Rising up from the Tyrrhenian Sea between the mainland of Italy and Corsica, the mountainous Tuscan Islands offer great anchorages close to the coast. For culture vultures, there aren’t many other places to match the extraordinary treasure chest of history, architecture and fine art – which can all be washed down with visits to some of Tuscany’s best wine producers. This is the gourmet and art lover’s idea of heaven.
Day 1: Viareggio
You’ll join the vessel at Viareggio Marina on the mainland; the nearest airport is in Pisa, just 21 kilometres away. You may find your crew has Opera by Giamcomo Puccini crooning from the speakers on your arrival – this is the birthplace of the man who wrote Madame Butterfly, La Boheme and Tosca. Puccini lived and worked in nearby Torre del Lago and his home is open to the public. If you’re a fan, the Puccini Festival runs from June to August.
You may wish to simply settle in on board, but if you have the energy, head for the town – a health and seaside resort since the early 1900s. Italy’s northern wealthy middle class used to swarm in during the summer months and left fabulous art nouveau buildings in their wake. Ten kilometres of beach beckon, or the yacht could set off in the early afternoon for a late lunch in the nearby Forte dei Marmi, either on board or at a local restaurant. You’ll probably head back to Viareggio for the night.