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Our summer sailing season started later in June after the crew had a well-deserved rest from our participation in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Porto Cervo, Sardegna. As our crew are all from Italy, naturally they wanted to show off their country to us and we were excited to see it through their eyes.
We started our season from Olbia in Sardegna to the north end of the island to visit the national parks and beautiful water the area is known for. Il Mistraele caused some revisions to our plans however we did get to see quite a bit of the island and ended up in Cala Luna on the east coast before departing for the Italian mainland.
We arrived in Isola di Ponza after a passage of about 150 nm to find it a really unique and beautiful place although it was very crowded. We pressed on in a few days for Isola d’Ischia which we found to be delightful. From there, we made the short passage to Napoli, home of Carmen. She spent some time showing us her city and, of course, we had to enjoy pizza which originated in Napoli.
While in the area, we visited Pompeii and had a fascinating personal tour from a friend of Carmen who is a guide there. An incredible experience for us as we’ve heard and read so much about it over the years and finally we are standing in the middle of the main street! The facility has been nicely preserved and is in really good shape, well worth the visit.
From Pompeii, we had a terrific day sail over Isola di Capri and yes, it lives up to its reputation as a beautiful place totally inundated with tourists and hundreds of stores for shopping. We stayed for night or two then went over to the Sorento peninsula where we did some tours on land including lunch at Don Alfonso 1890 which features food grown on their local farm. after lunch we took a taxi-tour down the Amalfi Coast to meet up with Feelin’ Good at the town of Almalfi. What a stunning peninsula with spectacular vistas around every turn of the road.
An overnight sail had us arriving at one of the Isole Eolie, Isola Stromboli… an active volcanic island. We got a little too close and had some pumice land on the deck causing all sorts of grief to clean off as it was so fine, it got in everything! We did get a really good look at the eruptions and heard the sound the volcano was making, amazing!
We took a number of days to visit some of the other islands in Isole Eolie and found each one to be wonderful. Isola Lipari stands out as one of our favorites. The water was warm and inviting everywhere and we all enjoyed the swimming and snorkeling. It turned out to also be the source of an amazing treat called Arancino (rice balls) and Cannolo which we couldn’t get enough of!
Our passage to the northwestern tip of Sicilia landed us at San Vito Lo Capo, an extremely beautiful bay with turquoise water, tons of great restaurants and a really nice anchorage. a few days here to enjoy before we took the 250 nm passage over to the south of Sardegna. What wonderful anchorages in sheltered bays and gorgeous water to swim and play in. Away from the crowded north of the island, we felt this was the best kept secret of Sardegna. Capo Carbonara is a perfect example of why we loved Sardegna.
As we had a reservation in Palma de Mallorca to put the boat in for refit before beginning our circumnavigation later this fall we sailed from Sardegna over to Minorca to spend a few last days before arriving in Mallorca on 15-August.
We really enjoyed this season and seeing so much of southern Italy. It was very special to have Giamma and Carmen show us their homeland. Once our circumnavigation is completed, we know we want to spend much more time in the Mediterranean seeing places like this!
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