Find out with us the 10 best tourist ports in Italy, unique seaside locations close to artistic and natural beauties to discover on your boat trip.

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Italy is a long strip of land in the Mediterranean Sea with 7,500 km of beautiful coastline dotted with 537 charming tourist ports. For those who love to sail, Italian tourist ports are a perfect way to enjoy both the natural beauty of the peninsula and the artistic ones. With 160,000 berths and state-of-the-art facilities in its various marinas, Italy is a perfect destination for those who decide to sail the Mediterranean.

We have selected for you the 10 best marinas and tourist ports in Italy. There are some of the most interesting ports both for their prices and for the beauty of their infrastructure and proximity to places of interest. Get on board and be ready to set sail with us: our journey through the Italian tourist ports begins now!

10. Tourist ports in Italy: North Sardinia, port of Alghero

Tourist ports in Italy: Alghero, North Sardinia

Overlooking the North-Western coast of Sardinia, just below the bastions of the ancient city, there is one of the most fascinating tourist ports in Italy: the port of Alghero, a gem location in this region. For centuries, the port of the red coral town was a central trade in the Mediterranean: Genoese ships passed through here on their voyage’s Westwards, and for the other way Spanish and Maghrebi ships used that as a reference point as they sailed up the coast. From the 12th century, the famous Genoese family Doria decided to fortify it: they knew that such a strategic port grab the eye of some maritime power. And so, it did. In 1354, after months of siege, Alghero fell into the hands of the Aragonese, which made it one of its outposts in the centre of the Mediterranean. For centuries, Sardinian and Catalan cultures merged, giving rise to a new and unique city, with architecture, language, and traditions as original as any in the world.

Today the port of Alghero is among the best Italian tourist ports, a magical and perfect place to land discovering one of the splendid cities of North Sardinia in the iconic setting of one of the most beautiful seaside cities in Italy. Here you will find also Marina di Sant'Elmo, a port that can accommodate up to 100 boats and superyachts of up to 70 metres, where privacy, discretion and security are the keywords of 5-star service.

Another undisputed quality of the tourist port of Alghero is its geographical location: from here you can easily move around and visit some of the most interesting places in North Sardinia. Heading North along the Coral Riviera, just 10 km away you will find the Nuragic Village of Palmavera dating back to the Bronze Age, nowadays also used as a special location for outdoor concerts; a little further on, near the enchanting Mugoni beach, you will find the Nuragic complex of Sant'Imbenia. Continuing along the coast, after about 8km, you will reach the famous Grotte di Nettuno (Neptune's Caves) and Capo Caccia: amazing karst caves, rich in stalactites and stalagmites, which seem to have been embroidered by nature itself. At this point, we recommend that you go about thirty kilometres inland to visit the pre-Nuragic necropolis of Angelu Ruju and taste the wine prepared using ancient methods that have made this site famous throughout the world. Continuing South, you will find yourself in the presence of the Domus de Janas S'Incantu, underground tombs of great visual impact. At this point, if you feel homesick for the sea, you can return to the coast South of Alghero and visit the beautiful Parco Archeologico Nuraghe Appiu and the Necropolis of Puttu Codinu, which are no more than 30km from the city of Alghero.

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Hand the floor over to: Rita D'Appello, Associazione Bayou Club Events


“What makes the Port of Alghero unique, internationally and in every season, as an icon of culture, tourism and events in the city and throughout North Sardinia?”

A: "The Port of Alghero is one of the largest tourist ports in the Mediterranean with over 2500 berths. Its peculiarity is that of creating a unique view of the historic centre, being able to moor at the foot of the ancient city walls. Its birth it dates back to the 12th century with the Doria family, but it is from the Catalan-Aragonese domination that the ancient city and its port retain the strongest influences: in the architecture, in the churches, in the bastions and in the language which is still spoken after centuries. From the Port there's an access through the sea gate, the ancient entrance to the fortress city directly on Piazza Civica, being able to immerse in the streets and alleys of the historic centre, where in all seasons of the year you can visit the museums, boutiques and especially craft shops dedicated to red coral, the undisputed symbol of the city. One last curiosity: for a few years now, in June the Dogana dock has become the international catwalk for the WRC Rally, where the dive of the winning drivers has become one of the symbols of the Sardinian stage of the world championship."

A small port in the night. The dark, calm water. The lights of the village. The shadows of the moored boats. And that soft silence as if everything had found its refuge.

F.Caramagna

9. Ports of Syracuse

Tourist ports in Italy: Syracuse

And here we are in Sicily. Among all the magnificent ports of the island, today we want to talk about those of Syracuse. This is a port on the Ionian coast of Sicily made up of three distinct units: the Grand Port and the Marmoreal Port on the island of Ortigia and Porto Rifugio, located in the Northern part of the city and used for petrochemical activities.

