Giannutri island, Tuscany 6

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At Giannutri, you can choose a different location each time you go down to the beach; backpack on your shoulders or by canoe, even in August you can find yourself a quiet little inlet to be alone in and listen to the waves roar and the sea gulls cackle, dive off the cliffs into the deep azure water or explore the colourful array of marine life in mask and snorkel.

The space

A small, tastefully furnished and efficient seaside home, with a sunny veranda/kitchen that gives onto a wide terrace overlooking a natural inlet known as Cala Spalmatoio. The perfect setting to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, read a book and sunbathe. The sea lies straight ahead at a distance of 30 metres, where you’ll breathe in the salt air all day and all night.

Giannutri, the island of seagulls:

Facing the promontory of Monte Argentario there is Giannutri, the southernmost of the Tuscan Archipelago’s islands, with its unmistakable shape of a crescent. Giannutri has been a marine park and a protected area for many years; it is a small, very green island from the rugged and rocky coastline, interrupted by picturesque bays and caves, about 3 km long and just over 500 meters wide. Its limestone and the exceptional clarity of the water, the extraordinary biological diversity and the presence of wrecks, make unique sea bottoms, rich in sea fans, sponges, coral and tunicates, plus a wide variety of fish, attracting thousands of divers every year. The mediterranean scrub, the juniper, the rosemary and the annual grassland cover it all with their colors and scents. It is the step-way for a myriad of birds that reach Europe to nest, and the favorite place for the pale swift and the herring gull. Bird lovers can also find here the shearwater, the little nun, the Sardinian warbler, the shag.

To the north there is an impressive 19th century lighthouse overlooking the sea and to the west the ruins of a Roman villa of the 2nd century, built by the Domitii Enobarbi, relatives of Nero. For the rest, there is a small village on the Cala Spalmatoio, a lovely little square, some scattered villas, only a food shop and a small bar, open during the summer months. There are no hotels and you cannot camp. No cars, no scooters, and not even bicycles, no noise except for the sea and the cries of seagulls. For children, a paradise of freedom and fun; for adults, no obligations: no shopping, no need to dress up, or schedules, except for the arrival of the daily ferry leading newspaper and bread. Living just a few days in the island allows you to discover the true meaning of well spent time, maybe to listen and talk each other, or just to think; reappreciating silence, smells, serenity and pleasure of a total immersion in nature. In summer the island is accessible by a daily ferry from Porto Santo Stefano. In winter the frequency of connections is reduced to Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.