Diving in Italy, Europe

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Italy is one of the most developed countries in Southern Europe and in the world. It is surrounded by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and its two islands, Sicily and Sardinia are endowed with breathtaking diving destinations.

Italy boasts of the top diving destination in the whole Mediterranean particularly the Portofino Marine Park. This dive site is suitable for beginner to advanced divers and is home to unique species of fish such as giant moon fish, large moray eels, nudibranch in various colours, dentix, scorpion fish, octopus, and lobster not to mention the large pelagic fishes such as groupers, snapper, barracuda and tuna including dolphins. The marine park also sports breathtaking underwater marvels including shipwrecks and the world famous “The Christ of the Abyss” underwater statue made of bronze. If you are into corals, the area also sports red corals, yellow cluster anemones, and the unique violet gorgonian.

For the wreck divers, there is the popular wreck of the Kent at 45m deep which is suitable for advanced divers. Sank in 1917, it is now home to various fishes unique to Mediterranean like the scorpion fish, cardinal fish, conger eels, and moray. Another popular wreck not far from Santa Margherita is the Haven being the largest shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea. It is now teeming with marine life and technical divers could also explore its penetrable interiors. There are plenty more of shipwrecks in the area.

Perhaps, if you're looking for underwater spelunking, head straight to Grotta dei Gamberi. Its deepest point is 38m and although there is no natural light, your powerful lamp would be enough to spot fantastic marine life such as shrimps, groupers, crabs, nudibranch, and lobsters.

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The government of Italy is an active participant of marine conservation efforts. It has been protecting its waters as early as 1998 through the establishment of the Portofino Marine Park which is now helping to preserve a lot of unique Mediterranean marine species.

Italy has a typical Mediterranean climate characterized by hot dry summers and mild winters but the northern part has Alpine climate.

The water temperature in the Bay of Naples hovers around 15°C/59F in January and 25°C/77F in August.

The water temperature in the Portofino area hovers around 136C/55F in January and 24°C/75F in August.

Italy's diving season is year round but the best time to visit is between April and October.

The main points of entry to Italy are the international airports in Rome and Milan. Italy's national airline, Alitalia serves both international and domestic flights. However, for your convenience, most intercontinental airlines fly only to Rome and Milan.

There are trains arriving from different parts of Europe such as Austria, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.

It is also possible to travel by car since Italy has open borders, thanks to Schengen Agreement.

There are buses as well and taxis too.

Once in the mainland, trains are considered cheaper and more convenient.

The general transportation system of Italy is exceptional.

Use the following links for more information about;

- Decompression Chambers Italy

- Foreign Travel Advice for Italy (UK Government)

- More about Italy (Wikipedia)

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