Italy, commanding a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance treasures such as Michelangelo?s David" and its leather and paper artisans; Venice

"Italy (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja] (listen)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [reˈpubblika itaˈljaːna]), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in south-central Europe, and it is also considered a part of western Europe. A unitary parliamentary republic with its capital in Rome, the country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in Tunisian waters (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the third-most populous member state of the European Union.

Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to myriad peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout what is now modern-day Italy, the most predominant being the Indo-European Italic peoples who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians and Carthaginians founded colonies mostly in insular Italy, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia of Southern Italy, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively. An Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People. The Roman Republic initially conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the Italian peninsula, eventually expanding and conquering parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became a leading cultural, political and religious centre, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's law, technology, economy, art, and literature developed. Italy remained the homeland of the Romans and the metropole of the empire, whose legacy can also be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments, Christianity and the Latin script.

During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured the fall of the Western Roman Empire and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through trade, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism. These mostly independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe; however, part of central Italy was under the control of the theocratic Papal States, while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin, Aragonese and other foreign conquests of the region. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Nevertheless, Italy's commercial and political power significantly waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of rivalry and infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left Italy fragmented and several Italian states were conquered and further divided by multiple European powers over the centuries.

By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1861, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy rapidly industrialised, namely in the north, and acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained largely impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the four main allied powers in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of the Italian fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy the country abolished their monarchy, established a democratic Republic and enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, becoming a highly developed country.Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the world's eighth-largest economy by nominal GDP (third in the Eurozone), sixth-largest national wealth and third-largest central bank gold reserve. It ranks very highly in life expectancy, quality of life, healthcare, and education. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs; it is both a regional power and a great power, and is ranked the world's eighth most-powerful military. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more. The country has long been a global centre of art, music, literature, philosophy, science and technology, and fashion, and has greatly influenced and contributed to diverse fields including cinema, cuisine, sports, jurisprudence, banking and business. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to the world's largest number of World Heritage Sites (55), and is the fifth-most visited country." Wikipedia

Latest Reviews

Naples / Napoli

We moored up at the marina in the evening and spent the next day exploring the city including a tour of Herculaneum.


We moored up in the busy capital for a few days and hired a car to explore the southern region and stopped at Villa San Martino and Porto Azzuro.


We explored the medieval city fondly known as 'Barceloneta' and then went to the Nuraghe Palmavera tower which had a dome shaped ceiling that dates back to 1100 years BC. A very interesting and pretty region of Italy.


We moored up to find the marina full of plastic bottles and later explored the city including the catacombs. We enjoyed the food and atmosphere.


We took a taxi from Palemero to this great little town and loved exploring it.


We spent a few days in Sorrento arriving by Ferry from Naples. It’s a very busy (congested) town with lots of small streets with tourist bars and restaurants. Down on the sea front we found a great restaurant on top of a pier over the sea.


We stayed in Sorrento towards the end of the season and found the weather still pleasant and the town buzzing with activity, if at times a little over-populated, and certainly the streets were congested almost all day.


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Top Marinas, Harbours and Anchorages

Explore using map view
1 . Ventimiligia

2 . Bordighera

Baie Verde
3 . Baie Verde

Capo Pino
4 . Capo Pino

San Remo
5 . San Remo

Arma Di Taggia
6 . Arma Di Taggia

Degli Aregai
7 . Degli Aregai

San Lorenzo Al Mare
8 . San Lorenzo Al Mare

San Lorenzo
9 . San Lorenzo

Fishing harbour.

Porto Maurizio
10 . Porto Maurizio

11 . Oneglia

Diano Marina
12 . Diano Marina

San Bartolomeo Al Mare
13 . San Bartolomeo Al Mare

14 . Andora

15 . Alassio

Gallinara Island
16 . Gallinara Island

17 . Loano

Finale Ligure
18 . Finale Ligure

19 . Savona

20 . Varazze

21 . Arenzano

Genoa Old Harbour
22 . Genoa Old Harbour

Genoa Molo Vecchio
23 . Genoa Molo Vecchio

24 . Abruzzi

Sestri Ponente
25 . Sestri Ponente

Genova Aeroporto
26 . Genova Aeroporto

Fiera di Genova
27 . Fiera di Genova

28 . Camogli

Carlo Riva
29 . Carlo Riva

30 . Chiavari

... more

See the top 100 marinas and harbours

Top Towns

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1 . Alghero
(Sardinia Island )

A stunning large town on the north-western coast of Sardinia with a backdrop of rolling hills. Home to a large marina that leads south to the old town and north to a popular white sandy beach and c...

