The Mediterranean Sea is the lifeline for merchants living in the lands on its shores. In Oltre Mare, players represent competing merchant families plying their trade throughout the region. As the players move their ships from port to port, they try to load and deliver large cargos of the seven major trading goods of the day: spices, silk, silver, sugar, wine, wood, and grain. With experience, each has learned what the market limit for each good is, and will try to fill his ship with just this much of each cargo type to gain the most from his investments.
Of course, players must always be on the lookout for pirates, who will board careless ships, stealing both cargos and reputations. The most successful player will earn the most money -- you are merchants, after all -- and win the game!