Italy — diving centers, country, description and general recommendations for tourists

General information about the country

Diving in Italy means diving in warm and crystalline water. The country of pizza, pasta, fine wine and great ice-cream also has a lot to offer underwater. Italy’s coastline is 4,996 km long and is dotted with beautiful bays and beaches — both sandy and rocky. There are also many interesting islands around Italy which invite scuba divers and freedivers alike — maybe even more so than do the beaches. All of the islands of Italy combined account for one-sixth of the country's total area of about 300,000 km2.

Why is Italy such a popular destination?

Italy boasts a large, well-developed touristic infrastructure. There are numerous hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and most importantly: a lot of diving centers. Italy is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, more specifically by 4 of its subdivided seas: Ligurian, Tyrreon, Ionian and Adriatic. Italy is almost entirely in the subtropical climate zone — you can dive year-round.

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What are the best dive sites in Italy

The best dive sites in Italy are in its western and southern regions, as well as around its many islands, of which the best known are: SicilySardinia and Elba. It is worth noting that there are also many lakes in mainland Italy which attract scuba and freediving enthusiasts. These lakes include Lake Garda and Como. The inland lakes tend to have cold waters, however. It is best to dive them in dry coveralls.

One of the most highly recommended areas for diving in Italy is Sicily. This island is dotted with diving centers and great places for practicing the underwater sport. With just a little bit of luck, you can encounter dolphins, barracudas, shoals, and colorful nudibranchs.

Another highly recommended location is Sardinia, where, apart from its recreational diving sites, there are numerous underwater caves for more advanced divers.

The smaller islands of Italy are also interesting, and there is no shortage of them. One of these that is particularly interesting is Ustica, located 70 km from Palermo. There you will find a gorgeous nature reserve where fishing is rationed. Limited fishing means a booming fishlife, which furthermore translates to great opportunities for meeting interesting underwater specimens. We especially recommend night diving here.

A bay that deserves attention is the Bay of Naples. Not far from Vesuvius is the once-famous city of Baja. A large part of this city sank centuries ago — today, its majority is underwater. The city is still studied by underwater archeologists, but despite its archeological site status, you can still dive there commercially and admire the well-preserved marble floors, statues and roads it has to offer — all built in years before Christ.

Italy definitely makes it to our personal list of Europe's top countries for diving. Besides its awesome diving sites and centers, it is a country rich in culinary treats, sightseeing destinations, and warm, sunny, breezy beaches. What more could you possibly desire?