Giglio Island is completely cut off from Tuscany and not just because it’s an island.
Geographically, Giglio is close to Monte Argentario, only 11 miles away, and its port is rarely free of mainland ferries either arriving or departing.
Instead, Giglio Island’s isolation runs deeper than distance. It’s more of a feeling, brought on by the attitude of the people and the spectacular environment they live in.
The island is effectively a self-sufficient city. The locals rarely leave Giglio if they can help it and have instead laboured to create a little world of their own, with a culture and lifestyle that differs entirely from that on mainland Maremma.
This lassier faire lifestyle, it’s the best way to describe it, is the type you’d see on any island paradise where the days are always mild and calm, and its inhabitants enjoy extremely close contact with nature.
In Giglio, 90 per cent of the landscape is unspoiled.
Almost 700 of the local flora species are rare and unique to the island. The 28km of coastline, which alternates between polished granite cliffs and sandy beaches, is home to several rare fauna species including the Sardinian frog, peregrine falcon and herring gull, and that’s without mentioning the wonders that live in the water around the island.
The locals are living in what can only be described as a nature park of enviable beauty.
It’s hard to imagine a place where you can go from port city, with its bustling shops, restaurants and hotels, to completely deserted beach or forest. But in Giglio, it’s not only possible, it’s achievable in a matter of minutes thanks to the local’s dedication to preserving the splendour of their surroundings.
The best way to navigate Giglio Island is by bus. Buses regularly depart from Giglio Porto and run to Giglio Castello and Giglio Campese – the main stops on the island. Tickets are €2 per single trip. If you want to explore the rest of the island, you can on foot or by taxi. You can also bring your car from the mainland.
Giglio is divided into three districts, Giglio Porto, Giglio Campese and Giglio Castello. Each has its own story and sights, see below.