2 . Portoferraio
(Elba Island )

Portoferraio is a busy capital on the northern coast of Elba Island and known for Napeoleon's exile. The city is built around the inner bank of a wide bay and hosts a harbour and quayside to the no...

Naples / Napoli
3 . Naples / Napoli

Naples is a large city to the west of Mount Vesuvius on the west coast of Italy. It is home to a large harbour and port for day trips to nearby islands and towns.

4 . Sorrento

Sorrento is a large north facing coastal town built along the cliff edges of the peninsula overlooking Mount Vesuvius.

5 . Porticello
(Sicily Island )

A eastern facing town on the northern coast of Sicily near inland Bagheria and Palmero.

6 . Palermo
(Sicily Island )

An historic and popular capital city of Sicily on the north-western coast of the island. Set on flat land surrounded by towering mountains it is a stunning sight. Home to a large commercial port wi...

7 . Leuca

This large town on the south-eastern rocky tip of Italy's Salento Peninsula and home to a large marina protected by a long break-water under the tall white lighthouse tower.

8 . Otranto

Otranto is a busy town on the south-eastern tip of Italy, often used as a stop towards Corfu..

9 . Capri
(Capri Island )

Capri is a very popular tourist island town that sits across the saddle of the island between the two marinas. The steep access is eased by the funicular from Marina Grande.

10 . Positano

Positano is a beautiful hillside town close to Sorrento. It has a series of small bays but no marina or harbour.

Vico Equense
11 . Vico Equense

Vico Equense has a few coastal buildings but is mostly set back from the coast a short distance up the road from Sorrento and offers a marina and a harbour.

Castellammare di Stabia
12 . Castellammare di Stabia

At the most inner southern point of the bay of Naples and home to two marinas behind a long breakwater.

13 . Ventimiglia

A small city on the north-western coast if Italy at the mouth of the river Roya close to the French border.

14 . Ospedaletti

A hill-side town on the north-western coast of Italy

San Remo
15 . San Remo

An hillside city also known as Sanremo and the 'city of flowers' found on the north-western coast of Italy. Home to a wide sandy beach between the old and new marinas.

Riva Ligure
16 . Riva Ligure

A small town on the north-western coast of Italy with a tiny habour for local boats.

San Lorenzo al Mare
17 . San Lorenzo al Mare

A small town on the north-western coast of Italy.

18 . Imperia

A popular small city at the mouth of the river Impero on the north-western coast of Italy now merged with Port Maurizio home to a large marina.

Diano Marina
19 . Diano Marina

A large town on the north-western coast of Italy with a long sandy beach and orange trees on the city streets. The promenade is conjoined with San Bartolomeo al Mare.

20 . Andora

A popular town located on the north-western coast of Italy at the mouth of river Merula in the valley of two hills that form Capes. The long sandy beach runs around the cove up to the busy large ma...

21 . Alassio

A popular town in a long sweeping sandy cove at the foot of the mountains in north-western Italy. A marina is tucked in around the eastern cape.

22 . Albenga

A popular historical small city on the north-western coast of Italy on the mouth of the river Centa.

23 . Loano

A town located in a valley on the north-western coast of Italy.

Finale Ligure
24 . Finale Ligure

A busy hillside town on the north-western coast of Italy lined with a long white sandy beach. The town extends up into the hillside where two castles can be found.

25 . Noli

A popular small pretty town with a long white sandy beach lined with restaurants on a trews lined promenade.

26 . Spotorno

A popular town in a tree lined sandy beach cove under the mountainous backdrop.

Vado Ligure
27 . Vado Ligure

An industrial town on the north-western coast of Italy with a large commercial port and ferry terminal to Bastia, Ile Rousse and Calvi.

28 . Savona

A popular historic town on the north-western coast of Italy visited by cruise liners that tower over the local quayside residences and sailboats tucked into the old port close to the Primmer fortre...

29 . Albisola

A popular town located at the mouth of the river Riobasco.

30 . Varazze

A green and pretty hillside coastal town with a large semi-circular marina on the north-western coast of Italy. The tree lined promenade and beach are packed with sun-loungers.

... more

See the top 100 towns