Italy Yacht Charter
Search Over 140 Yachts In Sicily and Naples, Italy For Your Luxury Charter Vacation!
Naples (Napoli) and its expanded metropolitan area, located on the southwestern Amalfi coast of Italy on the Bay of Naples, is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. First settled in 1000 BC by Greeks, Naples was significant in merging Greek and Roman societies during the Roman period of world history. Emperor Tiberius (and other Roman Emperors) resorted to Naples and the island of Capri for its natural beauty, therapeutic hot springs, Mediterranean climate (mild mid-50s in winter, mid-80s in summer) and other benefits, such as the strategic natural harbor of the Bay of Naples.
Volcanic Mount Vesuvius that destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii in 79AD, is about 15 miles from the city of Naples, which sits on a major geo-thermal zone that has produced fine spas with hot springs and mud treatments since ancient times. For 12 centuries (661AD – 1861AD), Naples was the capital city of the Duchy of Naples (until 1139), the Kingdom of Naples 1282-1816) and finally, the Two Sicilies under King Ferdinand II of the French Bourbon dynasty, until Italy unified in 1861.
As such, it has centuries of Greek, Roman, Spanish (Aragon of Catalonia) and French (Bourbon dynasty) influences on its historical, cultural, artistic, and architectural heritage. In the 17th century, Naples was the capital of Baroque, a design movement inspired by the artist, Caravaggio. Naples had become a major cultural center with artists, philosophers, and writers, and was the largest European city after Paris.
In the late 19th century, the Neo-Gothic (Gothic Revivalist) was the prevalent style notable in the Aselmeyer Castle built by leading architect Lamont Young, who designed many of the city’s urban projects, including the first subway, during the Industrial Revolution of late 19th-early 20th centuries. With no industry to speak of, droves of Neapolitans left the city to emigrate to America and elsewhere seeking to escape poverty. WWII heavily damaged much of Naples, requiring extensive reconstruction after 1945.
The latter 20th century was a period of modernization of transportation systems like the high-speed rail service to Rome and Salerno, the funicular inclined cable railways (Alta Velocita), and the development of a major business district, Centro Direzionale, built in 1994 that dominates the city skyline, and helped propel Naples forward economically. The glittering Toledo Metro Art Station is considered the most beautiful in Europe; commissioned by the Art Stations project to bring art to everyday public places. Naples historic city center has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site—the largest area in Europe!
Today Naples is one of the top 5 visited cities in Italy, as a new generation of artists, chefs and entrepreneurs are bringing fresh talent and energy to this old-world city, with its world-class restaurants, museums, galleries, shopping, nightlife, and sightseeing.
The Port of Naples is a major cargo terminal and one of Europe’s most important with NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command of Naples stationed in the Port. Naples ancient history dates to the 2nd millennium BC and the city is loaded with centuries of important art and architecture, the most prominent styles visible being Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque. Naples features 448 historical Catholic churches, such as Duomo di San Gennaro cathedral with its frescoes, Cathedral of Naples, Certosa di San Marino, Santa Chiara Church of Girolamini (hand-painted Majolica tiles), Gesù Nuovo and many historical castles.
Among the most renowned is the Norman castle, Castel dell’Ovo that marks the site where Greeks founded the first settlement more than 2500 years ago! Other important castles are 13th century Castel Nuovo, Castel Capuano, Castel Sant’Elmo, a star-shaped 14th century medieval castle built by Charles I, first king of Naples, that offers panoramic views of Naples City Center, the Bay and Vesuvius. And of course, the Royal Palace of Ferdinand IV, built in 1600.
A major point of interest is subterranean Naples, a series of tunnels, caves, and cisterns (Piscini Mirabilis) from years of mining volcanic tufo stone used to build much of the city. Tunnels can be toured from Napoli Sotteranea in the historical center. The Bourbon Tunnel was constructed 100’ below the city streets as an ancient secret Royal escape route connecting the Royal Palace to military barracks. The tunnels were used in WWII as bomb shelters during air raids. The Bourbon Tunnel is now an underground museum displaying antique rusting cars and WWII relics that had once been dumped in the tunnel.
Nearby archeological excavations uncovered the largest thermal complex of Naples during the Roman era. Naples is known for its elegant villas, fountains, and stairways (Floridiana-Fountain of Neptune, Pedamentina stairways) and its public parks, such as Villa Comunale, built by King Ferdinand in 1780s, as a royal garden. Bosco di Capodimonte was a royal hunting preserve that is now the city’s largest green space. Naples National Archaeological Museum features one of the largest collections of Roman era artifacts in the world, along with Pompeiian and Herulaneum antiquities and artifacts from the Greek and Renaissance periods.
