It’s the birthplace of the Renaissance, a mecca of design, art, architecture, fashion, romance and cuisine. It’s proudly perched on the interface between the Old World and the new wave. But Italy, projecting into the Mediterranean Sea like a long haute-couture boot, also tempts divers with an extremely long coastline, myriad islands and warm, clear water inviting you to slip beneath the surface. Sardinia is known for three things: its beaches, the clarity of its water and colorful underwater scenes. Sicily, Italy’s largest island, offers many opportunities to dive in some of the country's warmest water. In the Tuscany Archipelago, Elba is the island made famous by Napoleon’s nearly year-long exile. But for divers, the island offers much more welcoming possibilities like pelagic animals and breathtaking drop-offs. Isole Pontine, a volcanic archipelago between Rome and Naples that includes Ponza and Ventotene Islands, offers interesting topography for divers, including caves, caverns, grottoes and wrecks.
- St. Elmo’s Rock, Sardinia – This is a dive site with caves and caverns that hosts nearly all the species you could encounter in the entire Mediterranean.
- Secca del Papa, Sardinia – This site has imposing granite formations and fish life dancing around the rocks.
- Aci Trezza, Sicily – Just off the coast are three tall column-shaped islands, called the Ciclopi Rocks, which, according to legend, Polyphemus threw at Ulysses. In addition to the dark volcanic rocks, colorful basalt and huge sea fans, you'll have the chance to see wrecks dating from Roman times all the way through the two World Wars.
- Punta di Fetovaia, Elba – This dive site is marked by red, white and yellow gorgonians, lobsters, barracuda and pelagic fish, as well as schools of chromis and grouper.
- Saint Lucia, Rome – Sunk during WWII, this wreck lies in 44 metres/145 feet of water. Although, in two pieces, the propeller, the anchors and the stern handrail are still intact. Visibility is usually good and photographers appreciate the marine life that has colonized the wreck.
- Costacuti Reef, Rome – This dive site features a gorgonian encrusted wall which drops to more than 40 metres/130 feet with a Roman anchor at its base.
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Visibility – Ranges widely, but you'll find some of the best off Italy’s Mediterranean islands – up to 50 meters/165 feet.
Water Temperature – From 15-25°C/60-80°F depending on time of year, location and depth.
Weather – The weather in Italy is typically mild by European standards, but can vary widely by location. Expect an average winter low of 3°C/38°F and winter high of 13°C/55°F. Summer average lows are approximately 18°C/64°F and summer highs are about 29°C/85°F.
Featured Creatures – You'll find typical Mediterranean life like congers, nudibranchs, lobster and reefs with colorful corals, gorgonians and sponges.
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.
Language – Italian with English spoken in tourist areas.
Currency – Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Major Airports – Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport outside of Rome and Milan’s three airports – Milano Malpensa Airport, Linate Airport and Caravaggio Airport Bergamo Orio al Serio are among Italy’s busiest. You can also fly into airports like Palermo Airport on Sicily, Cagliari-Elmas Airport on Sardinia, and others.
Electricity and Internet – Electricity is 230 volts, 50 Hz. Internet service is widely available.
Topside Attractions – There is so much to see and do in Italy. Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Lake Como, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and the Canals of Venice among many other attractions.