Having cruised much of the area described in this fine Imray Pilot, your reviewer is familiar with it. However, on his voyages he used other Imray Pilots, those more generally focused on Mediterranean France and Mediterranean Italy by Rod and Lu Heikell. They were fine and very useful guides but are, of course, in two quite heavy volumes. This one is easier to cart around.
It must first be said that this is a scenically beautiful and historically fascinating area that benefits from a remarkably clean and biologically fecund environment. Despite what our Green friends tell us, for example, northern Bluefin tuna and their sardine prey are prolific there, particularly on the western side. Needless to say, therefore, seafood is plentiful and enticingly cooked in both French and Italian styles. The authors recommend some excellent eateries.
It is fascinating and entertaining, too, to observe the French and Italian middle and upper classes at play by the seaside. Even more entertaining are the gauche, and often gross, Russian oligarchs and politicians at their ostentatious worst with their monster yachts and screeching private jets. After all, the rich men’s playgrounds of Porto Cervo and Porto Rafael, among others, are at the heart of the area.
In the usual Imray style, the vignettes on each and every port, anchorage or anse are concise, accurate and fascinating. The usual general advice of the Imray format that covers weather, dangers, culture, customs and useful general advice is all there.
If you are seriously planning to voyage in the area or even just dreaming about it, this fine book will make both the dreaming and the actuality all the better.
Author: Madeleine and Stephan Strobel
Available from Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, UK.