Italy isn’t just Sardinia, Sicily and the Tuscan coast. If you’d prefer to sail off, away from the yachting crowd in search pure uninterrupted experiences, today’s article is just for you.
Tips for lesser-known yachting destinations in Italy
Let us introduce you to an amazing yet lesser-known place, which for us sailors is truly stunning. We’ve also included some tips on places thats are well worth a visit along the way. Be inspired by the hidden gem of Italy waiting to be discovered.
The island of Capraia
Capraia is a small romantic island of volcanic origin which lies about 25 NM from the island of Elba. There are only two settlements - a picturesque harbour and the village that overlooks it. There are just 80 inhabitants here all year round.
Capraia is a joy for all divers and for snorkelling it is everything you could dream of. The island is part of the national park and fishing is prohibited here. The steep coastline is packed full of caves and bays which are home to numerous fish as well as dolphins and seahorses and provides a perfect sanctuary for seabirds.
Where to moor on the island of Capraia
Yachting is heavily restricted here, but anchoring and diving are allowed and regulated in the eastern and northeastern parts of the island. There is also an unwritten rule that where locals anchor, you can too.
The city marina of Capraia Porto is often very crowded, which means anchoring is in a rather unique way - mooring in open water. Front and rear ropes are attached to the orange buoys, always for two boats in a row. The port can then be reached by dinghy to use the shower or toilet.
You can also dock in the beautiful and deserted bays north of the harbour. And there are really plenty of them here. Try the wild bay of Ansa Ceppo, bordered by steep rocky cliffs with a sandy bed with an ideal anchorage depth of 5 to 8 metres. Cala Mortara on the northeast corner of the island is another beautiful bay with crystal clear water.
The small bay of Carbacina, just southeast below Ceppo, is open to the south and east with an anchorage depth of 10 to 14 metres. The bay of Il Morto is located west of Punta Zenobito where you can a the striking tower on the rocks. The bed is sandy and stoney here with a depth of 10 to 15 metres.
Beautiful places on the island of Capraia
In addition to the breath-taking tours of scenic vineyards and stony slopes that you can take on the mountainous island, Capraia boasts a rich Roman history. There are none better than the impressive ruins of Villa Romana on the edge of the village above the harbour.
To defend against the frequent attacks by pirates, the monumental fortress of Forte di San Giorgio and several watchtowers were constructed and give the island a truly special ambience. Directly underneath the fortress is an hypnotic deep blue sea where you can enjoy perfect snorkeling and swimming thanks to its many caves.
What to take in on your voyage to Capraia
Visiting Capraia means you can perfectly combine it with yachting around Elba or Corsica. Take in, albeit from a distance, the other lesser-known islands in the vicinity of Elba. The legendary island of Montecristo and the perfectly flat Pianosa are protected and anchoring is prohibited here. But if you come to dive, we highly recommend Pianos. For an unforgettable dive among hundreds of giant barracudas and boats, sail to one of the numerous local diving centres that have special permits.
If you want to explore the other islands, a cruise to the island of Giglio, which lies southeast of Elba, is an extraordinary experience. The mountainous island, where the fate of the Costa Concordia was sealed, boasts beautiful and unspoiled nature.
What we recommend visiting on the way to Italy and Capraia
Extend your vacation and explore the Tuscan mainland. Stop off to buy some exquisite olive oil, delicious truffles or fine wines. We highly recommend the area around Siena or San Miniata where the national truffle celebrations take place in November. Fine wines can be found in Montepulciano.
For lovers of historical sites, stopping over in Pisa to admire the leaning tower is a must. Don’t miss Verona, with its warm intimate atmosphere and beautiful centre. Of course, whilst you’re there, don’t forget to check out the infamous balcony, allegedly where Juliet was wooed by Romeo.
Italy is for explorers
Italy is a stunning and diverse destination. Within it lies numerous secrets and there is always something to discover. There are rugged coastlines, numerous stunning bays, harbours, a wealth of historical sites and pure natural beauty. All yachting enthusiasts will be in their element
Will your set sail on your next voyage to Italy to explore these lesser-known places? Check out our boats, Italy is waiting to be discovered next year.