Official Guide to Scuba Diving Italy

where to dive in Italy

Welcome to Italy!

Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world, and for great reasons. With it’s huge number of UNESCO sites, its deep Roman Empire history and architecture, and the world famous art scenes, it is no wonder its a favorite.

Some of the attractions around Italy are among the most widely know site, such as the Roman Colosseum, the insane statues, monuments and fountains, the huge cathedrals such as in Milan, and of course Vatican City.

But for us avid scuba travelers, Italy is a little lesser known. Most divers, while in Europe probably head to nearby Malta, Greece, or maybe even Croatia, not knowing that Italy also has some awesome dive sites dotted around the country.

If you are thinking of heading to Italy to try out some of the various dive locations, this guide will help get you started. We know, as fellow dive travelers, that some countries just don’t have enough information online, making it hard to plan a stress free dive trip.

We are here to change that.

In this guide we will tell you the best places to dive around Italy, what you can expect to see in each place, how to get there, who to dive with and more.

Our goal is to bring you all of the information here, to make organizing your trip a breeze.

The Best Scuba Diving Locations in Italy

linguria christ of the abyss

1. Campania

Here is where you can dive the Baiae Archaeological Park, which is one place where divers can get a chance to see the ruins of submerged city of Baiae. There are lots of other dives as well as some great beaches along the coast.

2. Elba

Elba is an island as part of the Tuscan Archipelago, located about 12 miles from the coastal town of Piombino. It is the 3rd largest island in Italy, and is considered one of the best locations in the Mediterranean.

Here you can not only see big schools of amberjacks, eagle rays and many other fish, but you can also check out underwater artifacts and history. Don’t miss it.

3. Sicily

The island of Sicily offers a few good dive sites, especially on the north end. The warm, turquois waters will temped you right in, and then you wont want to leave. Be sure to check out the Zingaro reserve between Trapani and Palermo.

4. Liguria

Portofino, located in North West Italy, is the hub for any diving around the Linguria area, and here you can find some good dive sites, as well as the Christ of the abyss statue underwater. Portofino is considered the birth place for diving in Italy.

5. Sardinia

Sardnia is considered by some as the premier diving location in the Mediterranean, and there is a large dive community and plenty of dive shops on the island.

In our humble opinion, Sardinia also boasts possibly the best beaches in all of Europe, and thats saying a lot. Be sure not to miss Asinara Marine reserve, and the other great sites in the north.

6. Gulf of Nepals

In the Gulf of Nepals there is some great diving, and possibly the highlight would be diving into history around Pompeii, where you can dive with some cool statues and artifacts. There are also sites around Pozzuoli you should visit.

7. Nearby to Rome

If you want to create a fun road trip where you can see beautiful Rome one day, and do some diving the next, that would make an awesome trip. There is places like Costacuti Reef, Merro Sink Hole, and sites near Anzio. All fun to dive.

Italy travel information

Italy is a boot-shaped country located in Southern Europe. It has a total area of 301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) and a population of 60,589,445.

With the beautiful coast, landscapes and mountain ranges, no wonder it is called the “Bel Paese” or the “Beautiful Country”. Italy is also known as the home for arts and architecture where you can see the works of Michelangelo and Botticelli.

Capital city of Italy: Rome

Closest neighbors to Italy: Italy shares borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. Of course Vatican City also lays within Rome, as its own country.

Best times to visit Italy: Best time to visit is from April to June and mid-September to October where temperatures are pleasant and not too much crowd. Now if you want to swim, just remember that only in the south part of Italy is warm enough outside of May-September period.

How to get to Italy: Visitors can get to Italy by plane, ferry, bus, or train but usually, from USA and Canada, they took the plane and land in Rome, Venice, or Milan.

Visa requirements for Italy: No visa required for 90 days of travel for US citizens. However, if they plan to stay more than 90 days, one should obtain a visa at a regional Italian consulate office. A passport valid for 3 months is required.

Currency of Italy: Euro (€) (EUR) is the currency of Italy.

Official Language of Italy: Italian is the official language of Italy.

UNESCO World Heritage sites in Italy:

There are 53 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy and 40 on their tentative list. You can check them all out HERE, with photos and descriptions for each.

Cultural (48)

  • 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (1997)
  • Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy (2003)
  • Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale (2015)
  • Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia (1998)
  • Archaeological Area of Agrigento (1997)
  • Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (1997)
  • Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites (2000)
  • Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua (1997)
  • Castel del Monte (1996)
  • Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena (1997)
  • Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci (1980)
  • Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula (1998)
  • City of Verona (2000)
  • City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto (1994,1996)
  • Costiera Amalfitana (1997)
  • Crespi d’Adda (1995)
  • Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna (1996)
  • Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (2004)
  • Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta (1995,1999)
  • Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli (2006)
  • Historic Centre of Florence (1982)
  • Historic Centre of Naples (1995)
  • Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (1980,1990)
  • Historic Centre of San Gimignano (1990)
  • Historic Centre of Siena (1995)
  • Historic Centre of the City of Pienza (1996)
  • Historic Centre of Urbino (1998)
  • Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) (2002)
  • Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.) (2011)
  • Mantua and Sabbioneta (2008)
  • Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (2013)
  • Piazza del Duomo, Pisa (1987)
  • Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (1997)
  • Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps (2011)
  • Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (1997)
  • Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (2008)
  • Rock Drawings in Valcamonica (1979)
  • Su Nuraxi di Barumini (1997)
  • Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (2005)
  • The Trulli of Alberobello (1996)
  • The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera (1993)
  • Val d’Orcia (2004)
  • Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar (2017)
  • Venice and its Lagoon (1987)
  • Villa Adriana (Tivoli) (1999)
  • Villa d’Este, Tivoli (2001)
  • Villa Romana del Casale (1997)
  • Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (2014)

Natural (5)

  • Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (2007,2011,2017)
  • Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands) (2000)
  • Monte San Giorgio (2003,2010)
  • Mount Etna (2013)
  • The Dolomites (2009)

More travel and scuba resources for Italy


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