Sailing directions for Tuscany and Elba - including Cinqueterre  
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The Tuscany Islands and Elba

Tuscan Sea

WHERE THE ROMAN EMPERORS WENT ON HOLIDAY

This typically Italian itinerary provides a unique balance between nature, history, art and gastronomy. An ideal extension of a holiday in Tuscany, 'Cypresses and Wine' gives the opportunity to dive in the blue waters of Elba, to feel the magic of a lonely Roman villa at Giannutri, to get lost at the village at Giglio, to sail to the impressive Capraia island and to discover the Scottish landscape of Capo Corso and its windswept hills. All these emotions you can duly wash down with excellent Brunello or Vernaccia, while sampling the variety of the Tuscan cuisine. And let's not forget the Park of Argentario and the beauty of Porto Ercole
 
SAILING SEASON
April though November (but if you swim in November we give you a discount)
NATURAL BEAUTY - (seascapes and landscapes)
The long coast of Elba Island provides numberless bays and coves for quiet nights. For a more dramatic landscape and if you love Scotland, add the Corsican diversion. The Island of Capraia is among the most spectacular in the Mediterranean, but if you agree that jewels are usually small, then visit Giannutri!
LOCAL INSIGHT
One wonders if there still is such a thing as a 'native' in Tuscany, now that most English celebrities and every retired German couple have bought land and property in every corner of Tuscany, thnece started making wine and olive oil... Still, they did a very good job, preserving a heritage many Italians were losing to rush behind easy profits. You might find that the language barrier does not exist around there.
ART & MUSEUMS
The Roman Villa on Giannutri is a magical place, even if most art is close by, in Pisa and Florence. The villages at Giglio and Elba, and Centuri harbour (Corsica) are worth a visit.
STYLE, ELEGANCE & SOCIAL LIFE
The area of Porto Ercole and Argentario, with the close-by Capalbio, have always been a favourite among the smart and not too noisy set. Venues in the whole area are common, and fortunately targeted well far from the youngsters.
GASTRONOMY & WINES
Where to begin? Tuscan cuisine is appreciated in the world for its fine natural and flavourful ingredients, it's a typical expression of the Mediterranean diet, considered among others, the most wholesome and tasty. Olive oil, pasta, fish and first choice meat: with this few basic ingredients the tuscan local chefs can create exceptional dishes.
Among the produce of which Tuscany is of some importance is white truffles, a much appreciated variety. Other ingredients such as wild asparagus and herbage also contribute to the rediscover of simple flavourful dishes (pappa al pancotto, ribollita, hearty vegetable soups), where olive oil is the star ingredient, strictly bought from the local olive press.

That easygoing Italian way of life that visitors find so alluring and desirable, la dolce vita, is indisputably linked to the Italians' instinctive knowledge of how to drink and eat well. In today's society, many ancient culinary traditions and characteristics of Italy's distinct regional cuisines are still commonplace, even more so here than other parts of Europe. Traditional recipes passed down through the family are worth their weight in gold. The dinner table is the scene of many conversations, debates and decisions; favorite foods evoke happy memories, good health and comfort.

As for local ingredients, the Fiorentina steak is renowned, the unique Colonnata Lard, the savoury Bottarga from Orbetello, several types of cured meat like the Tarese and the Biroldo. Local specialties that must be tried are the famous Caciucco alla Livornese, the local tomato/garlic/oli based fish soup, the Ribollita, a vegetable and bread soup, cabbage crostini, pappardelle with hare sauce, roast loin of pork, the Stracotto (braised beef) and the Frittata di Carciofi (artichoke omelette).

Wines: world renowned Brunello, hianti and Vernaccia.
SAILING DIRECTIONS

A cruise in the Northern Tyrrenian will typically start and end either in the Elba area or in the Argentario area. The main highlights might be chosen, according to preference, in the following list.

Elba. Even if rather big is size, being the third island in Italy, it might indeed provide enough varieties for a whole week, with its different landscapes, romantic fishing villages, hamlets hidden among the hills, ancient castles, not to mention the white beaches and emerald bays!!

Giglio. This small island has a magnificent harbour and a short hike will take you up to the 'Castle', a pure Genoese citadel with its alleys, shops, ladies drying theit laudry by the windows and elders playing cards in the bars.

Giannutri. This tiny Island, with two magnificent coves, is definitely worth a stroll, love among the ruins style, with old marble columns and walls coming out of the perfumed pines and bushes... a magical atmosphere.

Pianosa. those who loved the literary cult 'Catch 22' will certainly desire to stop in this former prison island, and they will discover that the tiny harbour is pictoresque but there is not a single WWII airfield... pity.

Capraia. Another former prison, closed a decade ago, Capraia deserves a visit for its dramatic wilderness and romantic harbour. Where, by the way, there is a very good restaurant. Conveniently located between Corsica and Elba, is a nice stopover, especially for hikers.

Argentario. Attached to the mainland by a thin isthmus, the Orbetello lagoon, the Argentario peninsula is a natural reserve where many members of the old money erected their summer retreats. The balance of nature and architecture is a rare example along the Tyrrenian coast, and Porto Ercole, an ancient fishermen's village with unspoilt atmosphere is the sparkling center of the area.

Cape Corse. The northern tip of Corsica is something one does not expect in the Mediterranean. One of the windiest places in the Med, actually windier than Ushuaia, in the Beagle Channel (Argentine Patagonia), its high but not steep profile is as green and barren as a Scottish mountain. The famous 'Custom House Hike' will accompany the curious hikes among spectacular bays, seabird nesting points, old Genoese towers, white sand dunes and bright meadows. Macinaggio is a convenient and rather nice port, while Centuri, on the wind side, is a tiny fishermen's village that, weather permitting, will impress in one's memories.

 

 
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Related links

Armstrong Global: private tours, maritime culture, bareboat rental, independent journeys, crewed charters and gourmet holidays in Tuscany

Price list for our bareboats in the Area

 
   
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