The Museo di Capodimonte features 13th-18th century artists—Raphael, Titian, El Greco, Caravaggio, and others. Also displayed are examples of the porcelain and hand-painted Majolica tiles produced by the Royal Capodimonte Porcelain Factory (no longer extant) in the artistic tradition founded by Charles III of Bourbon in 1743, and the Neapolitan Academy of Fine Arts he founded in 1752.
Naples is the originator of world-renowned Neapolitan Pizza that has been strictly regulated since 2004 to maintain its original qualities, and the Margherita Pizza for Queen Margherita of Savoy who had visited Naples! Naples celebrates annually with a Pizza Fest. Among the best pizza on Via Tribunali is Sorbillo to Figlio del Presidente, Di Mateo. Naples features pasta (spaghetti) dishes and seafood—Mimi alla Ferrovia is a favorite of Luciano Pavarotti. Michelin-starred restaurants are Taverna Estia, Palazzo Petrucci near a marina and Caracol with a view of Vesuvius. Naples is the site of the first espresso machine, built and patented in 1884 by Angelo, and the “home” of Limoncello, the Italian lemon liqueur.
The three main islands in the Bay of Naples, Capri, Ischia, and Procida are considered part of metro Naples and are within easy ferry or hydrofoil distance. A major superyacht charter destination, jet-set visitors are especially attracted to ultra-chic Capri located in the southern end of the Bay, with its thermal spas, famous Blue Grotto and striking white cliffs that line the Capri coves. Colorful wisteria and bougainvillea brighten whitewashed buildings—cafes, bars, luxury shopping, fine restaurants, nightclubs, and houses.
The Grotto Azzurra (Blue Grotto) is a sea cave on the coast of Capri that is a natural phenomenon and cultural site. Sunlight passing through an underwater cavity creates blue light illuminating the cavern that was once an ancient Roman marine temple during the reign of Tiberius. Take the funicular railway (cable rail) from Marina Grande to view the island from Mount Solaro. This main port is north of the main town, at the foot of Mount Solaro and the “tourist” harbor for sailing and private yachts, though most luxury superyachts anchor outside the marina or in one of the many secluded bays. Rent scooters to tour this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage island.
Ischia, known as the green island for its verdant, vineyard-terraced hills and 2,500’ peak of Monte Epomeo, is the largest of the 3 islands. This beautiful volcanic island features 5-star resorts, secluded sandy beaches (Sant’Angelo), mineral-rich thermal spas (Poseidon Thermal Park), and quaint fishing villages. Boat tours are available to view the ancient archeological remains of Roman civilization that lie 18’ deep on the sea bottom at Cartaromana Beach between Castello Aragonese and the cliffs of St. Anna. Visit the medieval 15th century Castello Aragonese built on its own rocky islet and linked to the mainland by a stone bridge.
There are many other points of interest, gardens and beaches to enjoy on this island, such as Lake Ameno, gardens of La Mortella and Villa Ravino. Ferries and hydrofoil service are available to Naples area marinas and the other islands. Marina d’Ischia features 200 berths for yachts up to 150’ and maximum draft 13.5’ with full services. Amenities include WiFi, bar and restaurant. Porto Turistico di Casamicciola has 180 berths and can accommodate 158 vessels on 4 piers for maximum 270’ LOA and 21’ draft. Full services and amenities include bar and restaurant. Tourist port, Marina di Sant’Angelo has 116 berths for vessels with up to 60’ LOA (maybe 120’ LOA) and maximum 21’ draft. Full services and amenities include WiFi and a Pharmacy.
Procida is just 2 miles east of the much larger Ischia island. There are ferries to Ischia, the ancient port of Pozzuoli and Naples. This pretty island is built with the yellowish tufo stone and dotted with orange trees. For mooring and visiting Naples, there are 3 options: Marina di Procida faces the mainland, features nearly 500 berths for yachts up to 90’ length with full service and repair facilities, the harbor of Chiaiolella; Yachting Santa Margherita manages 300 berths for vessel up to 135’ with 6’-18’ draft with full services and repair facilities, and the smaller anchorage of Corricella, for fishing boats only and as an emergency shelter.