From the visitors point of view, the two tourist ports of Ortigia are undoubtedly the most fascinating: gateways to one of UNESCO's world heritage sites, the ports of Ortigia are the most attractive for tourists as they're located right at the centre of the Mediterranean, so there is no need to dwell on the strategic value that its port has had over the centuries.

To date, the tourist ports of Syracuse were opened to cruise ships at the beginning of the new millennium: since then, various economic interventions have followed to improve the entire marina area. The two harbours also host numerous pleasure and sailing ships. Several famous regattas, such as the international Syracuse-Malta regatta, the Rotta del Vino (Marzamemi-Siracusa-Riposto) and the Odyssail regatta on the Ulysses route, which starts in Sardinia, crosses the Mediterranean touching Syracuse and ending in Athens, also depart from here.

No wind is favourable for the sailor who does not know which port he wants to land in.

Seneca

8. Ports of Crotone

Tourist ports in Italy: Crotone

Our journey discovering Italian tourist ports goes on as we land in Calabria. Destination? Crotone, with its two tourist ports: the Old Port (Vecchio) and the New Port (Nuovo). The Porto Vecchio in the South is mainly used by fishing boats, berths and ships in transit. Here you can find technical assistance and the seabed is up to 5 metres deep, the crosswinds are sirocco and libeccio. In the Northern area lies the New Port, characterised by large expanses of water and long quays equipped for tourist purposes. Here you will find pleasure boats, yachts, moorings, refuelling and storage stations. At Porto Nuovo, there is also loading and unloading of goods, while the seabed in the area of the Forche beach is up to 9 metres deep. Here the crosswinds are the tramontane and the mistral.

The tourist ports of Crotone were founded as early as the 7th century and belonged to Magna Graecia. For centuries Crotone was an important port of call in the Mediterranean, but the real boom came in the early decades of the 20th century when Calabria was industrialised.

Peace I do not seek, war I do not endure / quiet and alone I go through the world in a dream / full of stifled songs. I yearn for / the fog and silence in a great port.

Dino Campana

7. Port of Favignana

Tourist ports in Italy: Favignana

This is the only port located on the island of the same name, the largest of the Egadi Islands. It is located in the inlet called Cala Principale, a strip of land between Punta del Faraglione and Punta di S. Nicola. The pier extends almost 90 metres southwards from the main wharf and plunges into the cove. In the southern part, a well-protected dock houses quays and yards for tourist use.

At the tourist port of Favignana, you can see many different types of boats: pleasure boats, fishing boats, tuna boats, ferries and hydrofoils. Numerous nautical services can be found in the town.

It has always seemed indecent to me not to go and see everything in the world. One should sail on all the oceans, discover all the ports.

Olivier de Kersauson

6. Marina of Nettuno

Tourist ports in Italy: Marina of Nettuno

Just over an hour's drive from Rome is the beautiful marina of Nettuno, a place suspended between the past and the future. Embellished by the nearby ancient village, the marina's technical efficiency and natural beauty make it a top ten choice.

The marina of Nettuno was inaugurated in 1986 and just a few years of life has managed to take its place among the best tourist ports in Italy in the opinion not only of locals but also of international customers. Since the first year of its establishment, the port of Nettuno has been awarded the Blue Flag every year by the Foundation for Environmental. Major sailing regattas are held in its Gulf every year. It is also perfect for pleasure boating thanks to its 3 km of quays, 14 piers, 800 berths and the constant assistance of the control tower for manoeuvres in and out of the port.

Find out the beauty of the Italian Capital with Visit Rome Pass

Everyone here is beautifully tanned and there are a great many of those odd, mahogany-coloured, bare-chested sailors with earrings and crimson belts, who seem to populate a southern port with the chorus of "Masaniello".

H. James

5. Old Port of Naples

Tourist ports in Italy: Old Port of Naples

The Old Port of Naples is a true gateway to one of Italy's most beautiful cities, a crossroads of people and goods, and a reference point for the entire region. Its foundation dates back to the 8th century by the Greeks: later, with the advent of the Angevins, it was enlarged along with the city. The Angevin wharf was built at the behest of Charles II at the beginning of the 14th century; in 1487 Ferrante of Aragon had the lighthouse called the 'Lanterna del Molo' built. Finally, under the Bourbons, the Port of Naples became one of the best equipped in Europe, hosting Venetian, Danish, English, Genoese and Turkish military and merchant fleets.

