Isola del Giglio
The Giglio Island, the second largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago, is 17 kilometers from Monte Argentario. Formed almost entirely out of granite, it is oblong in shape and reaches a height of 498 meters above sea level at the highest point. It covers an area of 22 square kilometers and has approximately 21 km of coastline.
Giglio Island is an island which endears itself to everyone.
Its secret is its beautiful scenery which has no in-betweens. It welcomes you in winter, just as in summer, with peaceful, warm days where the blue of the sky and its sea are a backdrop to a land which is seemingly harsh, yet possesses a thick and luxuriant Mediterranean scrub which sometimes plunges towards the water and other times slopes gently, alternating between bays and golden beaches.
Its scents and colours may be enjoyed throughout the whole year. You’re taking a walk and, all of a sudden, you lose yourself in the scenery and take the time to stop, look, listen and experience genuine sensations.
Situated 405 meters above sea level, it is the chief town of the island. A small medieval town with the fascinatingly imposing structure of its walls (XI century), it is also part of the association “Italy’s loveliest villages”. It is more evocative still if you follow the itinerary along the parapets between the embrasures, or you can explore its uneven alleys which are interspersed with stairs and baschetti (typical terraces with outdoor stairs).
To this day, its three entrances, which are set against enormous masses of granite, are a testament of pirate incursions and of the ruling seigniory, as is shown by the Medici coat of arms on the inner door.
A walk around the fortified town offers a breathtaking view of the islands of Giannutri, Elba and Montecristo, as well as a good portion of the continental coast.
The settlement is built around the port anchorage. The striking, multicolored homes are disposed in a semicircle which follows the shape of the original beach.
You are welcomed here, amidst cafes and restaurants with verandas overlooking an incredibly crystal-clear sea, where boats of all shapes and sizes lazily float.
It is through these colours, and partly through the architecture, that we discover the influences of the two cultures, Ligurian and Neapolitan, which came to the island thanks to the migrations of Neapolitan and Ligurian coral divers, who chose the island as their residence in the mid-1700s.
However, the ancient Romans were its first true residents. In fact, when you arrive at the port in the area known as the Saracen’s, which includes a tower by the same name and the small bay behind it, you will discover the remains of an old patrician villa belonging to the Enobarbi family. (I and II Century A.D.)
A gulf dwarfed by the largest and sunniest beach in the island. A wide embrace which adapts to every need: unforgettable fiery sunsets facing Montecristo. As far as bathing goes, you are spoiled for choice: from sandy beaches to granite rocks for those who crave a more private and “wild” sea.
The lovely natural gulf has its very own sentinels: the Faraglione on one side and the Medici Tower on the other. Perched on a granite island, it was built in the late seventeenth century to exercise control over coral diving and as a defense from Saracen incursions.