Last Updated on 24/09/2022 by Alfred
Italy is known for many reasons: an ancestral culture and a very modern fashion industry. But, of course, Italy is also about culinary pleasures, whether pasta or Sicilian pizza.
All this to say, scuba diving is not the first activity one thinks of when planning a trip to Italy. Still, the country has excellent potential and several beautiful scuba diving sites.
Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Italy includes several thousand kilometers of coastline and a hundred islands.
This article is a detailed guide to scuba diving and snorkeling in Italy.
Best Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Italy
The best scuba diving sites in Italy
It is possible to dive into very diverse sites in Italy. The Mediterranean Sea has seen many ships pass by over the decades, so there are several wreck dive sites.
There are several sites with cultural interest, in addition to offering incredible underwater landscapes.
Liguria is a region in northwestern Italy that rises to France. This region is often referred to as the “Italian Riviera” about the “French Riviera” region. It is a popular but very posh destination. The Ligurian Sea is an extension of the Mediterranean located between the Italian coast and the island of Corsica.
Portofino is considered the birthplace of scuba diving in Italy. It is the center of its current industry. Several dive sites can be found near the town and surrounding villages. One of the best known is undoubtedly the “Abyss of Christ.” The statue was installed in 1954 in the bay of San Fruttuoso and rests at a depth of 16 meters/53 feet.
It was inaugurated in memory of the diver Dario Gonzatti, who died during a dive with a rebreather. Also, copies of the statue can be found in St. George’s, Grenada, and Key Largo, Florida.
Rome: You will find interesting scuba diving sites not far from Rome. The Costacuti reef is located very close to Anzio, Italy. The reef is suitable for advanced divers since the summit is 30 meters away, then the drop-off descends to recreational diving limits.
Sardinia: This island has a strong community of divers. There are indeed excellent scuba diving sites around the island. For example, St-Elmo’s Rock site offers cellars, caverns, and recognized biodiversity. Almost all the species found in the Mediterranean are also found in this region.
Sicily: Sicily is a very large island, offering some of the best dive sites in Italy. You will find sites for all levels and tastes. Black volcanic rocks, wrecks dating from the Roman Empire, world wars, or the modern era are highlights of the region.
Reviews about scuba diving in Italy
Scuba diving in Italy is mostly done from resorts on the coast or islands. It is an ideal destination for those who travel with non-divers or wish to combine diving and cultural discovery during their trip. Indeed, you will have the opportunity to do both.
If you want to take part in a diving cruise, it is possible, but there are very few. In fact, for cruises in charter or individual reservations, there is the Norseman, which travels the Tuscan archipelago.
Otherwise, you will probably be able to find private yachts. Prices are often cheaper than elsewhere, and it is possible to book without paying.
Prices of dives in Italy
Rates for diving in Italy vary depending on the region or island, especially the type of dive. Here is still an overview of the average price of dives for Italy:
A liveaboard: +/- 200€ per day
A snorkeling excursion: +/- 40€
2 Dives: +/- 110€
Price Course level 1 / Open Water: +/- 300€
Price Course Level 2 / Padi Open Water Advanced: +/- 400€
Price Course Level 3 / Rescue Diver: +/- 400€
We advise you not to look only for the lowest rate but choose your dive center according to where you feel best. Sometimes it makes sense to pay a little more and be in better conditions!
Best time to dive in Italy
The majority of divers in Italy practice underwater sports during the summer months.
The water temperature is then warm, varying between 15°C/59°F and 26°C/79°F. There are only a few degrees of difference between the sites further north and those in the south.
In winter, temperatures drop to less than 10°C/50°F, while in summer, they can reach 29°C/85°F.
Scuba diving centers in Italy usually offer the entire dive certification card. It is particularly an ideal country to pass its deep technical diving certification since several wrecks are quite deep.
Scuba diving conditions
The water temperature, as mentioned above, is the decisive factor in whether or not scuba diving is practiced. Visibility is generally good, around 20 meters/70 feet, and can go up to over 30 meters/100 feet.
Snorkeling in Italy
The Italian coasts are rocky, often steep, so it’s rare to find snorkeling spots. But, the beaches found on the country’s large islands offer a superb snorkeling opportunity.
Underwater fauna: Fish and Coral
The Mediterranean Sea includes a bio-diverse marine population concentrated around Italy. Italy is known for having an excellent array of marine life in its waters, among the most diverse in the region. You can dive on shipwrecks, statues, and pristine coral reefs. Indeed, you will encounter giant moray eels, octopuses, moonfish, scorpion fish, and more. There are also larger species, such as groupers, barracudas, and snappers.
If you are planning to go on a trip to Italy, I advise you to invest in good travel insurance that also covers scuba diving. You never know what can happen, and good insurance can get you out of difficult situations.
Italy is a superb destination, especially interesting for travelers and divers who want to combine cultural discoveries, excellent cuisine, and water sports!
We hope the content “Best Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Italy” was helpful to you.