Northern & Southern Italy
Meet your yacht in Genoa at the Marina Molo Vecchio and cruise southeast to Portofino, one of the most photographed harbors in the world. After exploring Portofino, hire a car for the drive into fabled Cinque Terra where tiny villages and steep vineyards carved out of vertical hillsides seem to almost tumble into the sea. If you are a student of Napoleonic history, your cruise must include the islands of Elba (Bonaparte’s first exile) and Corsica (his birthplace). Elba’s lovely and quaint harbor of Portoferraio is guarded by a 16th century fort. Corsicans are a fiercely independent lot and have never been open to the idea of turning their mountainous island into an empire theme park. Even in the height of the season, you will find this island unspoiled and its eastern shore beaches deserted.
Sardinia is an excellent cruise destination as it is located across the Bonifacio Straits from Corsica, Sardinia. It is truly yachting’s version of heaven on earth. The Costa Smeralda, developed by the Aga Khan in the 1950s is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Originally developed as a jet-set haven, it offers phenomenal beaches, designer boutique shopping, hotels and excellent restaurants.
A slightly different itinerary might take you to Naples along the Amalfi coast, past Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii, the city that is frozen in time. The legendary Blue Grotto in Capri is still one of the world’s wonders, and the town’s shops are yet another. One hundred miles from Capri, tucked between the toe of Italy’s boot and Sicily are the Aeolian islands, notably Stromboli, Vulcano and the Lipari cluster.
Day 1 – Meet your chartered yacht in Naples. This is simply a convenient port for greeting guests and is very commercial, so after the charter party has boarded, the yacht will depart immediately for the lovely island of Capri. You may want to spend the better part of two days here to fully enjoy yourselves and unwind.
Day 2 - Capri. Just across the water is the Amalfi peninsula and hidden away in the inlets and beaches are many delightful small seafood restaurants. Make certain to visit the world famous Blue Grotto.
Day 3 - Departure for the island of Ischia. The port in Ischia is a good starting out point for guests who would like to tour the island. Above the port, Sant Angelo d’Ischia on the steep vine covered slopes are the famous thermal springs and mud baths and the hotels that cater to their frequenters . There are many nice beaches in the vicinity and a small village cut into the steep hillsides surrounds the harbor. Many restaurants offer excellent diining around the port or in the village.
Day 4 - The island of Ponza is the largest in the Pontine Island group and arguably the most beautiful. Hours of delight awaits anyone wishing to explore the fish market, the old town and the tunnel reportedly cut during Roman times that links the town of Ponza to a bay on the west side. The west coast is generally steep but there are some very pleasant anchorages in fine weather. Of notable interest is Cala Di Feola at the northwest end with a few good restaurants on the high slopes above the beach – a good place to see the sun go down as the surrounding cliffs reflect the setting sun and then hold the heat for some time afterwards.
Day 5 - Next port of call is Santo Stephano, a commercial fishing port. Your captain will have to book a berth well in advance, as dockage for a visiting yacht is virtually impossible to obtain on short notice. This is one of the few good overnight ports on the mainland with excellent restaurants, trattorias and pizzerias and good shops. If dockage is unavailable, a night departure for Portofino will also work.
Day 6 - Portofino is considered one of the most picturesque harbors in the world. You may anchor off here or you might be fortunate enough to get a berth. If it is too crowded you can always anchor off Ste. Margherita and take the yacht’s tender to Portofino.
Day 7 - Take most of the day for water sports and just relaxing and enjoying the sights around Portofino and Ste. Margherita. Lunch can be fun ashore or dine casually on the yacht. Evening departure for Genoa, Italy.
Day 8 - The entire group will be transported to Genoa International Airport for departure.