Italy’s long, glittering coastline has long been a magnet for superyachts, and it’s easy to see why. From the romance of Venice on the northern Adriatic Sea to Capri and the Amalfi Coast on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy’s cruising grounds are wide-ranging. In Italy, ancient history and centuries of traditions bring culture and authenticity, fishing villages hide world class restaurants and luxury boutiques, and the sea dazzles seemingly brighter than anywhere else in the Mediterranean. Well-loved for so many reasons, Italy’s most popular cruising destinations can get a little crowded at the height of the season, so here we take a look at some alluring alternatives.
Swap Capri for Ponza, Tyrrhenian Sea
Capri needs little introduction, the beautiful island in the heart of the Tyrrhenian Sea having lured everyone from the Romans to the glitterati throughout its life. Today Capri Town’s dramatic tumble of centuries-old buildings are home to designer boutiques and sophisticated restaurants, and the summer months see the little island flood with visitors. While the lure of the ethereal Blue Hole and iridescent waters might be too much to resist, consider the island of Ponza as a delightful alternative.
The Pontine Islands are one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Rumour has it that Beyonce and Jay Z are fans. But celebrity-spotting aside, Ponza has an awful lot going for it. White cliffs plummet into turquoise waters, and in the main harbour pastel-hued buildings hang precariously to a steep slope. Ponza exudes romance and Italian suaveness, managing the delicate task of appearing laid-back and unspoilt but still offering an impressive summer-time selection of chic nightlife and dining.
Swap Porto Cervo for Golfo Aranci, Sardinia
Porto Cervo on the Costa Smeralda is the beating heart of Sardinia’s superyacht scene, the glamorous marina and village oozing old –time sophistication. With its pristine beaches, world class hotels, and equally renowned restaurants and designer boutiques, Porto Cervo pulses with boats and bodies all summer long and attracts the crème de la crème of the Mediterranean’s superyachts.
The entire Costa Smeralda is utterly picturesque. And outside of Porto Cervo, the crowds thin out somewhat creating a more laid back vibe. Cruise south of Porto Cervo to discover quaint fishing towns such as Porto Rodondo and Golfo Aranci, where unspoilt beaches, pine-fringed bays and glass-clear waters await. Take a day trip to the remote island of Tavolara, famed for its dreamy curve of beach, or while away evenings in traditional restaurants which offer a delightful contrast to the hubbub of Porto Cervo.
Swap Stromboli for Panarea, Aeolian Islands
Stromboli isn’t an island anyone can forget in a hurry. With its spectacular live volcano puffing into the sky it is certainly a sight to behold. In fact, it is the only island in the world with a permanently active volcano at its core. Visiting Stromboli offers black sand beaches, quaint restaurants and bougainvillea-clad lanes. Yet come the summer high season, tiny Stromboli is a popular destination, and for those looking for quiet and solitude you might want to cruise a short distance away to Panarea.
The second smallest of the Aeolian Islands, Panarea might not have an active volcano – it does have a dormant one – but its dramatic geology is no less fascinating. Geo-thermal hot springs bubble up, and steep cliffs drop into azure waters fringed by slivers of beach. The perfect blend of elegance and authenticity, Panarea offers superyacht guests off-the-beaten-track exclusivity, a surprisingly active nightlife and some excellent restaurants in the car-free whitewashed streets of San Pietro.
Swap the Amalfi Coast for Sperlonga, Gulf of Gaeta
OK so the Gulf of Gaeta doesn’t have quite the same ring as the world famous Amalfi Coast, but when the shores of Amalfi’s Positano, Sorrento and Ravello are teeming with visitors and the harbours are chock full of superyachts, the strip of coast between Naples and Rome offers a spectacular alternative.
Popular with trendy holidaying Italians, the tiny town of Sperlonga is simply breathtaking. A great crescent of golden sand fringes a town of whitewashed buildings and impressive cliffs. And if you’re worried about missing out on Amalfi’s profound history, then fear not, Sperlonga is home to the Grotta di Tiberio, a sea cave which was part of the Roman emperor Tiberius’s estate. In the 1950s and ’60s solitude-seeking writers, actors, and artists flocked to this pretty, vertical village. And it feels as though time has stood still ever since.
Contact TJB Super Yachts and let our team of experienced agents choose the perfect destination and yacht for your dream charter.