Here are some insight on provisioning and living aboard during our one week charter bareboat sailing in Elba, Corsica, and Capraia.
Food and Drink
Provisions – There are several large supermarkets not far from the Edilnautica marina that have everything you’ll need for a multi-week charter and you can park or have a taxi drop you off within 10m (yards) of the boat to unload your provisions. Also, shopping in Italian supermarkets is as good as going to an outdoor market as the produce, meats, and fish are usually very fresh.
Food– Italy of course has an excellent fresh food culture, so it is hard to go wrong with anything. Although we bought a massive amount of fresh stuff, we also stocked up on many delicious jars of fresh sauces such as green and red pestos, radicchio and mushroom-truffle purées that are versatile to use on pasta, risotto or even just on bread. We also found delicious sun dried tomatoes, porcini mushrooms and many other veggies under olive oil with no preservatives that we used either in sauces with our main courses, tossed into pasta or even just on their own with our sundowners.
Drink – Tuscany is wine heaven. We found excellent chiantis and several other less known varietals that were quite delicious. The local Elba wine is quite nice, although not super elegant. The market stocked all other spirits that one could look for: grappa, whisky, campari, martini, as well as plenty of mixers such as rum, contreau and just about any juice for tropical sundowners.
Making Ice – We had a great marine refrigerator on board and were able to make ice every day using the technique first perfected by our friend Gaetano.
Swimming – Overall the swimming/snorkeling is incredible everywhere we went. We did encounter an infestation of two different kinds of small jelly fish in the waters off of Cap Corse along with quite a bit of current rounding the northern tip of Corsica.
Catching Seafood– If you are a fan of sea urchin, you will have to leave Italy as it’s currently against the law to gather “ricci” around these islands. We are not sure how long the “stop” will last, but, it may eventually be lifted to allow seasonal fishing. It would be best to check with the local authorities before taking any, as we understand the fines are quite high. However, the “ricci” we found around Corse were delicious and legal. We didn’t have any luck catching fish while making our passages to and from Corsica.