6 The Tuscan Archipelago
The Tuscan Archipelago is off the coast of Tuscany and is a popular holiday destination for both Italian and foreign tourists. There are seven islands in the archipelago: Elba, Giglio, Giannutri, Capraia, Pianosa, Montecristo and Gorgona.
The largest one is Elba (224 km2), which boasts beautiful beaches, medieval villages and one of the largest marine parks in Europe. It was also Napoleon’s home during his first exile from May 1814 to February 1815 (his two residences are a main tourist attraction).
The island of Giglio is much smaller (24 km2) and offers not only beautiful panoramic views but also two picturesque small towns: Giglio Porto (on the coast) and Giglio Castello (inland).
Capraia is popular among snorkellers and scuba divers, who explore the seabed in search of its underwater archaeological remains.
Pianosa can only be visited with an organised guided tour because it was the seat of a maximum-security prison for terrorists and mafia criminals between 1968 and 2011, when it was closed down for good.