More information regarding what to expect on your yacht charter to Sicily, Italy:
The island of Sicily is located at the tip of Italy’s infamous “boot” in the central Mediterranean Sea, separated from the mainland by the narrow Strait of Messina. Iconic Mount Etna, with an elevation of nearly 11,000 feet, is Europe’s tallest active volcano and is located on Sicily’s eastern coast.
The island’s topography is ruggedly hilly and mountainous on the northern coast with much of the land committed to agriculture, as the rich volcanic soil and sunny, dry climate is very productive for wheat, citrons, oranges, lemons, tomatoes, olives, almonds, grapes, pistachios and more, staples of Sicilian cuisine. Cattle and sheep are raised for cheese production (pecorino and caciocavallo). Italy is the largest wine producer in the world and Sicily is the third largest wine producer in Italy and known for Marsala wines and Nero d’Avola, a varietal unique to Nolo, Sicily. The island produces Limoncello and Amaro Averna liqueurs as well. Averna is still made using the same recipe originally made popular by Salvatore Averna in Caltanissetta in 1868.
Sicily is surrounded with quaint fishing villages in the island’s tradition; Mazara del Vallo, the fishing industry’s center, is one of the most important in Italy with tuna, sardine, swordfish, and European anchovy as main harvests. Sicilian cuisine is Mediterranean, influenced by its long history of cultures that settled, dominated, or invaded Sicily for its strategic trade route location and wealth. Archeological evidence indicates original inhabitants were Siculi, an Italic people of Indo-European origin and ancient Sicels; then Phoenicians from 1500 – 300 BC, a maritime people who also founded Carthage (in Tunisia, Africa); then Cathaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Aragonese, Lombards, Spaniards, French, and Albanians!
Sicily’s 10 largest cities are capital city Palermo, Catania, Messina, Syracuse, Marsala, Gela, Ragusa, Trapani, Vittoria, and Caltanisetta, though many small, picturesque towns and villages are well worth visiting for their beautiful landscapes and medieval buildings, castles, ceramics, local cuisines, archeological sites, beaches (Scala dei Turchi, San Vito Lo Capo, remote Lampedusa/Rabbit Island—one of most beautiful in world) and much more. Sicily is the location of several UNESCO World Heritage sites that attract visitors from the mainland of Italy and worldwide. The Vallei dei Templi (Valley of Temples) in Agrigento is Sicily’s main attraction and a national monument of Italy.
These massive Doric columned Greek temples are well-preserved, forming the largest archeological park in the world. Mount Etna is globally recognized as one of the most active volcanoes in the world and has been the subject of myths, legends, and observation throughout the ages of history and by scientists and visitors to this day. Major eruptions were as recent as 2017 and 2018, though it is constantly active. Etna’s fertile volcanic soil is ideal for agriculture with vineyards and orchards covering the bottom slopes. Tours are available; Hotel Corsaro is only 100m (300’) from a cable car station. The 7 Aeolian Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea with 2 currently active volcanoes. The islands are a primary tourist destination in the summer season for their beautiful coves and beaches; about 200,000 tourists visit annually.
The highly cultured civilizations of Sicily have contributed greatly to the arts and architecture of humanity. Terracotta ceramics dating to ancient Sicanians were perfected during Greek colonization and are distinctively Sicilian to this day. The town of Caltagirone, located inland near Catania, is known for its brightly colored, patterned ceramics and terracotta production. The famous 142-step staircase in town is edged with colorful ceramic tiles, as ceramics were used to decorate churches, castles, municipal buildings and more. The most renowned architects of the Baroque movement were Filippo Juvarra (Italian Baroque) and Ernesto Basile. Sicilian Baroque designers made use of local red sandstone; the style hit its stride in the mid-18th century with its own distinctively Sicilian features.
The Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (Noto Valley) are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring the peak of Baroque art in Europe—Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto (most well-known), Palazzolo Acreide Ragusa and Scicli. About 3 km from Piazza Amerina is the UNESCO site Villa Roman del Casale, an excavated early 4th century Roman villa with the most elaborate and extensive collection of Roman mosaics in the world--must see “Bikini Girl” with work-out weights! The city of Syracuse on the Ionian coast of Sicily is notable for its wealth of Greek and Roman history, culture, architecture, such as the ancient Roman ampitheater and Teatro Greco; it is one of the largest archeological areas in the Mediterranean and a UNESCO site along with nearby Necropolis of Pantalica with about 5,000 tombs cut into the rocky cliff side overlooking the Anapo River, dating from the 13th to 7th century BC.
