We arrived to Licata 1 September 2015 and have been here since, its our longest stay at one place since we started full time sailing. What did we know about Licata and what did us chose this Marina for our winter stay?
The traumatic time you experience before you have made your choice of winterUhurricane season Marina is always filled with different ideas, second hand info about conditions and our own thoughts about our own priorities.
From our own point of view we have found the following topics important to enjoy your winter months:
– Safe and surge free marina with good quality of moorings, pontoons and general safety
– Positive and friendly marina office people
– Positive and helpful harbour guys
– A good infrastructure close to the marina, Supermarket, Chandler, marketplace etc
– A geographical surrounding that offers lots of possibilities for excursions to interesting places
– Good connections to one or more airports for travels outside the region or other countries
– Communication language is English with the Marina
– A small to medium sized cruising boat presence to make the marina living during the winter months more socially enjoyable
As you could see there are no surprises in this list but each topic owns its importance and should be checked. For us the choice of Licata was done pretty early in the season, May, and we had been in Licata three years earlier and had first hand information about the harbour that was only 2 years old at that time.
So, we have been here now for seven months and how has reality checked out compared with the above list of topics?
The over all judgement of the Marina is that its a very good winter Marina where price and performance meets in a good way. The Marina office is continuously improving the area around the harbour with BBQ place with both BBQs and wooden burned oven. Next big improvement is the building of a big swimming pool available for the marina boats and the apartments close to the Marina. The cruisers have also full access to the yacht club room for its activities and for other things like sail repairs etc.
Sicily has offered a lot of attractions to enjoy like the Valley of Temples, Villa Romana and many more sites of great historical interest. Sicily also offer one of the largest Outlet factory Village with more than 200 of the most famous brands of clothes, shoes, fitness clothes and many more things. Prices are less than 50% of the standard price in ordinary shops.
Being in Licata is living with the history of many different occupants over the last 800 to 1000 years. The local Municipality is very proud of its heritage and offers historical walks through the city on regular basis.
What about practicalities like easy access to a good Super Market? Connad Super Market is situated less than 5 minutes walk from the boat and is providing a generous sortiment of goods together manual service discs for meat, poultry, charcuteries and cheese. The service is very good but do not forget that English is rarely spoken by people outside the tourist industry. The possibility to excersize your Italian is always good!
The Marina environment also offers nice bar, chandler, laundrette and shops. The distance to Licata city centre is a 10 minute walk.
The cruising society is medium sized meaning there are around 80 boats staying the winter where roughly 20-25 are staying at the boat through the winter. As in most winter marinas one or more boats has stayed for more than one winter and they are helping with building up traditions and helping new boats with day to day questions. In Licata the social life is offering a lot of things to do like music sessions, Italian language lessons, art class, BBQ come together each week and many more things. So, if you do not want to spend time on your boat the social life offered is meeting most demands.
Can we recommend Licata as a winter mooring Marina, Yes. Licata meets our demands and needs on most topics. Siciliy has offered many nice excursions and the Sicilian food is not to complain against. Licata Marina has been claimed to have very nutritious water that supports growth on the under water hull. We saw many examples of this and talked to the owners, most of them had used antifouling of local Italian sort, self polishing one year lasting. We also talked to the boat owners where no or less growth had been the case and they have all used hard antifouling and used two year lasting versions. Our selves we experienced growth between the back of the keel to the rudder plus the prop blades otherwise clean.
Would we go back to Licata for another winter season stay, yes we would.