We spent a major part of our 2009 cruising season in Southern Italy. What can we say? We loved Southern Italy, especially Sicily. And despite what everyone says that it can be expensive, we managed to thread our way through with our wallet mostly in-tact. We did this by avoiding the most expensive places as much as possible, although we were forced to shell-out precious euros once or twice.
We departed Gaeta (between Rome and Naples) in early May and sailed to Vibo Valentia before taking a month off to do other things. Next we sailed to the Aeolian Islands and then northern and western Sicily before sailing to Tunisia and Malta with a stop at the remote island of Pantelleria along the way. We returned to eastern Sicily, stopping in Siracusa and Riposto (Mt. Etna), before sailing to the ‘boot’ of Italy. The logbook entries are organized into four separate legs in reverse chronological order below. Photo galleries and maps are provided for each individual leg.
Logbook Entries for Southern Italy and Sicily 2009
Leg 4: Siracusa, Etna and the “Boot” of Italy
We returned to Southern Italy in mid-August 2009 after a month visiting Tunisia and Malta with a brief stop-over in Pantelleria (Italy) along the way. After repairing the engine and visiting with friends Alan, Joan and their daughter, Lauren, of s/v Moonstruck in Malta, we sailed to eastern Sicily and spent a wonderful week at anchor in the beautiful harbor of Siracusa — a welcome break from the heat while staying in marinas further south. As August drew to a close, we felt the end-of-season pull to reach our final destinations: Greece and Turkey. We sailed to the ‘boot’ of Italy before crossing the Ionian Sea to Greece.
- Santa Maria di Leuca
- Riposto (Mt. Etna)
- Porto Palo
- Pantelleria (en route from Tunisia to Malta)
Here’s a photo gallery of Leg 4 of our cruise through Southern Italy and Sicily:
Leg 3: Western Sicily, Ustica and the Egadi Islands
We spent just over a week at the Lega Navale (yacht club) in Termini Imerese — a perfect base for trips inland to visit Greek and Phoenician sites in the area as well as to sample the local food and wine of Sicily. Having visited Palermo by train, we decided against visiting this busy port with Gyatso and opted instead for going directly to Ustica, a small island 35 miles to the northwest where we spent two nights in the tiny harbor alongside a German-flagged yacht with friendly cruisers aboard. On 1 July, we arrived in Trapani where we spent six nights, including three in a marina, one at anchor at Favignana in the Egadi Islands, and two nights on a mooring back in Trapani. We motored about 20 miles down the coast to Marsala on 7 July and spent eight days there before crossing the Strait of Sicily to Tunisia.
Here’s a photo gallery of Leg 3 of our cruise through Southern Italy and Sicily:
Leg 2: Aeolian Islands to Northern Sicily
The second leg of our 2009 cruising season began on 14 June when we departed Vibo Valentia marina in the early evening after a very pleasant one month stay. We timed our departure to the Aeolian Islands (named for Aeolus, the god of wind) so that we could pass by Stromboli, an active volcano, at nighttime. We also visited the islands of Vulcano and Lipari before sailing to Cefalu and then Termini Imerese on the north shore of Sicily.
Here’s a photo gallery of Leg 2 of our cruise through Southern Italy and Sicily:
Leg 1: Gaeta to Vibo Valentia
For the first leg of our 2009 cruising season, we spent one-week sailing from Gaeta to Vibo Valentia in Southern Italy where we ended up staying for one-month. While we were underway, David received word that a retreat he was interested in attending had been scheduled at the last minute at Rabten-Choeling Tibetan Center in Switzerland. We decided to interrupt our sailing trip so that he could attend. Lisa helped transfer a friend’s boat to Sicily while David was away.
Here’s a photo gallery of Leg 1 of our cruise through Southern Italy and Sicily: