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 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 below the surface of the crystal clear water, and this, plus the presence of the two shipwrecks make this unique 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 Nasimon the other hand is somewhat more difficult because of the depth of the water, 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 diving 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 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 what is left of the villa.

Protected area and resrictions

The territory is divided into two large areas (and another two that are smaller): the one on the south side of the islandis classed as a complete natural reserve, while the other one is only a partial one. With the new number 9 and 18 laws passed in 2017 the Park Authorities have changed the restrictions on the Island of Giannutri, and today access is no longer limited so tourists may now "go out of" the stretch of land beween Cala Spalmatoio and Cala Maestra but only if accompanied by a guide. During the winter there are about 15 residents but during the summer the number is between 200 and 300 and they are only allowed to walk along the paths in the A zones of the National Park if they are accompanied by a guide.

Many areas of the sea around the island are considered "1 zones" so sailing, fishing and scuba diving is forbidden here, while in the "zone 2" areas fishing may be done only under the strict surveillance of the Park Authorities; here boats may moor, and as well as the numerous beautiful areas rich in Posidonia you can reach 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 also get there from the Island of Giglio thanks to several shipping companies that organize mini cruises.

Access to the island is no longer granted to a limited number of visitors only so this means the maximum number is no longer 300 per day. The cost of the ticket if you wish to go there is 4,00 euros (though visitors who belong to certain categories don't have to pay, as is the case with other islands) and it is paid to the owner of the boat whose Shipping Company you sail to the Island with.

If, on the other hand, you sail to Giannutri with your own boat, you can buy your ticket at: the Proloco of the Island of Giglio, if you set off from there, or the Maregiglio ticket office if you set off from the mainland.

While on the Island make a point of going to see the fascinating archaeology Site of the Domizi Enobarbi Roman Villa that on July 2nd 2015 was opened once again to the public, but visitors must be accompanied by the Park experts.

Useful information

Commune of the Island of Giglio 0564 806064 -

Pro Loco Islands of Giglio and Giannutri 0564 809400 -

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