Tremiti Islands

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WorldMediterraneanAdriatic SeaItalyAdriatic Coast of ItalyTremiti Islands
Tremiti Islands
42°9.67′N, 15°35′E Chart icon.png
Isole Tremiti.jpg
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Tremiti Islands landscape

The Tremiti Islands are a group of three small islands plus one tiny islet, lying on the Adriatic of Italy around 12 miles N of the Promontorio Gargano, the "spur" on the "boot" of the Italian peninsula. Only two of the islands, Isola San Domino, the largest, and Isola San Nicola, a few hundred metres to the E of it, are inhabited. The third island to the NE, Isola Caprera, is abandoned except for an isolated lighthouse, whereas the fourth, Cretaccio, is little more than a deeply cleft expanse of rock. The origin of the islands’ name is much debated, but seems most likely to derive from the history of earthquakes that created and subsequently shaped the archipelago (Tremiti = tremors).

Traces of settlement have been found dating back to Neolithic times, but the lack of natural resources on the islands have always prevented them from supporting substantial populations. During the Roman period the islands were used as a place of exile, notably for the adulterous Julia, niece of the emperor Augustus. In the early 11th century Benedictine monks set up home here, initially on San Domino but later moving to San Nicola, where they established a foundation that grew in prosperity, owning substantial tracts of land on the mainland as far south as Trani. Pirate attacks forced the monks to fortify the island until in 1334 the defences were breached by a group of Dalmatian pirates and the settlement destroyed. The monastery was re-settled and further fortified in the 15th century and was able in 1567 to fight off a Turkish force of 150 ships. In 1792, however, the monastery was suppressed by the Bourbon ruler Ferdinand VI and the islands began their long subsequent history as a penal colony. During the Mussolini era hundreds of political prisoners were exiled here. The islands’ role as a leisure destination only began after World War II, when the modest infrastructure then existing was turned over to tourism. By 1989 the growth in tourism and its associated pressures led to the island’s designation as a marine nature reserve.

The islands are relatively featureless and low-lying and there are no sheltered harbours, only anchorages. A visit is only advisable in settled weather and with any sudden change in the weather a yacht is well advised to seek shelter in the new marina at Rodi Garganico or the harbour of Termoli with its small marina of Marina di San Pietro. With suitable weather, there are anchorages on the islands of San Nicola, San Domino and Caprara suitable for an overnight stop, although the holding is nowhere particularly good. There is also a small jetty at the SW end of Isola San Nicola which may be used once the last of the ferries has departed.

Charts

British Admiralty
186 - Vlore to Bar and Brindisi to Vieste
1443 - - Barletta- Manfredonia and Ortona- with Approaches
Italian charts
922
32 - From Gallipoli to Porto Badisco with Cape S. Maria di Leuca and Ugento Shallows
33 - From Porto Badisco to Point S. Cataldo
204

Weather

During the summer months the prevailing winds in the Adriatic are light to moderate coastal seabreezes. In spring and autumn, northerly winds are more frequent and can quickly rise to near gale force, especially in the northern Adriatic, where the much-feared “bora” is caused by high pressure over the mountains to the NE coupled with low pressure over southern Italy. Fortunately, the fiercest “bora” is normally to be expected in the winter months. Thunderstorms are occasionally experienced in spring and especially autumn and can be accompanied by violent winds of gale force and above. Luckily they are rarely long-lasting. In the southern Adriatic, the “scirocco”, a S/SE wind blowing up from North Africa which can last for several days, is more common. Unlike the “bora”, which can arrive without warning, a “scirocco” tends to build in strength over 24-48 hours, sometimes reaching gale force (especially in winter).

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts covering the Adriatic are broadcast from stations at Roma, Trieste, Kerkyra (Greece) and Split (Croatia)

Passages

See Adriatic.

Communication

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Navigation

See entries for individual islands for details.

Berthing

Ports

Small ferry pier only on San Nicola.

