Reggio di Calabria
Having ticked off Etna, the next area we want to explore is on the Italian mainland coast, a change from our original plan to see the north coast of Sicily. This meant we had to get through the infamous straits of Messina – Scilla & Charybdis in Homer’s tale. The currents can be very strong, meaning that for the first time since entering the med we had to do some tidal calculations. It looked like we couldn’t get through in one day from Riposto, so we headed for Reggio di Calabria on the mainland site of the strait, having been warned that berthing at Messina (Sicily side) can cost €120 a night! Reggio is an unappealing town and a stronghold of the Calabrian Mafia and we weren’t too thrilled at having to pay €45 for a berth in the very basic yacht basin. There were no facilities, a very unfriendly harbour master and views of the road and railway line. We also made the mistake of filling up with fuel, figuring that a mainland city would be cheaper either than Sicily or small marinas further north. Big mistake- it was a good 5cents more expensive, maybe because the Mafia take their cut! The area was so uninspiring we only left the boat to present our papers and be fleeced, heading off early the next day to catch the N bound tide.