When, on occasion I mention Italian surf breaks to fellow travellers I usually get the same confused look.
A furrowed brow, slight twist of the head as they try to figure if I’m winding them up.
As an Australian who grew up on a beach I had the same reaction at first but it does happen though it must be pointed out that the swell is entirely wind-dependent as the Med has almost no tidal changes throughout the year.
While it is not Bali or Pipeline, at least a dozen or so sessions of good quality can be had throughout the year but more frequently in winter. The main season is autumn when the water is still warm (though it’s never below 10°C at any time) and the main wind streams are from the South. When those wind streams are in effect, waves break from border to border: Spain across to Italy with Sardinia the best of all Mediterranean surf spots.
Once an Etruscan settlement, it translates as ‘Ancient Town’. Developed by the Romans 80 km west of Rome, it is now thriving port town with a harbour formed by two piers and a breakwater. One of the few places in Italy to consistently get good tubes. a little further away on the beach of Tarquinia you’ll find clean water, good surf and the heartland of the Italian surf community, you may think you’ve left Italy and been transported to Bali.
Check out this clip of Leo Foravanti at his home break. He’d surfed his first wave when other boys of the same page were still playing in sandboxes.
CAGLIARI COASTLINE, SARDINIA
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Med and probably has the best surf in Italy all year round. Nora, Santa Margherita di Pula, Chia, Tuerredda, Solanas, Villasimius and Costa Rei are are towns close by that have been staunch favourites for the island’s surfers. It tends to have a lot of tourist bathers can be a problem in some of the beaches closer to the city but you have the beaches to yourself if you go further out.
CAPU MANNU, SARDINIA
The wide bay of Cala Saline, in the province of Oristano, Sardiniahas long been known to create long high waves perfect for surfing without a bather in sight. Surfing population in this location has increased dramatically in recent years but the place still has a feel of a remote and secret surfing location.
The Adriatic sea is genrally quite calm most of the year however when the descending cold air from Russia can bring east to Northeast wind that can whip some descent sized waves. And then the surfers are out in force.