Italian Daze: The perfect riviera route to unwind after the Monaco Yacht Show
by Captain Emanuele Lombardo
Captain Emanuele Lombardo, of 23.9 metre Destiny, designs the perfect route to enjoy the last of the Mediterranean summer sun
While the bright lights and glamorous beach resorts west of Monaco may seem alluring, the Italian coastline to the east offers secluded bays, ancient monasteries and characterful ports. This itinerary by Emanuele Lombardo, skipper of Destiny, which is available for charter with bluewater, is tailor-made to help you unwind after the Monaco Yacht Show.
Day 1: Marina di Andora
Meet Destiny anchored just outside the small central port in Marina di Andora. Once settled on board, venture to the charming Single Fin bar for a sundowner before taking a taxi up the hill behind the village for dinner at La Casa del Priore. Set in an old stone farmhouse with panoramic views across the sea, it serves simple Italian dishes like fresh fish and homemade pasta.
Day 2: Punta Crena
After a quick spin around the private island of Gallinara, drop the anchor near Punta Crena in front of Baia dei Saraceni beach. One of the most beautiful spots on the Italian Riviera, dive off the yacht into aquamarine waters. Less than four miles away is the nature reserve of Bergeggi, which you can visit by kayak. The small romantic island is home to the ruin of a former monastery and an ancient lighthouse.
Day 3: San Fruttuoso
Destiny will drop anchor in the bay of San Fruttuoso, famous for its sprawling Catholic abbey on the beach. Tender to shore to visit the ancient Benedictine monastery, at the bottom of a steep wooded hill, which can only be reached by sea or on foot. In the afternoon divers on board can discover the Christ of the Abyss, a submerged life-size bronze statue of Jesus, which sits close to the shore at a depth of about 15 metres.
Day 4: Portofino
Arrive in the colourful bay of Portofino, one of Italy’s most iconic anchorages. Take the tenders and head for a swim in a small bay located just south- west of the village. Soak up the buzzing evening atmosphere and head for dinner on shore at the informal Trattoria Tripoli – try the beautifully fresh octopus and shrimp carpaccio and the pasta with fresh pesto.
Day 5: Vernazza
Spend the day exploring the centuries- old seaside villages that cling to the cliffsides of the Cinque Terre, known to be one of the best Italian superyacht destinations. Anchor in front of the small marina at the picturesque town of Vernazza and tender in for a tour before visiting Spiaggia del Canneto – one of the most beautiful bays in the region. Enjoy a sunset swim in the Gulf of La Spezia, also known as the Gulf of Poets, before mooring overnight in Porto Venere.
Day 6: La Porta della Caletta
Anchor in the small bay La Porta della Caletta for the final day on board. It is not easy to reach but it is a hidden paradise with calm, clear waters protected by limestone cliffs. Paddleboard or tender in for a walk along the deserted beach, only accessible by sea. Afterwards either cruise north-east to depart from Genoa or continue your exploration of the Italian coastline.
Hero picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Claudiovidri