Italian Riviera - a 7 Day Italy Yacht Charter Itinerary
The Tuscan Islands rise up from the Tyrrhenian Sea between Corsica and Italy. These mountainous islands provide fantastic anchorages close to the coast. There’s a treasure trove of fine art, architecture and history as well as some of the finest wine producers in the world. It’s also heaven for art and gourmet lovers. This 7-day private yacht charter itinerary is based on visiting La Spezia, Cinque Terre, Elba and Rome. Read the full Italy Charter Guide.
Day 1 - Viareggio
Join your vessel at Viareggio Marina on Italy’s mainland, it’s only a 21-km journey away from Pisa Airport. On arrival at the superyacht you may hear opera music by Giamcomo Puccini being played. Puccini was born here and he wrote Tosca, La Boheme as well as Madame Butterfly. He lived and worked in Torre del Lago and if you’re a music buff, take the opportunity to visit his home which is open to the public. There’s also the Puccini Festival which takes place from June to August to go to.
On your first day of yacht chartering, you might just want to stay on board and find your way around. If you have the energy and inclination, why not go to the town which has been a health and seaside resort since the early 1900s? Many of Italy’s rich people used to come to Viareggio in the summer so it’s thanks to them there are many Art Nouveau buildings still standing. About 10km away is the beach or take a late lunch in Forte dei Marmi at one of the many restaurants. Head back to Viareggio for the night to have a good night’s sleep before the fun starts the next day.
Day 2 - Viareggio/La Spezia
Tuscany is the birthplace of the Italian language that is used today. There are some stunning cities and towns in this region like Lucca and Pisa. Get to know a little about the area and the culture of Tuscany, it really is extremely interesting.
Lucca for instance is the only town in Italy that is surrounded by 16th century ramparts. These ramparts enclose an amazing selection of Renaissance and Medieval architecture, sumptuous dining spots and many fabulous antique markets.
You could take a car to the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Cathedral bell tower. Have a leisurely stroll around quiet squares to admire many Romanesque churches or find out about Galileo who was born in Pisa. Remember he used the leaning tower to discover more about the law of gravity. Many renowned architects have tried to correct the tilt of the leaning tower which is now more than 15 feet.
After a day of exploration, you will leave for La Spezia to spend a wonderful evening at Porto Lotti Marina, only two hours away.
Day 3 - La Spezia/Cinque Terre/Portovenere
Right in the middle of the Ligurian Riviera lie La Spezia and Porto Lotti Marina. They make perfect mooring bases if you fancy visiting Portovenere and the Cinque Terre. Try some of the water sports from your superyacht before setting off on an afternoon trip.
The five beautiful villages of Cinque Terre comprise Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Riomaggiore. They are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site and accessible by foot or by train.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site at the southern end of the Riviera di Levante is Portovenere. With its imposing harbour, colourful 12th century houses and narrow alley ways leading to the castle, Portovenere is a very popular destination.
There’s an intriguing grotto at the foot of the huge cliffs named after Lord Byron. He once visited his fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelly here after swimming across the Gulf of La Spezia to San Terenzoi. Why not sail to the historic island of Elba which is approximately 150 kms away for breakfast?
Day 4 - Elba
Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled here in May 1814. Elba is in the Ligurian Sea and the largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago. It has beautiful warm waters, fabulous coves and a cliff fringed coastline. You can see Elba in all of its glory best from the deck of a superyacht, so take lots of photographs as a keepsake of your visit.
The capital of Elba is Portoferraio which means “iron port”. Iron used to be mined by the Etruscans of Tuscany and this is where the name comes from. Although Bonaparte spent only about 10 months here he certainly left his mark with new civic works and roads. He lived at one time in the Villa dei Molini which can be found on the seaward side of the Piazza Napoleone.
He died on the island of St Helena and to this day mass is celebrated each year on his anniversary in Portoferraio. There’s a reproduction of Napoleon’s coffin as well as a bronze cast of his death mask in the Misericordia Church.
Inland from Portoferraio is the Villa San Martino which was Napoleon Bonaparte’s summer residence. Still remaining are amazing examples of “trompe d’oeil” art on the walls. After finding out more about Napoleon, it’s time to sail to one of the many fantastic bays before leaving for the island of Giglio which is about 50 kms away.
Day 5 - Giglio/Montecristo
On the Tuscan Archipelago, you will find spectacular golden beaches that line the coast of the Isola del Gigliuo. The town, called Giglio Porto, has a stone watchtower overlooking it which was built by the Medicis. Further west the small island of Montecristo, a small, pyramid shaped island, is well worth a visit.
At Cala Maestra you can see the Villa Watson-Taylor, the only building on the island. Just a short cruise away you will come to Porto Ercole on the Argentario Peninsula where you can stay overnight, ready to sail the next day.
Day 6 - Porto Ercole, Argentario Peninsula
This small city is in the peninsula of Monte Argentario with the most stunning rocky and sandy beaches. It’s a great place from which to explore the nearby towns of Tarquinia, San Gimignano and Siena.
Once an ancient fishing village, Porto Ercole is well known for its marinas, as a retreat for sailing and exciting water sports. A fortress dominates the entire city called La Rocca which looms over the bay and port. This superb fortress was designed by Giovanni Camerini. Look out for the 16th century Palazzo Consani and the old church of San Erasmo inside the town’s walls.
To relax, enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach. Late afternoon you will leave this fascinating city and anchor off Giannutri, a small island, for the night. This is approximately 40 kms south before your last stop in Rome.
Day 7 - Rome
Rome is sprawled over seven ancient hills and was one of the great centres of the ancient world once upon a time. Legends tell how Rome, known as the Eternal City, was shrouded in struggle and intrigue. After anchoring in Porto Turistico di Roma Marina you can set off for the beautiful city to enjoy Italian shopping at its best. Stroll down the tree-lined boulevards or have a coffee at one of the many outdoor cafes. Why not book a table at the well-known restaurant Quizi e Babrieli or the La Posta Vecchia at Palo to taste delicious seafood before returning to your superyacht?
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