Sailing in Italy's Ligurian Sea

The western coastline of Italy, from Genoa to Rome, is packed with stunning coves, high cliffs, clear water and incredible food and drink. I was lucky enough to spend a sun soaked week sailing off the Italian coast this summer, and during the week also doing some sailing courses/qualifications. Landing in Genoa, I went to the remarkable aquarium in the main bay (one of the best I have visited in the world), and after, headed to the marina, to meet the yacht that we were taking for the week.

Above you can see the yacht, ropes and sails everywhere, and the first day or two were absolutely hectic and panicked. Myself and my parents spent the first 48 hours tripping over every rope in sight, but to be honest most of the time it was because I was busy staring at the gorgeous coastline, or at some giant super yacht. These 100 metre long monstrosities powered past us every hour, creating massive waves that threatened to tip us over. This part of the Mediterranean is fairly calm (as long as the wind is not too strong) and so sailing down the coastline is simple and relaxing for the most part.

Every night in a new harbour, with some local restaurants and fantastic wine to enjoy, and new sights to soak up

Every night we 'moored' (parked) the boat in a small harbour and then simply stepped off the back of the yacht onto the street and into a whirlwind of Italian style and gastronomy. The glitzy Portofino area in particular is known for its high quality food (and should also be known for crazy prices as well).

We rose early, had breakfast under the morning sun on the deck of the yacht and then headed out into the bays to practice manoeuvres, find utterly deserted bays for swimming in and occasionally practice 'man overboard' drills by throwing someone off the boat! This part of Italy is very glitzy and glamorous, but there is a vast wealth of natural beauty in the coastline, and going from port to port sampling the food and wine and culture is certainly a pretty good way to do it!

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