Italy - Facts

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  • Italy is located in southern Europe and comprises the long, boot-shaped Italian Peninsula, the southern side of the Alps, the large plain of the Po Valley and some islands including Sicily and Sardinia. It has well over 5000 miles of coastline, surrounded by the Tyrrhenian, Adriatic, Ligurian, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas.
  • The population of 60 million speak Italian.
  • The Euro is the official currency.
  • Italy operates on Central European Standard Time (UTC +1).
  • The country has a temperate Mediterranean climate, with dry, warm summers and moderate, wet winters. For more details see the Weather section.
  • Italy’s best cruising spots are spread around the rim of the Tyrrhenian Sea where groups of islands alternate with attractive harbors 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 neighboring Croatia.
  • 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. For more details on yachting services see Yachting Essentials.

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Italy was last updated 4 months ago.

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  1. August 15, 2023 at 1:16 PM
    profile photo
    Sue Richards says:

    Hi Lynda, no appointment necessary for any ports of entry. Best recommendation when arriving in any unfamiliar port of entry is that the skipper asks the port authority/harbour master, or marina office for clearance instructions. There is a new commercial port in Catania south of the yacht basin, it’s likely authorities will be located there. This port is best avoided if winds are from the south.

  2. August 10, 2023 at 1:02 PM
    Linda Williams says:

    Thanks Sue – this is all new to us. From what I read we clear customs, then immigration then go to Port / Harbour master. Also looking at alernative and arriving at Catania but cant find clear information about immigration there. And if we need to make appointments before arriving? Appreciate any advise.

  3. August 6, 2023 at 9:25 AM
    Linda Williams says:

    Can we enter and check in at Siracusa does anyone know? Port / Harbour Master / Customs and immigration offices there? Thanks

    1. August 6, 2023 at 9:48 PM
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      Sue Richards says:

      Siracusa is a port of entry. See Italy Formalities for full details of clearance and regulations. Note that this port is marked as a port of entry on Noonsite, when you click on the port list (anchor icon). In its clearance section it also states that it’s a port of entry.

  4. January 10, 2023 at 10:30 AM
    gill-duncan says:

    Hi, I’m keen to hear about marinas on the W Coast of Italy within an hour’s drive or so of Naples, to keep a 13m yacht with a 2.4m draft, which won’t break the bank. The boat is EU-registered but we are British (working in NATO). I read that overnight charges in Italian marinas are high but what is the situation when taking out a yearly contract. Any suggestions welcome. Many thanks, Gill

  5. June 29, 2022 at 8:54 AM
    cliffordwebb says:

    I purchased my boat in March this year and I am in the process if re-registering it under a Jersey flag. It has taken nearly 3 months to get the Italian flag de-registered. I instructed an agent to sort out the T1 transit log for me but they are very slow and I am getting very concerned. Has anyone got a got contact in Italy for an agent who can sort out this transit log?
    Much appreciated

  6. April 10, 2022 at 3:52 PM
    Atodd says:

    Can someone check the law and correct the text (in many places) in the ‘formalities’ sections for EU countries. For example, Noonsite says non EU flagged boats need a Constituto in Italy. This is not true. Boat that are VAT paid in the EU and have union goods status do not need a Constitutio. The flag state or country of registration are not relevant.

  7. January 9, 2022 at 12:27 AM
    recompensehotmail-com says:

    This post is to encourage anyone that Siracusa and Ortiga harbor on Sicily are really epic in terms of anchoring and ability to keep costs low whilst being able to have a civilized existence. There is a marina on the Ortigia side but we didnt use it other than dinghy parking, and the marina staff were definitely chill and helpful. Our experience in Siracusa July 2021 was really pretty great, the temps even in late July are still tolerable because of the breezes on the water, and the ability to dinghy into shore and get various things from town is pretty good. There are larger super markets – if you know exactly where to go – that you can get to with a combo of a dinghy ride and a bike ride and its not that hard. There are mini marts within walking distance of the harbor, and tons of restaurants and a few shops.

