Ustica is a small volcanic island located 30 kilometers north of Palermo in Sicily. Because the island is the tip of a submerged volcano, the waters surrounding it are very rich in marine life, for fish and coral. It was named Italy's first marine reserve, in 1986. In July every year this island hosts the International Festival of Underwater Activities, attracting scuba enthusiasts from all over the world.
Secca della Colombara is a wonderful dive, with a straight, beautiful wall decorated with corals and sponges in splashes of pink and orange colors. There you can find barracuda, groupers, amberjacks and a 74-meter shipwreck at the bottom.
La Scoglio del Medico is another superb dive, with a cavern located 20 meters deep that communicates with a wonderful tunnel and a narrow canyon in the end.
Bare in mind that within areas of the marine reserve, it is forbidden to even swim without a permit from the Visitors Center, but they do organize guided diving expeditions.