia and Libya, be aware that because of an influx of migrants attempting to leave from Northern Africa there is an increase in Navy patrols in this area and the danger of small unlit craft carrying passengers.

Security

The usual safety and security precautions should be taken to protect equipment and dinghies and prevent access to the boat when absent.

Some years ago, Noonsite received several reports of yachts either attacked or threatened in the port of Saline Ioniche in the Strait of Messina. Yachts are advised to take care when in this port.

Weather

The climate varies from north to south and between the islands. The north can have cold winters, while the south can be extremely hot in summer. Generally the coastal areas have a Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and dry along the coast. The prevailing winds of summer are NW, although in many areas there is a daily pattern combining land and sea breezes.

It is worth noting that there has been a trend, in recent years, for the Ligurian Sea (north of the island of Corsica) to experience severe storms in late autumn. In common with other areas of the Mediterranean, damaging seas can build up very quickly (in as little as two hours!) when there are winds over force 7.

There are continuous (computerised voice) forcasts on VHF channel 68. These are first given in Italian, followed by an English transaltion. The forcast covers the next 12 hours wind direction and strength and also the sea state.

Sicily experiences an atmospheric pressure phenomena during the summer months called a “marrubbio” or meteotsunami. Whilst not a regular occurrence, it is very difficult to predict and can (if extreme) cause chaos. During this event the sea level can increase and decrease dramatically in a  matter of minutes. They are “atmospherically generated waves that amplify as they shoal and then resonate in bays and harbours” and can cause flooding and damage to vessels in port and at anchor.

Italy Meteorological Office (in English)
http://www.meteoam.it/ 
The Italian Meteorological Service is an organisational unit of the Italian Air Force (Servizio Meteorologico dell'Aeronautica Militare), and as such, the national meteorological service in Italy. The weather forecasts and other services serve both the armed forces and the general public.

http://www.eurometeo.com/
Marine and land forecasts in English.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page

Main Ports

There is a huge number of ports and marinas both on the mainland and in the offlying islands. Generally only those which offer clearance services or that have been recommended have been included.

East Coast (Adriatic Coast): Ancona * , Bari * , Barletta * , Bisceglie , Brindisi * , Chioggia * , Fano , Laguana di Marano , Manfredonia * , Monfalcone * , Muggia/San Rocco , Numana , Pescara * , Po Delta , Porto San Giorgio , Porto Santa Margherita (Caorle) , Ravenna * , Rimini , Rodi Garganico , San Benedetto del Tronto , Trieste * , Venice * , Vieste

Elba: Cavo , Marciana Marina , Porto Azzurro * , Portoferraio

Sardinia: Alghero * , Arbatax * , Cagliari * , Calasetta (Isola di Sant'Antioco) , Carloforte (Isola di San Pietro) * , Castelsardo , Isola Rossa , Maddalena Archipelago , Olbia * , Porto Cervo * , Porto Torres , Portoscuso , Santa Teresa Gallura , Torregrande * , Tuelada , Villasimius

Sicily: Capo d' Orlando , Catania * , Cefalu , Gela * , Licata * , Marina di Ragusa , Marsala * , Marzamemi , Mazara del Vallo , Messina * , Milazzo , Palermo * , Porto Empedocle * , Porto Palo di Menfi , Portorosa , Pozzallo * , Riposto , Sant'Agata di Militello , Sciacca , Siracusa * , Taormina , Trapani *

South Coast (Ionian Sea): Cariati , Crotone , Gallipoli , Le Castella , Porto Degli Argonauti , Roccella Ionica , Santa Maria di Leuca , Sibari , Taranto *

West Coast: Agropoli , Anzio * , Bordighera , Capri , Civitavecchia * , Finale Ligure , Fiumicino (Rome) * , Gaeta , Genoa * , Imperia * , La Spezia * , Livorno , Naples * , Nettuno , Porto Bolaro , Porto Cetraro , Porto Ercole , Porto Lotti , Porto di Loano , Rapallo/Santa Marherita Ligure , Reggio di Calabria * , Rosignano Solvay , Salerno * , San Remo * , Savona , Scario , Ventimiglia (Vintmille) * , Vibo Valentia

West Coast Islands: Capraia Island , Ponza (Pontine Islands) , The Aeolian Islands , Ustica , Ventotene (Pontine Islands)

* indicates port of entry

bsadler
bsadler says:
Aug 23, 2018 03:21 PM

Marina di Camerota, Camerota, Campagna – a small marina with large prices. €125/night for a 13m sailboat plus €5 for electricity plus €3 for a shower (and the facilities have restricted hours). The small town has no more or less to recommend it that any other small town in the region. Basically a rip-off. Anchoring outside the harbour (i.e. immediately East) is an economic option.

