Surfing in Italy
Italy is the perfect place to go if you want a different kind of surf trip. The country is known for their exquisite cuisine, art, architecture, fashion, history, literature and so on. There are plenty of tourist attractions, and on top of that, some good surf breaks. Due to the fact that the country has great exposure to all swell directions you will be able to find good waves almost all year round. The best surfing area in Italy is in Sardinia. There you will find what’s considered to be the most consistent surf spot in the Mediterranean Sea scoring 200 days of surf per year. This happens because of the strong wind swells that can create solid conditions and even double overhead waves. These kinds of days don’t happen on a regular basis and when they do they attract a lot of dedicated surfers so expect an enthusiastic but friendly crowd. Most of the time the conditions are mellow and good for beginners who can have a lot of fun learning how to surf while still visiting an extremely exciting tourist destination in Europe. Timing you visit is the key to scoring some sick waves. The best time to surf is definitely during winter when the waves are bigger and more consistent. If you are lucky enough you could be getting barreled in the morning and visiting a winery by lunchtime in the countryside of Sicily. How does that sound?
Climate in Italy
Italy has a predominately Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cool, rainy winters. The coastside experiences mild weather compared to the mountains where in the winter the cold air that comes from the north of Europe causes lots of snowfall making it a perfect skiing destination. The best time to surf is from autumn through winter to spring, flexibility to chase the storms is going to be key to score the best conditions. The temperature of the water is warm during the summer and it's pleasant to surf with board shorts but for the rest of the year a wetsuit is required. The average water temperature during winter is around 15°C (60°F) and a 4/3 wetsuit is recommended. Autumn and spring the water gets warmer around 17°-19°C (62°-66°F) and a spring suit should be enough.
Best surf spots in Italy
Italy has a huge amount of surf spots due to the 7,600 km of rugged coastline. Saridinia’s west coast is the prime spot for surfing in the country. The strategic position of the island catches most of the swells before it reaches the mainland making this the swell magnet of the country. The best surf spots in the area are Silver Rock reef, La Speranza, Rena Majore and Capo Manu. Lido Di Ostia is located on the west coast of the mainland just half an hour away from Rome. This area is known for having good surf spots and for being the home break of the only Italian surfer on the CT, Leonardo Fioravanti. South from Rome you will find Artiglieria. Situated in the coastal city of Sabaudia this beach offers very consistent breaks with fun hollow waves. Other good surf spots in the area are Sant’Agostino, Lido Garda, Serapo and La Chiesa. Up north from the capital there is a famous reef break called Banzai. This surf spot is home to 3 generations of surfers and has good right-handers on SW and W swell and left-handers with SE. Other good surf spots in the area are La Roccetta, Il Porto, Ristorante and Il Castelo. Further south, almost on the tip of the italian peninsula there is a break called La Spiaggia. This is an easy right-hander located at the end of Zambrone main beach. In Tuscany you will find lots of good surf spots. The fishing village of Levanto has some of the biggest waves in the mainland and is a good place to go when everywhere else is blown out. Further north, the man made reefs of Varazze can create really good a-frame barrels that attract a lot of surfers. Sicily has amazing options for surfing. This beautiful island in the south of the country is probably the second best place to surf after Sardinia. The best breaks are Siracusa, Playa Catania and Cefalu but the island has lots of surf spots to be explored and if you avoid the most famous one you will probably end up surfing all by yourself.
Meal price range
Simple meals start at $7 USD. Mid-rang meals start at $25 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $50-150 USD
Boards can be rented from $17 USD for 3 hours or $22 USD per day.
Prepaid SIM cards
TIM and Vodafone have the best coverage and either are a good choice. SIM cards can be purchased from stores, supermarkets, kiosks, drug stores and official outlets. Prepaid packages start from $13 USD.
The cities have good transport systems in place, including buses, trams and metros. Train travel is very popular and extensive in Italy. You’ll find taxi stations outside most train and bus stations.
Note: traveling with public transportation on Sundays can be tricky because much of the country shuts down on this day.
Uber is only available in Rome and Milan.
You can find car rentals starting at $42 USD a day.
$1.77 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Regional risks include landslides, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding.
Some beaches have flag systems and lifeguards. Research the flag meanings before you go.
How to prepare
Citizens from 53 countries, including the US and Australia, can enter Italy without a visa for up to 90 days. All EU / EEA nationals will only need to present an identification document to enter Italy.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella.
Things to know
Language & Currency
The official language is Italian. English is not widely spoken, but you will find that those that work in/around tourist destinations can speak some English.
Best time to go
The best time to surf is definitely during winter when the waves are bigger and more consistent.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Dial 118 for help in emergencies.
Check surf pictures from Italy at #surfitaly.