The Italian coastline is rife with clear waters and colourful houses. Steep cliffs plummet into the ocean, and soft sand beaches call visitors and locals to sit down, sip wine, and watch stunning sunsets. Part of the allure of spectacular Italy is the famous attractions and must-see locations. But if you’re keen on discovering a few locations that are off-the-beaten-track and accessible only by boat, keep reading.
Italy yacht charter secret escapes
Often not included on the classic Italy yacht charter itinerary is the tiny island of Procida. You might call it a shame, but the fact that it’s not such a widely known location makes it all the more worthwhile dropping anchor here. Procida is just a stone’s throw from the beautiful, A-List-friendly isle of Capri. With its tangle of pastel-coloured houses littering its seafront, you will fall in love with this tiny island from the moment you see it glimmering in the distance.
Wander the Medieval streets and explore the crumbling church of Abbazia di San Michele. Or, if your perfect yacht charter in Italy involves doing nothing, head to the Lido de Procida with a book and a towel and spend your day in complete bliss.
Swim at beautiful beaches along the shores of the rocky islands, many accessible only by yacht, see bays filled with local fishing craft and quiet waterfront towns where colourful homes paint the steep slopes in pleasing and timeless mosaics. These are the charms that make the Bay of Naples an Italian yacht charter destination to remember.
Next on your tour of Italy’s hidden destinations is Marettimo, found just off the coast of Sicily. Marettimo is almost entirely car-free, and it is a paradise for walkers or anyone looking for a slower pace of life. Herb-scented paths take you through Mediterranean flora that you won’t find on the Sicilian mainland. There are crystal-clear waters, perfect for experienced scuba divers to discover brightly-coloured sea life.
The modern town consists of whitewashed houses trailing down to the seafront with shutters painted in shades of blue that reflect the pristine sea around them. The area is littered with quaint cafes offering cappuccinos and cakes. The Marettimo cuisine is centred around freshly caught seafood, and dishes like pasta con le sarde – a Sicilian pasta with wild fennel and sardines – are a must-try on your next Italian yacht charter.
The locals don’t mind visitors but don’t want tourists. They express the desire to preserve the beauty and the genuineness of Marettimo Island, and signs of human habitation through the centuries are few. There’s a Norman castle perched on the north-eastern coast, the remains of a few houses where ancient Roman soldiers manned the posting, and a Byzantine chapel – testimony to the lengths to which monks would go for a little soul-redeeming wilderness.
Of the seven islands and various islets that make up the Aeolian Islands, the northernmost Stromboli is the most spectacular, especially to those looking for off-the-beaten-track locations. Its beauty comes down to its smouldering volcanic peak. The only island with a permanently active volcano at its core, this is an undeniably unique Italian yacht charter destination.
If your timing is correct, you can opt to take the two-hour hike up to the top and reach the summit of the volcanic mountain top at sunset. Those who choose to take in the scenes from the comfort of their charter yacht will be able to see impressive lava displays from the volcano against a black night sky.
Most of the island has been scarred and blackened by volcanic activity, which only adds to the allure and seduction of Stromboli. There are great beaches here too, with little coves of black sand tucked into lava crags along the coast at Piscità.
Nicknamed the “lighthouse of the Mediterranean” for its steady towering glow, Stromboli is barely a quarter the size of Manhattan. It reigns as one of the world’s most active volcanoes, having spewed fountains of lava almost continuously for nearly 2,500 years.
For those seeking charm in abundance far from the madding crowd, there is no question that an Italy yacht charter is guaranteed to delight.
Ilze du Toit
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