Effortlessly combining history, art, fashion, food, architecture and 4,660 miles of spectacular coastline, Italy is irresistible. Find out six top Italian destinations to visit when undertaking a luxury yacht charter in the region.
Capri, Tyrrhenian Sea
A favoured vacation spot since Roman times, Capri has charmed visitors for centuries, with new generations of glitterati continuing to answer its call.
Wild limestone cliffs plunge into cornflower-blue waters, gentle breezes rustle through fragrant lemon trees, enchanting grottos demand exploration and, away from the scenic coast, life gravitates around charming Capri Town and its uphill rival Anacapri.
Berth in Marina Grande and step ashore to discover the designer boutiques, narrow streets, tiny theatrical squares and exclusive restaurants that define Capri Town. Then flag down a vintage open-top limousine – the standard taxi here – to reach the elevated Anacapri.
For the best beach spot on the island, anchor off the pretty bay of Marina Piccola, and don’t miss the stunning sea cave of Grotta Azzurra, which is illuminated by an other-worldly blue light.
Venice has long fascinated seafarers and, with a magnificent natural setting and a wealth of architectural treasures, its appeal is indisputable. In fact, its mirage-like magic makes Venice one of the most mesmerising cities on the planet.
The Grand Canal, Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica of San Marco are just some of the incredible sites but, away from these magnetic must-sees, a maze of narrow backstreets full of narrow backstreets full of secret squares, marble-lined churches, handsome Gothic palazzi and lively wine bars await to be discovered.
A limited number of berths are available for yachts with a maximum draught of 5.5 to 9 metres in the Venice Yacht Pier, just a short walk away from St Marks Square. Otherwise, there are marinas offering deeper dockage just 10 kilometres away within the lagoon.
Coincide your charter here with the Venice Film Festival in late August to see the city come alive with A-list stars, red carpet premieres and the flashing lights of paparazzi.
Porto Cervo, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia
Built as a retreat for the rich in the 1960s, Porto Cervo in the north east of Sardinia still manages to combine glamour with casual cool and, throughout the decades since its inception, has never swerved from its status as one of the Mediterranean’s most popular superyacht hotspots.
Development has been controlled to produce a top-class destination among the fishing villages, low cliffs and idyllic inlets. Turquoise waters and the long strip of sun-kissed sand making up Costa Smeralda complete the picturesque scene.
Luxury yachts gather in Porto Cervo Marina, a well-protected harbour with world-class hotels, fine eateries and designer boutiques nearby. There are islands off-shore for exploration, and don’t miss the beautiful beaches of Cala del Faro and Liscia Rena.
Positano, Amalfi Coast
The best view of Positano, the most photogenic town on the Amalfi Coast, is from the comfort of your luxury charter yacht. Houses in pastel hues of pink, peach and terracotta tumble down the steep cliffside meeting the crescent-shaped bay below and backed by looming cliffs above.
No less colourful are its steep streets and steps lined by wisteria-draped hotels, elegant restaurants and world-class retailers. Such ingredients never fail to attract a glamorous and affluent crowd to this Italian charming village.
Within easy reach of Positano are white sandy beaches, grottos and caves, and the Li Galli Islands, a protected marine reserve offering fantastic snorkelling, are also nearby.
Isola di Ponza, Pontine Islands
The largest of the six Pontine Islands, a string of volcanic formations off the coast of Lazio, Isola di Ponza remains somewhat under the tourist radar. Much of its appeal lies in its local charm and laidback attitude, and it’s a wonder how the Italian island gem has remained a secret for so long.
There are some who have it sussed, however. The Italian elite vacate in their private villas here during the summer, delighting in the clear turquoise waters, natural rocky grottos, hidden coves and rustic fishing villages.
Crescent-shaped beach Chiaia di Luna was once the island’s star attraction but it’s now off limits to sunbathers due to crumbling cliffs. But, it can be enjoyed from the water and, with other beaches reachable only by boat, this is ideal cruising territory for those after seclusion and privacy.
Stromboli, Aeolian Islands
Of the seven islands and various islets that make up the Aeolian Islands, northernmost Stromboli is by far the most spectacular and this is down to its smouldering volcanic peak. The only island in the world with a permanently active volcano at its core, this is an undeniably unique charter destination.
Travellers can take the two-hour hike up to the top, which is best timed to reach the summit at sunset. And, charterers who prefer to take in the drama from the comfort of their yacht will be able to see impressive lava displays emitted from the volcano against a black night sky.
Life in Stromboli’s two villages goes on as normal, although both are located in the northeast corner as, away from here, most of the island has been scarred and blackened by volcanic activity. There are great beaches here too, with little coves of black sand tucked into lava crags along the coast at Piscità.
The only island in the world with a permanently active volcano at its core, Stromboli is an undeniably unique charter destination