  8. August 24, 2021 at 2:15 PM
    markeprior says:

    The Guardia Costieri seem to be using yachts as a cash machine by issuing arbitrary fines of 300 Euros and more.
    I was fined for anchoring in the empty centre basin at Licata, as were two other yachts. I had been there two nights without being disturbed. When another yacht dropped anchor the GC boat was there within seconds telling them to the office. I was told the same. A third vessel was approached literally as their anchor hit the seabed.
    They had but to tell us there was no anchoring and we would all have shifted but they were unrelenting in fining us all, despite our protests about how unfair and unjust it was. It all fell of deaf ears.
    There are at least three other reports of instant, arbitrary fines -at Empedocle, Pozallo and on the east of the island at Capo Passero.
    Strangely, there is a well-used anchorage inside the harbour at Trapani -opposite the GC biulding, where no one has been bothered for weeks.
    The Sicilians are great people, friendly, helpful and generous. This is stark contrast. I can only guess why the GC are adopting such a hard-nosed attitude. It has certainly soured my stay here.

  9. August 16, 2021 at 2:13 AM
    jimkouts says:

    Does anyone know… When entering Italy for the first time, is it possible to anchor overnight on the mainland en-route to a port of entry, or do you have to make a bee-line for the immigration office – no stops?

    1. August 18, 2021 at 7:55 AM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      Hi Jim – please read
      If you have to stop and anchor overnight on route to a port of entry, as long as you do not go ashore and have followed the current pre-arrival rules this should be acceptable. However, in the current climate, there are more patrols along the coast, so make sure all your paperwork is in order. If coming from a non-EU country, or you are a non-EU boat, you may face more scrutiny.

  10. July 26, 2020 at 11:58 PM
    talaria says:

    Update on previous post regarding Marina di Cala del Sole in Licata. We have finally received the refund of our deposit after 4 months of trying. In retrospect I think part of the problem may have been our US bank.

  11. June 18, 2020 at 8:57 PM
    talaria says:

    I am writing to inform folks of our experience with Marina di Cala del Sole in Licata, Italy. Our plan was to winter there prior to the pandemic. We were required to pay a deposit to reserve a berth which is refundable with enough notice should you be unable to come. I notified the marina in March that we would be unable to winter there due to the pandemic and asked for a refund. They have not refunded our deposit despite multiple attempts. They have said they will refund the money multiple ways and multiple times but do not actually come through with the refund. It is over 1200.00 euros that they are apparently pocketing. Just a warning – be wary of booking at that marina.

  12. June 1, 2020 at 5:12 PM
    gregruzicka says:

    does the 18 month yacht visa get extended for more months because of the virus lockdown????

    1. June 2, 2020 at 5:18 PM
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      Sue Richards says:

      HI Greg, yes – see our recent news item on this –
      All news and reports can be found via the hamburger menu –
      All EU information (with news and reports relating) can be found under hamburger menu/cruising resources –
      Hope that helps a bit.

  13. February 5, 2020 at 1:59 AM
    talaria says:

    We currently have our boat in Cartagena, Spain and will be sailing to the Balearics in the Spring and then over to Sardinia and Sicily. In order to get out of Schengen for awhile we are planning a trip to Tunisia with a planned stop over at Pantelleria. Looking for advise regarding marinas for the night on the island of Pantelleria. The comments on Navily are not good. Any information would be appreciated.


    1. February 5, 2020 at 10:52 PM
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      sue-richards says:

      Hi Mel, we don’t have Pantelleria on Noonsite yet, but should as it’s a popular stopover for boats on the same passage you are planning. From what I can find out the main harbor (Porto Vecchio) is on the NW coast and is sheltered in settled weather but untenable in strong northerlies. You’ll probably be directed to Porto Nuovo on the SE side of the harbor. There are limited berths, so in high season you may have to anchor or go alongside the breakwater where there are no services. If you arrive in strong northerlies there is a small harbor on the south coast of the Island called Scauri. It doesn’t have much room, but there may be space to tie up on the wall. I hope that helps. Please do send us port information if you visit so we can add this port to Noonsite – thanks.

