The “Valfiorita” wreck is considered the “Thistlegorm” of the Mediterranean sea for its imposingness and for the presence of the holds full of cars, trucks and motorcycles, still visible and well preserved.
It was an armed cargo ship of 6,600 tons, 110 m long. It was carrying vehicles of all kinds: dietary ones, to military means, ammunitions, as well as Italian and German soldiers. It was torpedoed by a British submarine on July 9, 1943 and sank, broken into two parts. The bow, broken, lies now down on its left side a short distance from the rest of the ship, which is resting on the bottom in sailing trim, facing off.
Located off the coast of Messina, the dive site can be reached after about fifteen minutes by boat leaving from the coast of Calabria. The wreck lies at a maximum depth of 70 m, but the superstructures are 40-45 m deep.
The encrustations on the wreck host urchins, hermit crabs, anemones, polychaete worms. In the wreck holds it’s easy to come across large groupers and large wreck-fishes, as well as conger eels and moray eels. Dense clouds of Anthias anthias surround the ship.
A large branch of black coral (Antipathella subpinnata) reaches out towards the blue tenaciously stuck to the metal structures of the wreck.
The visibility is generally good, often excellent, conditioned by the strong currents of the Strait of Messina (required the presence of expert guides).
|Place||Strait of Messina|
|Dive type||Technical dive|
|Minimum depth||40 m|
|Maximum depth||70 m|
|Bottom Type||Sandy and muddy seabed|
|Difficulty||Medium-high. Descent along the anchor rope.
There can be present current; visibility could be good or excellent.
|Level required||Minimum Deep Air or Trimix certification.|
|Interest||Historical, biological and photographic interest.|
|Notes||Abundant presence of shoals of fishes and pelagic fish: groupers, breams, snappers, amberjacks, moray eels. Good presence of sessile organisms too.
In deeper areas, several specimens of “black coral” (Antipathella subpinnata).