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Top Dive Sites of Italy

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Sitting in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy has over 450 islands and numerous dive sites to explore. It is a great European destination to enjoy varied diving from the extensive mainland coastline and many of Italy’s islands. 

One of the best areas to dive in Italy is the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. Liveaboard diving Italy offers the opportunity to explore the best dives sites of Tuscany whilst sailing around the islands. With dive sites suitable for novice and experienced divers, plus options for snorkelling, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Elba Island, Tuscany

Elba Island sits within the Tuscan Archipelago National Park and has a large number of Italy’s well known dive sites. The island’s dive sites host plentiful large marine life including barracuda, conger eels, sun fish, dolphins and whales. Smaller life is also present and includes thread worms, leopard snails, hermit crabs and seahorses.

Elba Island Underwater Museum

This museum can be found a few hundred meters off the coast in the Corsican Canal and is an underwater art collection with statues depicting various historical and mythological scenes. Divers can also do a dive tour of the Punta della Madonna,where a beautiful statue of the Madonna sits just off the coast of the island.


The Elviscott, an Italian freighter weighing 499 tonnes, sank in 1972 and lies off the south west coast of Elba. This shallow wreck lies at 8 to 12 meters depth and is in an area with almost no currents, making it suitable for all dive experience levels. The entire stern and bridge, plus part of the side bow, lie on a sandy bottom and are just waiting to be explored.

Formiche della Zanca

This dive site lies off the westernmost point of Elba and has huge numbers of red sea fans. The currents can be strong there and the underwater landscapes include large boulders, a landslide, canyons, tunnels and a wall that drops down to over 40 meters. Divers can enjoy seeing barracuda, nudibranchs, lobsters, groupers and conger eels. This popular dive site should be experienced at least twice to fully appreciate its diversity.

Pianosa Island

This island just off Elba, is a great place to dive for abundant marine life. Scuba diving was not permitted off this special island for 150 years and it has a pristine marine environment as a result of this. There are large schools of fish, lobsters and even eagle rays.

When To Dive Italy

Scuba diving is possible all year, with summer water temperature reaching around 28 degrees Celsius and dropping to 10 to 13 degrees Celsius in winter, depending on the area/island. Whilst more marine life can be seen in summer, winter brings the opportunity to enjoy many dive sites without other divers present.

The Norseman Liveaboard is a traditional wooden sailing vessel built in 1922 in Denmark and specialises in finding secluded coves and taking divers to sites with no other boats around.

Italy liveaboard

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