    2. February 9, 2020 at 8:15 PM
      talaria says:

      Yes ma’am, I will make myself a note to send you the port information after our trip. Any special email to send the information to? Or just a make a comment on the forum?

      Mike and Mel –
      s/v Talaria

    3. February 10, 2020 at 3:01 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Please post anything you can find out as a comment – many thanks!

  14. July 21, 2019 at 7:39 AM
    guygriffiths says:

    I’m currently sailing down west coast of Italy and looking for lift out and storage on the hard of my 13 metre yacht, Naples area. All suggestions and experience welcome ?

  15. May 13, 2019 at 10:41 AM
    Kouka says:

    Sicily: Constituto is required for foreign boats (we are US registered). We arrived at Siracusa (Syracuse) from Corfu, Greece, recently and stayed at Marina-Yachting for a few days. We asked about customs clearance, and the dock master called the Siracusa customs agent who did not want to come to the boat…said no problem. Then we sailed to Marina Ragusa on the south side of Sicily. There we were told we must have clearance from Siracusa, so we were forced to pay an agent 150 euros to go to Siracusa and obtain the Constituto. No we are told we must go to Pozzallo by taxi to get another stamp for Marina Ragusa…another 45 euros. In Italy and maybe in other European countries, foreign boats must have a Constituto which must be stamped in and out of each commercial port you enter. You do not need a stamp if you go to anchorages though. I had not seen this requirement listed on any Noonsite so we are reporting it here. Ron Welch on sv Kouka

    1. August 28, 2022 at 2:37 PM
      rersk says:

      As of Oct. 2021 we arrived in Ancona Italy from Montenegro via Croatia. Despite concerted efforts to document our arrival in Italy, we were told that our paperwork from Croatia was sufficient proof of arrival in the Schengen zone, and no further paperwork was needed. No one ever mentioned a Constituto and since an entire summer cruising the west coast of Italy in 2014, and our return to Adriatic Italy in 2021 we had never heard of a “constituto”. Now we are moving the boat from Sicily (Marina di Ragusa to Sciacca) and over to Tunisia for the winter for a reset of the VAT clock. Sciacca is a port of entry, so we’ll try to check out there, but in 2014 we left Trapani for Tunisia and did no departure paperwork at that time. Local authorities in Greece and Italy have usually been uninterested in our earnest efforts to comply with arcane paperwork rules and often told us not to worry about this stuff. On the other hand we have encountered port authorities who ranted about rules and imposed fines. Cruising the Med has become more and more difficult in the 10 years we’ve been at it. Hoping to escape soon if the Orcas don’t get us on the way out.

  16. May 8, 2019 at 7:08 AM
    sallythesailor says:

    Hello, i was wondering if anyone knew about a cheap port to leave my 30ft sailboat South of Rome while im gone for 30 days to work. 1. 65m deep. 30ft Long


    1. June 15, 2019 at 12:46 PM
      pinishva says:

      Hi, we left the boat 12.20 in Palermo Sicily for the last winter, in Galizzi marina.
      300 Er per month.
      Very well protected from winds, providing water, electricity, all ways hot water and clean showers…
      e-mail:[email protected] Tel 351 1642153 Chiara.


  17. May 8, 2019 at 4:40 AM
    rassy says:

    May 8, 2019
    Siracusa docked at main port by P5 dock area.
    We were on board sleeping, during the night boat was boarded and bike stolen.

  18. April 9, 2019 at 1:08 AM
    Lynda Lim says:

    gustavo sendra says:
    Apr 03, 2019 09:34 PM


  19. April 8, 2019 at 12:51 AM
    Lynda Lim says:

    Sardinia: Cannigione (NE tip of Sardinia)
    Report from Mike Morgan:

