Sailing tip – Tuscany | Boataround Blog

This week we sail to the lovely region of Tuscany. Located on the western coast of Italy, Tuscany is known for its lyrical landscapes, world-class art, and amazing cuisine. Aside from its famously scenic capital Florence, some worth-visiting destinations in the region include Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Versilia, Maremma, and Chianti. Tuscany is also home for over 120 protected nature reserves, as well as 7 World Heritage Sites, including the historic center of Florence, the Cathedral square of Pisa, the historical center of San Gimignano, the historical center of Pienza, the Val d’Orcia, and the Medici Villas and Gardens. For these reasons, the region of Tuscany is considered one of the most desired destinations in Italy, attracting millions of visitors worldwide every year.

Sailing itinerary for Tuscany

Day 1: Piombino – Sailing route Piombino-Capraia:  +/- 34,5 nm
Day 2: Capraia – Sailing route Capraia-Elba: +/- 29,1nm
Day 3: Elba – Sailing route Elba-Pianosa: +/- 26,9nm
Day 4: Pianosa – Sailing route Pianosa-Giglio: +/- 42,6nm
Day 5: Giglio & Giannutri  – Sailing route Giglio – Piombino: +/- 43,1nm

Total distance: +/- 176,2 nautical miles

Day One: Piombino

Sunrise in Piombino, Tuscany, Italy
  • Most desired beaches: 
    Located around 3 km away from downtown Piombino, Calamoresca is a mixed sand and pebble beach, most popular among young people for its proximity and facilities. A bit up to the north is Gulf of Baratti, the real gem of the Etruscan Coast. The sandy beach is surrounded by a thick pine forest on one side, and pristine, shallow water on the other, which makes it perfect for families with small children. The beach of Rimigliano Park is also a great choice. It is 10-kilometer long uncontaminated sand stretch, surrounded by a long pinewood and an overall tranquil atmosphere, which is perfect for those who’d prefer to swim in the wildest nature.
  • What not to miss: 
    The oldest and arguably one of the most important monuments in Piombino is Torrione (the gate of St.Antonio), which was built around 1200 as part of the city’s defense system. Other important historical sights include the Cittadella, the 14th century Casa delle Bifore, Fonti di Marina, and the Cathedral of Sant’ Antimo. While walking inside the Cittadella, you can also visit Palazzo Nuovo for the Populonia Archaeological museum, or just simply to admire the beautiful work of Leonardo da Vinci. Also, don’t miss out the historical square of Piazza Bovio for the most breath-taking view of the city and the Tuscan archipelago.
  • Cuisine:
    Owing to its location, the local cuisine in Piombino is mainly based on fish and seafood. Some typical dishes in the region include boiled octopus, stockfish with potatoes, anchovies, Livorno-style muller, and cacciucco (fish stew). If you’re not a big fan of seafood, there are also other traditional options such as tortelli, chickpea cake, panzanella, etc.
  • Berthing:  
    Marina di Salivoli is located 1 mile W from the town of Piombino. It offers a total of 480 berths for yachts and boats up to 18 meters on 6 pontoons and 2 quays. Depths in the entrance is from 4 to 5 meters and in the harbor is from 2.5 to 4 meters. The marina is well-equipped, provides good shelter from all directions and offers a wide range of services, including 24/7 security, fuel station, waste collection, toilet and showers, ATM, as well as many bars and restaurant. Marina di Scarlino is located a bit further away, around 12 miles ESE from the port of Piombino. It offers a total of 580 berths for yachts and boats up to 36 meters on 7 pontoons and associated quays. Depths in the entrance is 5 meters and in the harbor is from 2.5 to 4.5 meters. The marina provides good shelter from all directions and offers many services, including surveillance system, WiFi connection, laundry, showers, gas station, waste disposal, pharmacy, and ATM.

Day Two: Capraia

Capraia, Tuscan Arcipelago, Italy
  • Breath-taking nature:
    Cala della Mortola is the only beach on Capraia. Despite that fact, the island has a wide range of gorgeous bays, lakes, rock formations, and diverse wildlife that can surely blow visitors away. Cala Rossa bay, where the last volcano mouth on the island was found, is definitely a must-visit with its magnificent red cliffs plunging straight down into the clear blue sea. Lo Scoglione and Cala del Ceppo are also worth visiting, especially for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Animal lovers will definitely find joy in Stagnone, a small lake where you can find many migratory birds and animals.
  • What not to miss:
    The Forte di San Giorgio is definitely worth a visit when exploring the island of Capraia. Located above the old port, the fort was built in 1540 as the island’s defense system against the incursion of the Dragut corsair. Within the fort is another important building to Capraia’s history, the 17th-century Capraia Chiesa e convento di Sant’antonio (Church of Saint’Antonio) where you can see the painting Virgin and Child with St.Anne and the statue of St. Anthony. Other worth-visiting sights include the Chiesa di Sant Nicola (Church of Saint Nicola), the ancient Pieve di Santa Maria Assunta, the watchtower of Torre del Porto, as well as 3 other watchtowers on each side of the island.
  • Berthing:
    Porto Capraia is the only harbor on the island. It offers 60 berthings for yachts up to 30 meters in length. Depths in the harbor range from 1.0 inshore to 4 meters at the end of the breakwater. In case the harbor is full, it is also possible to anchor outside int the eastern bight. Depths range between 4 to meters in here, with sand and weed on the bottom. However, in unsettled weather, or when strong NE wind blows, this might not be the best option.

