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Italian Anchorages and Marinas 2013 - Part 3: Italian West Coast and the Islands

By Mario Borg — last modified May 15, 2014 02:44 PM

Published: 2014-05-14 23:00:00
Countries: Italy

Italian Anchorages and Marinas 2013 - Part 3: Italian West Coast and the Islands

Procido from the anchorage: © Maltese Falcon

For Part 1 of this record of a summer cruising by Mario Borg of SY Maltese Falcon go here.

For Part 2 go here.

In our last report we terminated at the picturesque island of Ventotene, from there we moved east towards the mainland coast of Italy stopping at the beautiful islands of Iscia, and Procida then down the mainland coast of Italy and then eventually to our winter spot at Marina the Ragusa in Sicily.

We are now into September and the weather has been very nice but some lows offshore were creating swells at the very open anchorages that we stopped at, so we had to spend a few night in marinas and/or harbours. We still did a lot of motoring as the wind close to shore was light most of the time.

Il Castello North, Isola d'Iscia: N 40 43.996 E 013 57.683

There are two anchoring options here: one is to the south of the Castello and the other is to the north of Il Castello. We anchored at north anchorage as the south anchorage was full and the only spots available there were too deep. We managed to grab the bottom on our 2nd attempt in 12 feet of water with a bottom of sand and weeds. It is very rolly here and in the south anchorage due to heavy boat traffic up and down the coast plus the water taxis, but it does become very calm after sunset.

To tie up your dinghy you will need to go under the small causeway connecting Iscia to the Il Castell island, turn right and head south west till you find a water taxi dock. Ask permission and they will help you tie up in a spot where you do not interfere with their taxis. From here it is a very short walk to the village with provisions and a multitude of cafes and restaurants. It cost 10€ to visit the Il Castello including the ride to the top with an elevator. The water taxis are convenient if you don’t feel like launching your dinghy.

Procida, Cala San Antonio: N 40 45.567 E 014 01.774

We anchored in this large bay in 30 ft over sand with excellent holding. You cannot enter the small harbour with your boat as there is no room to anchor or tie up. Tie your dingy where convenient inside the harbour. There is a set of stairs at the west end of the waterfront that takes you to the top, where within a short walk you have provisioning and cafes. There is a lot of nice walks in town above the fishing village and you may also visit the new marina on the North West shore of the island. This is one of those places that you would see on a postcard, homes built on a cliff’s side all painted in pastel colours, it is just wonderful and the locals are very friendly. This is definitely worth a visit.

Naples, Rada Di Magellina: N 40 49.789 E 014 13.834

Anchored in 25 ft. over sand the holding is excellent. The backdrop is totally different from what we have seen this past summer, what you have here is a thousands of multi-level apartments that would look awful if not for the kaleidoscope of colours dotting the hill of Naples. You can tie up the dingy in one of the marinas to the west of the anchorage, but you will need permission. Also with permission you can tie up at one of the marinas or clubs at the Borgo Santa Lucia to the east of this anchorage, the latter is downtown Naples where all the attractions are, so it is very convenient especially if you need provisioning. When we were there in September we could not find a spot in any of the marinas around here.

Porto Torre del Greco: N 40 47.068 E 014 21.675

Tied up at one of the marinas in the harbour for €60.00/day water end electricity included. From here we can visit Naples, Pompei, Heracleneum etc… by train, but it is a long uphill walk to the train station. Torre del Greco is built on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, so everywhere you go is uphill or downhill, there is no walking on the level. With many restaurants and cafes the town comes alive in the evening especially near the main square up the hill. There is a supermarket close to the harbour with a very good selection of food. This is a poor town and it does not look very clean but the people are very friendly and ready to help you. It is worth a visit. We spent 3 days here and enjoyed it very much. Fuel options are 2, one across the outer wall and the other inside further at the corner of the outer wall.

The Bay south of Agripoli: N 40 20.517 E 014 58.068

From Torre del Greco we had a very nice trip, sailed a bit with full main and genoa, motored close to the spectacular Amalf coast until just past Amalfi ( took a lot of photos) and then headed south east towards Agripoli. Anchored in 20 ft over murky water and sand bottom. We tried the marina before anchoring but it was packed and they wanted too much for a small spot left open, so we opted to anchor. We had no swell here and it was a good night rest. You can dingy to the harbour and tie up where convenient, the town has a lot to offer including provisioning.

Cala Iscoletti: N 39 59.973 E 015 25.706

This is a very nice cove with free mooring, depths in the middle are in 60ft and the moorings are set in 30 ft around the inside close to shore. This is a spectacular little cove with lush green cliffs that seem to overhang above you, but plan to arrive early in the morning or at just before sunset otherwise you will not get a mooring as there is only a few. It started out very well but then we got a bit of south wind in the range of 10knts and from then on it got very sloppy, even when the wind clocked to the NW it was like a bathtub. So in the morning we headed into a marina.