Later, the Old Port of Naples became a great naval arsenal, which gave birth to legendary ships such as the Real Ferdinando I, the first steamship in the Mediterranean. Today, the Port of Naples is a preferred access point to the Neapolitan city as a dock for cruise ships as well as a merchant port. The city centre is within walking distance

Find out the city in the shadow of Vesuvius with Naples Pass

4. Porto Sant'Ercole

In the heart of the Tuscan Maremma, is located Porto Sant'Ercole, a port with a very ancient history: its foundation dates back to Etruscan times and its transformation into a port in Roman times. The bastion of Santa Barbara, which can still be seen today, was built in the Byzantine era, testifying to the continuous use of Porto Sant'Ercole over the centuries. The fortress, on the other hand, was founded at the end of the 1200s by the Countess of Savoy, Margherita Aldobrandeschi. In the following century, the Torre di Terra, the nucleus of the fortress, was inherited by the famous Orsini family, who decided to expand the village by adding, among other things, the church of Sant'Erasmo.

Porto Ercole flourished, however, in the 15th century under the rule of the Republic of Siena, which made it a point of reference for the entire Argentario coast. Porto Ercole was the scene of famous battles such as the one that saw Siena and France lined up on opposite sides against Florence, an ally of the Spanish: the Battle of Porto Ercole was immortalised by Vasari in the Sala del Cinquecento.

With the Peace of Chateau-Cambrésis, Porto Ercole came under Spanish rule and experienced a new European boom. In 1610 Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio died here.

In the 18th century, Porto Ercole experienced a slow decline until, in the post-Napoleonic era, it acquired a new dignity as one of the most beautiful Italian tourist ports thanks to the excellent publicity it received from Juliana, Queen of Holland, who was on holiday in the region. We recommend that you follow in the Queen's footsteps and visit the four forts, the churches of Sant'Erasmo and San Rocco and the village. If you are travelling by boat, a short distance from the port you will find Cala Galera, where numerous boats and VIP yachts moor.

Any wind is a sea wind, and any city, even the most continental, is maritime during windy hours. There is a smell of the sea, no, but: there is sea air, we add the smell. Even the desert wind is of the sea, even the steppe wind is of the sea. For beyond every steppe and every desert - there is the sea, the desert beyond, the steppe beyond... Every lane where the wind blows is the lane of a port.

Marina Cvetaeva

3. Portovenere

Tourist ports in Italy: Portovenere

Portovenere is an ancient village at the western end of the Ligurian Gulf, one of the most idyllic villages on the coast. Looking at the houses in Portovenere you can still identify the typical architecture of the colonies of the Maritime Republic of Genoa, which wanted the houses both as places to live and as defensive structures in case of attack from the sea.

In Portovenere, in addition to the beautiful tourist port, you can also visit the walls strengthened by towers, the Castle and other medieval structures that have contributed to making this town a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Portosole of Sanremo

Tourist ports in Italy: Portosole of Sanremo

Set in the splendid setting of the City of Flowers and Music, the port of Sanremo is one of the most picturesque harbours in the whole of Liguria and certainly among the most popular tourist ports in italy.

Portosole has over 800 berths and is one of the largest tourist marinas in the whole Mediterranean basin. In Sanremo, you can see boats up to 90 metres long, luxury charters and high-profile private yachts.

Many VIPs come to Sanremo on their luxury yachts, especially during the summer and the Sanremo Festival week. In the marina area, you will find everything you need for your boating holiday: ship chandler, assistance with onboard electronics, nautical upholstery and specialised boat laundry.

It was a small port, it was a door open to dreams.

Umberto Saba

1. Tourist ports in Italy: Old Port of Trieste

Tourist ports in Italy: Old Port of Trieste

Trieste's Porto Vecchio (Old Harbour) is a fascinating port architecture from the Italian industrial era and 19th century Europe. The Porto Vecchio was built in the 13th century but was only enlarged in 1869 when the Suez Canal was opened. What makes the Old Port of Trieste unique and unmissable is its difference from all the other marinas in the Mediterranean: the construction and organisation of its buildings are based on the model of Northern European cities where the port area of the city was built according to the circulation of goods. In particular, the port of Trieste is reminiscent of Hamburg's Speicherstadt.

In the Porto Vecchio of Trieste, you can still admire the five original piers, the breakwater of 1875, the hydrodynamic power station (a unique structure in the world, still equipped with all the original machinery), the electric station, the warehouses, and the original construction patents. You will still find the remains of the picturesque grass-roofed harbour inn and the old hangars. You can park right in the streets adjacent to the Port and discover the wonders of this relic of the industrial age exploring on foot the beautiful city of Trieste, capital of science 2020, city of sea, wind, coffee and writers.

Here ends our boat trip, a journey through and around our seas discovering the best tourist ports in Italy. What was your favorite?

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