The romance and majestic beauty of Tuscany have inspired many a novel and love story. It seems that almost every aspect of art and culture in the region has been duplicated and dispersed throughout the world; many homes are decorated in Tuscan style, with luxury textiles and rich colours, and it's safe to say that every true gourmand has sampled a taste of authentic Tuscan cuisine.
Tuscany is on the bucket list of travellers across the globe, with Florence being almost a household name in the travel industry. What many people are unaware of however is that one of the best ways to explore this breath-taking region is by boat.
The Tuscan coastline is a long stretch of unfettered sailing territory stretching from Livorno to Piombino. Also known as the Etruscan Coast, it offers visitors easy access to seven beautiful islands, important archaeological sites and charming villages.
While the thought of sailing in Italy may conjure up images of celebrities on yachts or holidays reserved for the ridiculously wealthy, the truth is that chartering a yacht or catamaran is much more accessible than many think.
Much like renting a car, travellers can hire a boat to explore at their leisure. Bareboat charters, as they are called, simply require one person with provable sailing experience to captain the vessel. Perhaps best of all, travellers have full accommodations taken care of, as they can sleep in comfortable berths and even cook in the boat's galley kitchen. While on board, a world of Tuscan wonders can be discovered from the sea.
The island of Elba is widely regarded as the most beautiful of the archipelago in this region. It is the largest of the islands; the largest remaining land mass that connected Corsica and Italy.
For sailors, Elba offers a coastline full of inlets with harbours and anchorages. This makes it easy to go ashore and discover the cultural and terrestrial riches of the area, which include incredible cuisine, white beaches, crystal clear waters for snorkelling and historical sites such as the mansion used by Napoleon during his exile on the island.
From Elba one can set sail for Capraia, a volcanic island known for wine and anchovy fishery as well as the impressive fortress of St. George. Divers (or just lovers of incredibly beautiful ocean waters) might head to Giglio for and incredible underwater experience, or to hike one of many pristine mountain paths.
Each island and village along the Tuscan coast offers something unique and interesting for visitors to discover. Aboard a yacht, one can experience the true essence of the region and access many attractions that are off the beaten track.
To learn more about sailing in Tuscany, click here.