Marina in Scario: N 40 03.132 E 015 29.604

We took a berth for a couple of days at the Co-Op Mare Blu for €35.00/ night. This is a sleepy town with adequate provisioning, fuel by order to exact amount and many cafes and restaurants around the harbour. Most of the buildings are built with stone making the place look very rustic, it is a very clean place unlike Naples and Torre del Grerco. In calm weather you can anchor outside the marina south of the main breakwater, the bottom is sand with excellent holding.

Porto Cetrero: N 39 31.628 E 015 55.117

Tied up at one of the pontoons in the harbour, cost €30.00/night including w & e. The town of Cetrero is about 3 km south and then the old town is up a steep hill. The marina let us have the use of the Renualt electric two-seater car, so we went to the bank and then to Cetrero Alta and walked around the beautiful historical old town. On the way back to the Marina we stopped at the Lidl supermarket. The use of the electric car is gratis (free) to the marina customers, there is only one available so you will need to book it.  Fuel pontoon is as you come in to the harbour to port @ €1.865/liter.

Tropeo: N 38 40.903 E 015 54.356

We anchored in 13 ft over sand close to the port entrance with a nice beach ashore, excellent holding. We had a great sleep with no swell - WOW. The other option is to go inside the marina if the weather is not good or there is a chance of a swell. The Porto offers haul out facilities and some storage space. It is a short walk to a very nice old village. Tie up your tender in the harbour near the small fishing boats.

Scilla: N 38 15.361 E 015 43.007

We came here just to take pictures as the holding is not very good and also it is very much open to any swell, but instead a gentleman came and asked if we needed anything. At first I said no we are just taking pictures, but on the way out I asked him if he had a spot for us, because the place is so nice and picturesque. The guy said yes wait a minute please and eventually he ties us up fore and aft facing the opening. He tied us to 4 mooring lines for €20.00/night including transfers from boat to shore. This is a very good deal, no need to launch the tender.

We went for a walk to the old village by the water with its narrow cobble stone streets then we climbed up to the top of the hill to the castle and eventually ended up down the other side at Marina Grande with a very nice beach and a lot of locals chatting and walking around. We stopped for pizza and beer and then we headed back to the boat the easy way on a road below the castle at sea level, which takes you right to the harbour without having to climb over the top of the hill. There is an anchorage in front of Marina Grande over sand and would be fine in good weather. This place is worth a visit.

Marina D'Etna, Riposto: N 37 43.808 E 015 12.540

You need to call The Messina Straits Authority on Ch. 16 on the way south to let them know your intentions.  Passed through the gates of the straits of Messina, noticing a 1.2kt current on a northerly setting, hampering our progress. The wind from the north east at 8 knots with white caps against the current. We encountered many whirlpools and eddies until we crossed towards the SW heading close to Messina, and then towards the north of Catania and then started looking for an anchorage.

However by the time we got to Acitrezi (our intended stop) the winds picked up to 15 knots then veered to the NE and the waves became very steep. Based on the conditions we decided that entering Aci Trezza would have been dangerous so we opted to enter Marina Dell Etna in Riposto.

We paid €76.00/day including w&e with very nice showers that worked. We tied up at the old section as the newer area is still incomplete but close to being complete, I am sure by next year. The new area has finger pontoons just like anywhere west of Gibraltar, it is the first marina that we have seen like this. The town is drab and very unattractive. Provisioning is good with many stores and fish stalls. Fuel available at the marina.

Siracusa: N 37 03.606 E 015 17.215

We anchored in 32ft over sand bottom. The holding is excellent - one day we had 25knts of wind from the south with a 3 foot chop and all was good. The city offers a lot of provisioning options, the best being the daily open market with lots of fish and vegetable vendors at very reasonable prices, much cheaper than in any other cities or towns we have been in Italy. The walled city of Ortigia is a must-see town with many museums, churches and a fortress. Tie up the dingy at the eastern corner of the marina.

Marina Di Ragusa: N 36 46.852 E 014 32.744

This was our winter spot for 2013/2014. The marina offers a very good rate for the winter liveaboards - one of the best in the Med. The marina itself is conveniently located close to the town where you will find most provisioning, large hardware stores and many bakeries, restaurants and coffee shops selling the most amazing ricotta cannoli, you have to try them. There is a healthy liveaboard community staying here for the winter months hailing from countries all around the world and they organize many activities and outings. For more information and winter rates go to this link: http://www.portoturisticomarinadiragusa.it/en/

Hauling out is also available, but you are not allowed to do your own work on the exterior and the rates are not cheap, and there is no discount if you already have a winter contract.

Ragusa Rag is a Facebook site with more info about the area and liveaboard activities.

Mario Borg
www.maltesefalcon.ca

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