Originally Posted by Yachtjuno
PCP, you are right we probably like to do different things. We do anchor whenever we can but then we like to occasionally travel inland and see the countries we are visiting such as the Roman Temples at Agrigento that date back to 500 BC or the sublime piazza in the hilltop town of La Ragusa or the fish market in Ortigia - and then its nice to get back to the comfort and of the boat. If you are always on the hook theres a danger that you never see the marvels of these European gems.
I agree, unless you are an European and cruise on those places in your own car out of the sailing season
Yes Sicily has bigger cities and was more important in the old world so its cultural density its much bigger than Corsica or Sardinia but almost all of those places are faraway from the coast. Due to the bigger population the old places by the coast like Messina or Augusta were transformed in ugly industrial cities.
If I understand correctly you live on the boat and come from the states so it makes sense to leave the boat in a marina and travel the interior with a rented car but to someone that it is chartering a boat that does mot make much sense: You want to take advantage of the boat. Regarding that probably the density of small nice towns, some historical ones, in Sardinia and Sicilia makes more sense to me. You can leave the boat on anchor or in the marina and just go into a nice old town.
If you are not cruising with your own boat and want to visit the historical nice (and romantic) Italian towns it makes more sense to come by airplane and rent a car even if after that you will rent a boat. Most interesting places are not on the shore but in the interior where a less urban pressure had contributed to their conservation: Toscany and the North of Italy are among my favorites. On the South there are some nice places but the poverty and lack of resources had not allowed yet a nice recovery. Syracuse is a good example of that, it is a town that is nicer at night when you cannot really see the degradation in the buildings. There are material there to make it one day an incredible place, may the financial condition in those parts allow that.