Day Three: Elba

Elba, Aerial view of Portoferraio, Tuscany, Italy
  • Most beautiful beaches: 
    Capo Bianco and Sansone are arguably the two most famous beaches on the island of Elba. Their pristine white beach, surrounded by majestic cliffs on one side and crystal clear water on the other, is often chosen as the setting for many fashion and tourism shoots. The pebble beach of Sansone also has the whitest, brightest beach on the island. Both beaches are perfect for snorkeling, as the seabeds are filled with inquisitive, colorful fishes. Elba also has a number of unique black beaches, which is a result of the mining activities back in the day. Some of the most noticeable dark beaches on the island are Topinetti, le Tombe, la Contessa, and Norsi.
  • What not to miss: 
    Known for being the first exile island of Napoleon Bonaparte, his figure still has a strong impact on the island. Take a visit to Villa San Martino and Villa Dei Mulini if you’d like to have a look into the life of this famous French emperor. If you’re fascinated by castle and learning history, make sure to check out the Fortress of Volterraio, which was built during the Etruscan civilization, making it the oldest building on Elba. Another worth-noticing place is the Elba Aquarium, located in Marina di Campo. Yes, we know it’s weird to visit an aquarium when you’re on a beautiful island surrounded with such flourish sea bed. Having said that, this aquarium is one of the most complete current Mediterranean aquarium, with more than 150 species ranging from sharks, crustaceans, to mollusks, and sea urchins, so it’s definitely worth your time.
  • Berthing:  
    Marina di Portoferraio (42°48.791’N, 010°19.814’E) offers 70 berths for yachts up to 65 meters in length and max draught of 6.5 meters. The marina is well-equipped with a wide range of facilities, including fuel station, laundry, Wifi, bar, and restaurants, etc. Circolo Nautico Cavo (42°51.577’N, 010°25.337’E) offers 40 berths for visiting yachts up to 14 meters in length. Depths in the port vary from 2.5 meters to less than 1 meter. The marina has 24-hour video surveillance, as well as many other facilities including water and electricity, toilets, fuel berth, etc. Eskom Cesa offers 300 berths for yachts up to 40 meters in length and max draught of 5.5 meters. The marina is well-equipped with all the necessary facilities. Boaters can contact the office via VHF 9 prior to entry.

Day Four: Pianosa

Pianosa Island, Tuscany, Italy
  • Most beautiful beaches: 
    Though Cala Giovanna is the only accessible beach for tourists on Pianosa, it won’t leave you disappointed. The beach is a long stretch of soft, white sand that is located right below the beautiful countryside. With its crystal clear water and lush seabeds, Cala Giovanna is not only a great place for swimming but also a perfect location for snorkeling and diving enthusiast. With a bit of luck, you can even see dolphins swimming around the area.
  • What not to miss:
    If you’re interested in learning about the history of the island, pay a visit to the Christians’ catacombs in Punta Secca and the cove of Cala Giovanna, where you can find evidence of human presence dating back to the 3rd and 4th century BC. With more than 500 niches and 200 tunnels, this monumental complex is arguably the most important archeological treasure on the island. Some other major historical monuments in Pianosa include the Roman Villa of Agrippa in Cala Giovanna and the Fort Teglia of Napoleon. Also, don’t miss out a trip to Porto Romano bay behind the ruins of Marchese, where you’ll get a splendid view of the region and the colorful reef made of marine fossils that connects Punta del Marchese and Pun di Libeccio.

Day Five: Giglio

Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, Italy
  • Most beautiful beaches:
    The largest beach and arguably the most important tourist resort in Giglio is Campese, located on the western coast of the island. It is a long and wide stretch of dark red coarse sand, divided in the middle by a rocky cliff. The beach is well-equipped and offers an amazing view of the bay and splendid sunsets. On the eastern coast, there’s Cannelle beach, which is the second-largest beach on the island. This soft, white sand beach is surrounded by a shallow seabed, which makes it perfect for families with children. The third-largest beach is Arenella, located on the eastern coast of the island, just a bit up north from Giglio Porto. With its light golden sand, blue water, and colorful stones underwater, the beach has an almost tropical vibe.
  • What not to miss:
    Giglio Castle is an interesting medieval village surrounded by tall, thick walls that visitors can actually walk on. With its narrow cobbled streets, stone walls, and many old churches, walking around the village feels like getting lost in time. Don’t miss out the Sant Pietro Apostolo church, where you can not only admire the beautiful Baroque building but also get an amazing view of the surrounding region. We also recommend paying a visit to Giglio Campese, located around 5 kilometers away from Giglio Castello. The town offers many activities for tourists, as well as beautiful pebble beaches and huge sea stacks in Golfo di Campese.
  • Berthing:
    Porto Giglio (42°21.622’N, 010°55.230’E) offers around 80 berths on three floating pontoons for yachts, out of which 20 are reserved for yachts in transit. The maximum length is 13 meters and maximum draught is 2.5 meters. Water and electricity are available at the berths. Due to its small size, it is advisable to reserve your berth up front.

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