Giannutri Island in the south of the Tuscan Archipelago


Giannutri Island - a paradise of nature with crystal clear waters and incredible seabeds

Giannutri Island is the southernmost island in the Tuscan Archipelago. The island has a unique shape - a crescent moon.

The island itself is like a paradise outside of time and space. There are no cars or roads on the island. You will also look in vain for the usual tourist structures on the island. That's because the island is mostly privately owned.

Unusually for an island, there is only one single sandy beach on Giannutri, which is quite small and located in the bay of Cala Maestra.

The coast of the island of Giannutri is very rocky and rugged and offers a particularly natural spectacle. The waters off the island are crystal clear. Due to some shipwrecks off the island, these waters are particularly interesting for divers. Every year thousands of them explore the shipwrecks and waters off the island.

Interesting facts about Giannutri Island

The island has a size of 260 hectares and is therefore the second smallest island in Tuscany. It is 3 km long and only 500 m wide. The highest point on the island is the Poggio Capel Rosso. It measures 88 meters. The island is approximately six nautical miles from Monte Argentario and 8 nautical miles from Lily .

The island consists entirely of limestone rock. It is run by the community Giglio Island managed that for Grosseto district for a trip to the Winterlude.

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A special attraction on the island of Giannutri - the Villa Domizia

On the island there are the ruins of a Roman villa. This dates from the 2nd century BC. and can be visited. The villa was probably built by the Domizi Enobarbi family. This family is an old Roman patrician family. Nero's mother is part of the family tree.

The villa has a total area of ​​5 hectares. It contains a huge terrace. This had direct access to the sea via a staircase. According to excavations, the floors were made of delicate marble or black and white mosaics.

The villa provided space for apartments for the imperial family (with heating system), as well as accommodation for the slaves. There were also terms. The system for these terms is still clearly recognizable on the island. There were cisterns and pipes all over the island that distributed the rainwater.

The remains of the villa are located in the central-west of the island. It was exactly between the port (on the bay of Cala Maestra) and Punta Scaletta (the island's residential complexes were located here).

The main house of the villa was on a slope that sloped down to the sea. It consisted of many terraces on different levels. Next to the main house there was a building with several rooms (Conventacci).
A path connected the villa and the harbor. This path is now privately owned and is unfortunately completely inaccessible. The remains of many other buildings are along this path. The function of some of them is no longer known today, otherwise it was mainly baths and thermal baths.

Giannutri Island
Anchoring is only allowed in the bay of Cala Maestra and Cala Spalmatoio

History of Giannutri Island

Many prehistoric tools and weapons have been found on the island. This speaks for a very early settlement of the island. There are also many Roman and Etruscan structures there.
In addition, the Romans also left traces of a port. The ancient port is located on the bay of Spalmatoio.
The many sea wrecks around Giannutri stem from the island's shipping history. It was on an old shipping lane that ran along the entire Tyrrhenian coast.

Giannutri lighthouse
Giannutri lighthouse

Diving into deep waters - diving on Giannutri Island

In addition to the ancient shipwrecks, there is much more to discover in the waters around the island of Giannutri. For everyone who loves diving or snorkeling, the island is a real paradise.
There are many fish in the sea that can be observed. There is also a unique coral reef and underwater meadows.

An intact Roman ship can also be admired underwater. This is in Punta Scaletta. Many other shipwrecks lie in the bay of Spalmatoio, including both Roman and Etruscan ships.

The best dive sites

  • Nasim's car
  • Punta Secca
  • Punta San Francesco
  • Punta Pennello
  • The pools
  • Cala Ischiaiola
  • Shipwreck Anna Bianca
divers, scuba divers, diving
Divers off the coast of Giannutri

A visit to Giannutri Island

Giannutri can be visited by tourists, although mainly in private hands. A ferry company brings interested tourists to the island with a 4 euro ticket. The ferry goes to the island once or twice a day in the high season. The crossing takes an hour. Excursions to the island are also offered during the season.

Unfortunately, there are no longer any excursion boats sailing from Giglio to Giannutri. However, there are boat rentals there for small groups. From there it is also possible to get to the island of Giannutri.

The excursion boats dock in the bay of Cala dello Spalmatoio. If the weather is bad, they usually moor on the other side of the island, in the bay of Cala Maestra. This is the only sandy beach on the island. Otherwise it is difficult to moor on the island due to the many rocks.

When visiting the island, it can be explored ideally on small paths. However, the island cannot be explored on your own. Exploring the island is only possible in the company of a hiking guide. If the Roman villa is to be explored during the visit, this visit must be reserved in advance.

Part of the National Park & ​​Marine Park

The island is part of both a national park and a marine park. The island is divided into two zones. It is not allowed to dive, fish or anchor in the first zone. This is only allowed in Zone 2. Fishing, as well as underwater hunting, is generally prohibited on the whole island. Residents are allowed to fish on the island. Tourists and non-residents need a permit for this.

Yachts and motor boats can only be moored in two places on the island - in the bay of Cala Maestra and Cala Spalmatoio.

These measures are intended to protect the island's nature and diversity.

Climate & inhabitants of the island

The climate on the island is very Mediterranean and also very mild in winter. As a result, many tropical plants, such as orchids or even palm trees, thrive on the island. This is part of the special image of Giannutri.

The island has only a very sparse population. Most of the houses are only inhabited in summer. The population is in the lower double-digit range, most people live on the island in summer.
The island is therefore especially ideal for holidaymakers who like to be alone and are looking for peace and relaxation. With its many pristine diving spots, the island is of course also worth a visit for sport and amateur divers.

Last updated: 11.03.2021

Images courtesy of francescafoto80 -, Photo by ubert on Pixabay and Photo by joakant on Pixabay

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