Cruise the coastline of northern Italy where art and architecture sit side by side with nature

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Think steep terraces of brightly coloured houses, grand palazzos and dramatic rocky cliffs and you could be dreaming of Liguria’s diverse coastal landscape. Now consider that some of this region’s best-kept secrets are only accessible by boat and you have the perfect recipe for a luxury Italian yacht charter.

Un Panfilo di Lusso

The appeal of chartering your dream luxury yacht lies in the freedom to create your own itinerary, choose to explore your surroundings while being looked after by familiar crew members who truly understand your tastes and how you wish to spend your time. There is also ample choice of charter yachts available depending on the size of your party, whether you want to sail or motor, which water sports and toys you love and your taste in food and entertainment.

Days on board can be spent cruising to your next destination or tucked into a quiet cove to swim, eat, read or simply watch the world go by. For those who want to venture inland, a driver and car can be organised to pick you up from your yacht.

An expert charter broker can help plan your vacation and will consider your needs and budget before creating a bespoke list of options and itineraries. With nearly 8000km of coastline and its artistic and stylish heritage, it is no surprise that Italy is home to some of the greatest yacht builders in the world. Choose to board a Sanlorenzo,
Ferretti or Azimut charter yacht and let her guide you through her home waters.

Home to the art of the Renaissance and an abundance of natural wonders

Italy’s own riviera is a unique stretch of coastline in the northwest, with its port capital of Genoa being the ideal starting point for charter vacations.

Sanremo has been the favoured destination of the aristocracy since the mid-1700s and now hosts the popular Sanremo Much Festival. The traditional resort town of Portofino offers crystal waters, family-friendly beaches plus galleries and shopping. Hiking trails show visitors the way to the quiet villages of Cinque Terre which are largely inaccessible by car. And nature is in abundance in the coastal reserves and on the tranquil islands of Palmaria and Tino.

Hugging the coast all the way visitors can then explore inland by visiting the architecturally stunning city of Pisa with its world-famous leaning tower. Away from the bustling tower square there are plenty of restaurants where proprietors will serve a bowl of fresh pasta and seafood alongside a crisp glass of wine from any number of vineyards in the surrounding countryside.


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For those whom history, art and sculpture are a must, a visit to northern Italy would not be complete without experiencing Florence. The city of terracotta rooves is home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its recognisable Duomo. This symbol of the renaissance is the inspiration for artists such as Botticelli and da Vinci, whose work can be admired in Florence’s Uffizi gallery.

Lovers of food and wine will be delighted by the passion demonstrated at the choice of fabulous restaurants. Hilltop vineyards not only offer a wonderful way to wile away an afternoon of wine tasting but often have the best views over the rolling hills and the sea beyond with perhaps a chance to catch a glimpse of your waiting charter yacht in the distance. The countryside is overflowing with rows of ancient, twisted olive trees producing the liquid gold of Italy and the inland town of Modena is the centre of balsamic vinegar production. As everyone knows, no Italian table is complete without this perfect pairing.

Islands are crucial landmarks for ancient navigators

The Tuscan Archipelago islands helped ancient sailors calculate their position and offered a safe haven, food and supplies. The largest of the islands, Elba, is part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park which itself is the largest marine park in Europe. Charter yachts can anchor in any number of coves around the 147km coastline keeping watch as guests explore the hiking trails and natural beauty of this jewel-like island. For history buffs, it is also the island where Napoleon was exiled for a time, and where his residences of Villa dei Mulini and San Martino, now museums, can be visited.

Sardinia, an island hidden in the Mediterranean with mile upon mile of unspoilt coastline, beautiful beaches, turquoise seas and fascinating landscapes. Being away from the main tourist routes of Europe, she is a sophisticated island offering chic ports, high-end restaurants, designer shops and beach clubs. Perfect for exclusive charter visitors.

Europe’s diverse cultural heritage means you are never far away from evidence of ancient civilisations and Sardinia is no exception. Nuraghe are megalithic edifices found exclusively on Sardinia — and nowhere else in the world. These conical stone structures were built by the Nuragic civilization between 1900 and 730 BC and the examples in Barumini are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lovers of golf can take in a round at the legendary Il Pevero Golf Club, nestled among the emerald waters between the Pevero and Cala di Volpe bays. Designed by landscape architect Robert Trent Jones, it is considered one of the top 50 golf courses in the world. The clubhouse also boasts a panoramic terrace overlooking the course and a delightful restaurant serving the best of international and traditional Sardinian flavours.

With an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, concentrated from April to September and warm winds off the African continent, the Sardinian climate is perfect and not quite as hot as other yacht charter areas in the Mediterranean.

With so much to explore you’ll never want to leave this beautiful region of Italy but if you’ve chartered a yacht for longer or want to return to experience more of what Italy has to offer, there is plenty more to see in Naples and along the Amalfi coast. Read our guide to luxury yacht charter in Southern Italy next month.

Trina Howes is a Director of CharterWorld America. CharterWorld is a luxury private yacht charter company that creates outstanding vacations with excellent yachts at amazing prices – worldwide.

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