Giannutri, the unique island shaped like a half moon

The most southern of the islands in the Tuscan Archipelago, opposite the promontory of Monte Argentario, was called "Artemisia" by the Greeks and "Dianium" by the Romans, due to it being shaped like an arch. Giannutri is a calcareous island with limestone caves, ancient sedimentary rocks and a very rocky, jagged coastline full of grottos.

The numerous tropical plants on the island, today practically no longer to be found in the Mediterranean, prove that here the climate is very mild all year round. There are even some very interesting, typical Tyrrhenian endemic plants like the cneorum, that grow only on Monte Argentario and Montecristo.

Small birds like the shearwater, the black-throated wheatear and the Sardinian warbler, as well as herring gulls, come here to Giannutri every year to build their nest, to the point that the island is often referred to as "Seagull Island".

There is a lot of life under the crystal clear water, and this, plus the presence of the two shipwrecks make the island even more appealing. The shipwreck of the Anna Bianca lies deep down in the northern part of Cala Ischiaiola, but the water is so clear that you can see the outline even without a mask. Seeing the shipwreck of the Nasim is somewhat more difficult because of the depth, but the brilliance of the white sea bed makes it more than worth it.

You can get to the inlets either by boat or by following any of the many paths on the island; the sea bed is rich in gorgonias, coral and sponges, and attracts many scuba lovers and deep sea divers every year.

In winter, on the other hand, Giannutri is completely deserted because there are no residents there but only hotels and holiday flats for tourists during the summer.

The main landing places are near the major gulfs of the Island: Cala Spalmatoio with the only square on the entire island, called the Piazzetta and Cala Maestra.The remains of the Roman Villa built in the II century AD by the ancient Domizi Enobarbi family, are kept here.

In the summer of 2015, when the entire area was made safe and some renovation work was carried out, the archaeoloical site of the Roman Villa was once again opened to the public
With the help of professional guides you can go to the site where you will be given information about the villa, educational information as well as a detailed plan of the what is left of the villa.

Protected area and resrictions

The Island of Giannutri is classed as a Marine Park so for this reason the regulations are very strict. The territory is divided into two areas: one on the south side of the island considered a complete natural reserve, the other a partial one. From June 1st to October 12th, single visitors or groups without a guide are allowed only to the main road from Cala Spalmatoio to Cala Maestra, because you can only visit the protected area on the one condition that you have an authorized guide. Many areas of the sea are classed as "1" areas, so sailing, fishing and scuba diving here is forbidden, while in the "2" areas, fishing is allowed but only under the strict control of the Park Authority; you are allowed to moor your boat in this area so you will be able to admire the kilometres of Posidonia on the sea bed, as well as going down to see the two shipwrecks of the Anna Bianca and the Nasim.

You can get the ferry from Porto Santo Stefano (province of Grosseto) to the Island of Giannutri all year round, the crossing takes about an hour, and during the summer months you can get there via several shipping companies that organize mini cruises.

Useful information

Commune of the Island of Giglio 0564 806064 -

Pro Loco Islands of Giglio and Giannutri 0564 809400 -

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