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The Islands of Giglio and Giannutri


The Islands of Giglio and Giannutri

This itinerary will take you from Monte Argentario to the two southernmost island of the Tuscan Archipelago, Giglio and Giannutri.The itinerary can be covered in two days but you will probably be so swept up by the beauty of these places that you will decide to stay longer to enjoy the splendid sea or go diving. In fact, these are considered some of the most important and spectacular sea bottoms of Italy. You can choose from a list of hotels on Giglio or stay in a comfortable Giglio bed & breakfast.
Ferries and boats depart from Porto Santo Stefano on the Argentario on a regular schedule operated by Maregiglio and Toremar companies.

The ISLAND OF GIGLIO is the second largest of the three islands of the Tuscan Archipelago and consists of three towns: Giglio Porto, Giglio Castello and Campese. It's name comes from the Greek, "aegilion," goat island, probably because its rocky terrain is only suitable for them to graze. The coast is jagged and rocky, alternating with a few sandy inlets. But it is the emerald water and sea bottoms with a thousand colors that will leave you breathless. For a long time, the island's terraces have been planted with olive trees and vineyards that produce highly-prized Ansonica wine.
The island's history is somewhat tormented having passed from one conqueror to the next, but its most difficult period dates from the 15th century when pirate incursions caused its population to flee. The Medici repopulated the island and gave Giglio's castle strong fortifications, making it safe again.
The itinerary begins from Giglio Porto, a lovely town overlooking a bay and enclosed by hills behind it cultivated with vineyards. From here, there is a twisty road to Giglio Castello, the most interesting town on the island, which has preserved its ancient appearance as a fortified village with high walls and towers. The town is a maze of little streets, underpasses and steep staircases cut into the rock and old houses that sit on top of the other. The Church of Giorgio preserves some of the arms that the islanders took from the pirates after defeating them in a terrible battle in 1700. If you want to explore the marvelous coast in the best possible way, you can rent a boat, either in the main port of Giglio Porto or the secondary port of Giglio Campese.

The ISLAND OF GIANNUTRI. There is a daily excursion from Giglio Porto to the small, wild island of Giannutri, with its characteristic half-moon shape and its sheer coastline overlooking a crystalline sea. The island is rocky and has only two beaches, but is of significant interest for its many grottoes that open along the coast, the most famous of which is Gala dei Grottini. In addition to a truly fascinating natural spectacle, the island's main attraction is the ruins of the Roman villa of Domizi Enobarbi, built on a terrace overlooking the sea. The island can be visited in a day-trip from Giglio or the Argentario and has no hotels or campsites, just two restaurants and a supermarket.

Photos courtesy of: Agenzia Turismo della Maremma & Municipality of Grosseto

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