In order to preserve the beautiful seabeds off Capo Carbonara, Isola dei Cavoli and Serpentara, the Merine Reserve Area of Carbonara was established. Ustica and Carbonara are the only exclusively "marine" parks in Italy.
We suggest diving at Variglioni off the Isola dei Cavoli as an ideal beginning, to admire the beauty of this area. There are rocks which appear on the surface and have been shaped by the atmospheric conditions and waves over the millennia.
The underwater landscape continues, steep and with no interruption, down to a depth of 40 m, where there is a sandy seabed.
Divers are spoilt for choice in this area, as every dive is sure to be full of surprises.
There is a classic dive at Variglioni to La Nave Romana, a granite monolith which is shaped like a ship.
Among the shadowy gorges, there are numerous species of Invertebrates such as purple tubular sponges, colonies of Parazoanthus, Eunicelle and several species of sponges. At aprox. 37 m, there is a large granite rock which lays on the sand. This rock is covered by a wide variety of red sea-fans. This area is home to lobsters.
Ascending we can find ourselves among a sedentary shoal of Barracuda that swim peacefully by.
"I Dotti" of S. Caterina Sandbank is also a very interesting dive, as is diving off the Sandbank of Libeccio, that is home to fauna consisting of enormous species of black Groupers. The Sandbank of Mezzo, south of the Isola dei Cavoli, is home to a large colony of red Gorgonias.
For people who would like to travel back in time, the wreck of Egle will take you back to 1943, when it was sunk by the English submarine Safari.
Both expert and not expert skin-divers can dive to Madonna del Naufrago, near the Isola dei Cavoli, which is the destination of hundreds of skin-divers during the festival at the end of July.