Another favorite of visitors is picturesque, old town Taormina, located on a hilltop between the sea and mountains. Cliffs drop down to coves with sandy beaches. Taormina, in the metropolitan area of Messina, is near Mount Etna and has hiking trails to the mountain. An ancient Greek theater is still in use today! Nearby is the 4-star luxury resort and spa, Art Hotel Diamond Resort Naxos Taormina, with its private Diamond Beach. Guardini Naxos is an ancient fishing village that was the first ancient Greek settlement. UNAHOTELS Naxos Beach Sicilia is another luxury resort that features its own private beach.
Palermo is the largest (by far) and capital city of Sicily. Named “Italian Capital of Culture” in 2018, Palermo is a fascinating mix of architectural styles representing centuries of history and is a cultural “melting pot” on the edge of Europe and Africa. Although medieval Gothic palaces and Baroque piazzas (Pretoria, Vigliena) are in the mix, Arabic and Norman architectural styles dominate Palermo. As the Emirate of Sicily from 831-1091 AD, Palermo became the Islamic showpiece capital with ornate palaces, mosques, minarets, and date palms.
Arab influence is also evident in the 3 lively street markets, Capo, Vucciria, and Ballarò. Norman King Roger II conquered southern Italy and made Palermo his capital city. Under Norman rule, Palermo and Sicily flourished intellectually and in the arts; 1072-1194 was Palermo’s “golden age” as the intellectual capital of southern Europe. The 9th century Palazzo dei Normanni and the Capella Palatina built in 1130 by Roger II, is resplendent with Byzantine mosaics; it is the primary visitor attraction of Palermo. Neo-classical Teatro Massimo is the largest opera house in Italy and third largest in Europe, while Catania’s opera house, Teatro Massimo Bellini, is considered one of the best European opera houses for its acoustics.
Port of Messina, separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, is the busiest passenger port in Italy with its cruise ship pier and ferry routes across the 3-mile Strait, and is known as the “gateway to Sicily.” Messina is within easy access to Taormina, Mount Etna, and other Sicilian attractions. Port of Palermo is situated on a natural harbor on the northwest coast of Sicily and is the main commercial and passenger port with merchant lines to Tunisia and Naples exporting produce, food products and industrial material. Port of Palermo also serves ferry routes. Port of Catania on the Gulf of Catania in northeastern Sicily is also a cruise ship port, convenient to Mount Etna, Taormina and Syracuse.
Some of the marinas serving private yachts are as follows:
Capo d’Orlando Marina in Palermo opened in 2017 and is a tour charter base to the Aeolian Islands. The marina features 553 berths with a complete range of services for vessels 22.5’ to 135’ (45m). Maximum depth ranges 10.5’ to 15’. Amenities include 24/7 security surveillance, fire system, covered parking, fuel dock, diving service, shipyard, Yacht Club with Spa, bar and restaurant, boutiques and shops and quay—seaside promenade. Also in Palermo is Marina Villa Igiea. Located not far from Palermo’s city center, it is the most popular marina in Sicily. The marina can accommodate vessels to 195’ (65m).
Marina del Nettuna Messina features up to 160 berths; vessels up to 120’ can moor, though the marina is best suited to medium-size boats. The marina offers basic amenities; additional services are available. Excellent restaurant at the Marina del Nettuno Yachting Club.
Marina di Cala del Sola is located in southern Sicily in the ancient fishing village town Agrigento. The marina is well-equipped with modern amenities, including leisure facilities and shopping area.
Porto Turistico Marina di Ragusa is located in the historical town of Ragusa. Ragusa Ibla, the oldest quarter, is noted for historical churches and palaces built on a hilltop of the Hyblaean Mountains. The marina provides modern and reliable infrastructure for yachts 180’ LOA. Amenities include mooring assistance, beach access, shopping mall and shipyard, and it is surrounded by historical and cultural attractions.
Portorosa Marina is located in northern Sicily on the Patti Gulf, opposite the Aeolian Islands, a major Sicilian attraction. This elegant marina accommodates up to 700 vessels with maximum 120’ LOA. It also offers repair and maintenance service.
Marina di Reposta (Porto dell’Etna), is considered the gateway to the Mediterranean. The ancient city of Riposta is next to the marina. It offers a great service package, including fuel dock, parking and mooring assistance.
Marina di Siracusa—Port Grande di Ortigia is in the historical center of Syracuse. Berths are available annually, seasonal or daily. Features include basic services, 24/7 mooring assistance, fuel dock, security and more.