Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Isola del Giglio

You can find Isola del Giglio in the Tyrrhenian sea, ten miles from the Tuscan mainland. In 2012 this small, unassuming island shot into headlines around the world when the Costa Concordia capsized and sank off its coast. The wreck of the Concordia was a figure on the Giglian coastline for the next three years (and I took a very distant photograph of it here).  In 2014 the ship eventually completed a complicated re-flotation process and in its final days was towed to Genoa to be scrapped. The coast of Giglio is now unspoiled and serene once again, and this year I was lucky enough to visit the island itself.

Port of Giglio

Giglio only has 800 permanent inhabitants who stay throughout the winter, but in the summer the island comes alive under the scorching hot sun. The port is the first thing you'll have a wander around when you're fresh off the boat. It's a lovely, colourful hub of island life, full of ice cream shops, bars and pizzerias. 

Perched atop this rocky island is Giglio Castello, the only town on the island. It dates back to medieval times and is characterised by its fortress like walls. Today it is home to 500 of Giglio's permanent inhabitants.

The castello is only navigable by foot, being made up of paved narrow streets which are frequently adorned with potted plants, street art, and independent craft shops. Sitting as it does right on top of Giglio, the castello provides some spectacular views of the surrounding island and even the mainland in the distance.

The old lighthouse, facing Monte Argentario
Giglio Campese

We spent a lovely day in the sun exploring all Giglio has to offer, and then it was time to take the boat back to our own little corner of Tuscany, in Monte Argentario. 

Piscina at Cala Moresca (Giglio in distance)

Sunset over Isola Rossa

The sea here is also ideal for snorkeling and cliff jumping

I didn't think I would get the chance to come back here after my year living in Rome came to an end, so it was wonderful to be able to explore this part of Italy all over again. Now I am back on the grey, cold streets of London, busy saving for my next trip to Italian soil!

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