Fabian
Fabian says:
Mar 15, 2018 05:40 AM

Hi, I like to make a suggestion. Italy is a really large area and most of you know the books of Rod Heikell, which are quite nice. But I am afraid, they are not updated anymore in a real permanent way and some informations seem to be a little out of time, sometimes. Anyway they are good for checking back other informations. I turned to use the the Italian "Pagine Azzurre", which is a real good work, with all necessary informations and no private oppinions (which I like). You can buy it nearly everywhere. It's not expensive and it has all ports in it. And it's online available too. https://www.pagineazzurre.com - It is in Italian only, but in times of online translators even this is no problem and while planing your trip you'll learn some words Italian, which is more than helpful, as Italians are very happy, when your just try to speak their language, no matter how good! Have a safe journey!

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Feb 14, 2018 12:50 PM

Posted on behalf of Jan Harzem

Immigrants at sea
Due to the issue of immigrants trying to get to Spain from North Africa, you will no doubt encounter some of their boats, as we did. Spanish coast guard will put out notifications on VHF about boats that they know of, their approximate vicinity and no. of people on board. My advice is as follows:
When you spot such a vessel, get in contact with the closest MRCC center in Spain or Italy. Get close to the vessel so you can report status etc., but do not attempt to take anybody onboard. Some of these boats have 28 people or more on board. In these areas help is only a couple of hours away. We spotted a small boat about 60 miles south of Carthagena and changed course 90 depree's to investigate. Within 3 minutes we were called up by MRCC Carthagena asking us to help in the search of a vessel with 8 people on board. We followed the small boat for a couple of hours until dusk, but never caught up with the boat as they were going as fast as we were, but gave course and heading to the Spanish Coast Guard who picked them up a couple of hours later.

vtomanov
vtomanov says:
May 25, 2017 02:08 PM

I'm investigating different options for my trip from France to Greece and looking for suggestions for:
1. place/marina/mooring around Genoa/Italy to leave my sailing boat (9.98x3.5m 2m draft) from 11 Jul to 20 Jul.
2. place/marina/mooring around Naples/Italy to leave my sailing boat (9.98x3.5m 2m draft) for a week from 12th August.

inlu
inlu says:
May 09, 2017 05:31 PM

Warning for the marina Fossa de Gallo. Extremely boring marina with a 1 km walk to the nearest village. Expensive and you get nothing but a berth. They charged us 70 euros in early May.

Boatnotes
Boatnotes says:
Mar 03, 2017 12:14 PM

We arrived from Corfu, first port of call was Le Castella, a very sleep little fishing town with a fort worth visiting. We couldn't reach anyone at the marina so we went inside the fishing port and moored alongside for one night. The fishermen said it was ok. We found one pizza place open and had the best pizza and calzone for around €5 each!!

Jac
Jac says:
Jun 27, 2018 12:41 PM

I'm Australian and sail Med every summer. Last yr Greece to Italy & Sicily. I would not recommend cruising much of Italian coast. Few anchorages & marinas expensive. This year we are in Sardinia and Corsica. Highly recommend Sardinia especially the north coast and Maddalena archipelago. Beautiful cruising islands, crystal clear over sand. Bonifacio on south Corsica stunning harbour & ancient town. They have charter fleets. north coast Sardinia is spitting distance to south coast Corsica.

PetrLaska
PetrLaska says:
Mar 03, 2018 02:17 PM

Hi Dave, try Croatia for sailing, much more interesting for family sailing with children, 1000s of islands, 1000s of gulfs or ports, lot of possibilities to enjoy summer vacations with boat in Europe. Not so hard like the west side of Italy, very easy to navigate. I'll be happy to help you. If you want, of course.

DaveB
DaveB says:
Oct 31, 2017 09:20 AM

Hi Armando, Thanks for your kind offer of help. Our family (wife,myself and 3 teenage kids)from Australia are planning a 1 month holiday in Italy in September/October next year. We would like to include a week chartering a sailing boat. Can you recommend a nice area? Sardinia looks good but have read that winds can be a bit strong at that time of year. Would welcome your comments. Ciao David

Armando Addati
Armando Addati says:
Jan 11, 2016 07:14 PM

I am available for any information regarding cruising in Italy, specially on the warnings and advices. In particular I can help you if you are cruising on: Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, Rome, Calabria, Rocella Ionica. Please do not hesitate to ask I'll be happy to help you. You find my contact information in my profile. Armando

Jac
Jac says:
Jun 27, 2018 12:45 PM

There is a wreck with a pink dotted line around at that lat lon clearly marked on Navionics. There is also a rock showing at 38° 11.153'N, 012° 44.297'E, also surrounded by a pink dotted line.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 24, 2014 11:24 AM

Posted on behalf of Nico Cortlever:
Capo San Vito:
During our approach of the harbour we hit an object in 13 m deep water. The depth of this object is approx 3 m. It can be a rock or a wreck. It is not on any of the electronic maps. The location of the object is approx. 38 11.19 N 012 44.19 W. Stay away from this area!
The anchorage north of the harbour is excellent in strong westerlies.

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