    On a trip from Spain to Italy in July of last year (2018), our passage took us between Corsica and Sardinia. We took a route south of the Maddalena archipelago heading east and, with some unfavorable forecasts, we decide to seek a refuge from the impending storm. From a brief study of the charts, we decided upon hunkering down in a marina in Cannigione. Cannigione is a small provincial Sardinian town at the base of an inlet, the Gulf of Arzachena, which provided good shelter from all directions.
    We took a marina berth for a couple of nights but due to the expense (100 Euros a night) we decided to anchor just off the main beach of the town where we decided to spend the best part of a week (not due to the weather but just the beauty of the place). There was an official anchorage further down past the marina laid with buoys which was crowded and we decided to give it a miss. I don’t understand the herding mentality of cruising folk when just off the town main beach is a great anchorage with very few neighbors.
    On the outside of the marina breakwater is a fuel pontoon which is exposed to the chop on a windy day (so I would suggest filling up when conditions are calm). We did experience a katabatic wind one night, but the holding was good in 5m over mud and the sea remained calm even when blowing 25 knots. The anchorage gave easy access to the town and the beach. Given the time of year, our spot was blissfully uncrowded with plenty of places to drop the hook. It is not particularly dinghy friendly on the north side of the town as I guess they want cruisers to stay in the marina or take a mooring buoy. We found a little spot near the main harbor to tie up the dinghy and we never got bothered by any official bureaucrats, even though a sign said no dinghy’s.
    At night the town lights made a magical backdrop to a serenely quite spot. Cannigione hosts many bars, a friendly community and a beautiful clean sandy beach. The town also offered many good, but expensive, sea food restaurants and boasts a large supermarket to stock up with essentials. The Maddalena archipelago is just a few miles outside the entrance to the gulf and makes a fantastic day trip and you can stay overnight, but need permits which we did not have time to obtain.
    I would recommend a visit if your schedule permits and you are in the area. A little sheltered gem away from the madness of crowded anchorages.

  20. December 6, 2018 at 5:11 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    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.

  21. December 6, 2018 at 5:08 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    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 information seem to be a little out of time, sometimes. Anyway, they are good for checking back other information.

    I turned to use the Italian “Pagine Azzurre”, which is a really good work, with all necessary information and no private opinions (which I like). You can buy it nearly everywhere. It’s not expensive and it has all the ports in it. And it’s online available too. – It is in Italian only, but in times of online translators even this is no problem and while planning your trip you’ll learn some words Italian, which is more than helpful, as Italians are very happy when you’re just trying to speak their language, no matter how good! Have a safe journey!

  22. December 6, 2018 at 3:54 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    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. The 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 centre 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.

  23. December 6, 2018 at 3:52 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    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 (9.98×3.5m 2m draft) from 11 Jul to 20 Jul.
    2. place/marina/mooring around Naples/Italy to leave my sailing boat (9.98×3.5m 2m draft) for a week from 12th August.

    1. January 10, 2023 at 10:25 AM
      gill-duncan says:

      Hi there, did you get many / any responses? I am moving to Italy for 3 years and looking for a marina with reasonable mooring fees long-term. Did you get any information which would be useful to me. Many thanks in advance, Gill

  24. December 6, 2018 at 3:50 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    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.

  25. December 6, 2018 at 3:49 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    We arrived from Corfu, the first port of call was Le Castella, a very sleepy 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!!

  26. December 6, 2018 at 3:48 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    I’m Australian and sail Med every summer. Last yr Greece to Italy & Sicily. I would not recommend cruising much of the 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.

  27. December 6, 2018 at 3:46 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    Hi Dave, try Croatia for sailing, much more interesting for family sailing with children, 1000s of islands, 1000s of gulfs or ports, a lot of possibilities to enjoy summer vacations with the 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.

  28. December 6, 2018 at 3:44 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    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 has read that winds can be a bit strong at that time of year. Would welcome your comments. Ciao David

  29. December 6, 2018 at 3:42 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    I am available for any information regarding cruising in Italy, especially on the warnings and advice. 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

    1. May 24, 2019 at 1:29 PM
      glide2277 says:

      Ciao Armando!
      Gracie mile!
      Armando do you know whether you can buy fuel at the dock (diesel) at Messina or near Milazzo or the Aeolian islands? Thanks, Gracie, max

  30. December 6, 2018 at 3:34 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    There is a wreck with a pink dotted line around at that lat-long 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.

  31. December 6, 2018 at 3:33 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    Capo San Vito:
    During our approach to 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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