Anchorages

Isola San Nicola

The tiny harbour of San Nicola

World icon.png 42°07.10′N, 15°30.12′E - Chartlet
Isola San Nicola has just one anchorage suitable as an overnight stop in settled weather, the small harbour of Porto San Nicola at the SW end of the island. The harbour is best approached from S; the channel between the islet of Cretaccio and Isola San Domino is forbidden to navigation, whereas the channel between Cretaccio and Isola San Nicola has depths of less than 2.5 metres, a shoal patch of only 1.5 metres and (like the Cretaccio/San Domino channel) a high-tension cable spanning it at a height of only just over 20 metres. Yachts up to 15 metres are permitted to moor on the short pier at the SE end of the harbour, but only between the hours of 1900 and 0800, when the ferries are not running. Depths on the pier range from 2.0 metres inshore to around 4.0 metres at the end. Anchoring is supposedly forbidden in the area to the W of the harbour, between the islands of San Domino and San Nicola, although there are invariably several local boats moored there in the summer. If planning to stay overnight here, it is probably wise to plan on an arrival around 1900, when it may be possible to go straight on the pier. Alongside berthing is better if there is space, since the holding is poor. Obviously you must be prepared to raft up if you do so. Note: recent pictures show that steel struts and fenders have been installed on the NW side of the quay for use by the ferries and it may be more difficult for a yacht to use the pier now. In any event, be sure to give the end of the pier a generous clearance in view of underwater ballasting.

Isola San Domino

Harbour of San Domino

World icon.png 42°07.21′N, 15°29.86′E - Chartlet
Isola San Domino has several coves on the E side which can be used with care as day anchorages. At the NE end is a small cove, Cala degli Schiavoni, with a small quay protected from NW by a short, rough breakwater. The quay is constantly busy during daylight hours, like the pier of Porto San Nicola. However, it may be possible to tie up here overnight if there is space. Depths at the quay are 2.0 - 4.0 metres. Holding is poor, so it is best to go alongside if possible. With suitable winds, there is also an anchorage on the W side of the island, Cala degli Inglesi World icon.png 42°07.05′N, 15°29.0′E, which can be used in settled weather. There is shoal patch of 4.0 metres around 100 metres the W of the centre of the cove. Depths in the cove are 4.0 metres inshore and 10 - 12 metres in the centre, so you need to lay out a good length of chain and preferably take a line ashore. The holding here is only adequate in settled weather.

Isola Caprara

Cala dei Turchi, Caprara

World icon.png 42°07.21′N, 15°29.86′E - Chartlet
Isola Caprara has only one anchorage, Cala dei Turchi (so-called because the Turkish fleet anchored here in 1567 during their futile attack on the monastery). The anchorage lies on the W side of the island. Depths in the cove are 6.0 metres inshore and 14-15 metres in the centre. Again, you need to lay out a good length of chain and preferably take a line ashore. The holding here is only adequate in settled weather and a yacht should leave immediately if the wind strengthens from N round to W.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

None.

Yacht Services and Repairs

None.

Marine Stores

None.

Yacht Services/Repairs/Yards

None.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

N/A (Not Available).

Things to do Ashore

Tourism

One of the virtues of being on small islands (assuming you can moor) is that it is possible to walk everywhere. Even the largest island, San Domino, can be traversed on foot in little more than 20 minutes. The island has the only sandy beach in the archipelago, which is understandably packed during the summer daytimes. It is also possible to hire bicycles on San Domino during the season. On San Nicola the impressive, fortified abbey complex includes the original church of Chiesa di Santa Maria, which contains a painted Byzantine crucifix and a black Madonna and Child, thought to have been brought from Constantinople.

Beach on San Domino
Fortified abbey, San Nicola
Entrance to Abbey, San Nicola
Church of Santa Maria, San Nicola

Grocery & Supply Stores

Effectively none. You need to bring your own here.

Eateries

A few restaurants on San Nicola and San Domino.

Internet/WiFi

None.

Laundry

None.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

None.

Garbage Disposal

Best to take it away with you.

Transportation

Transportation (local and/or international)

Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forums

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

Links

References & Publications

See Italy.

Comments

We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Tremiti Islands and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible)--Athene of Lymington 17:00, 2 January 2011 (UTC)



This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.


SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington


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