Choose category last minute isola d'elba LASTMINUTE booking isola d'elba BOOKING
Isola d'Elba e Aecipelago Toscano
Cenni storici dell' Isola d'Elba Presentation
La  storia dell' Isola d'Elba History
La geografia dell' Isola d'Elba Geography
Isola d'Elba natura e ambiente Nature and environment
Prodotti tipici dell' Isola d'Elba Typical products
L' economia dell' Isola d'Elba Economy
Art and culture
Marciana Marina
Campo nell' Elba
Porto Azzurro
Rio nell' Elba
Rio Marina
Giglio Campese
Giglio Castello
Giglio Porto
Get to the islands
Move in the islands
Coast Guard
APT Tuscan Archipelago
Tuscan Archipelago Park
Useful numbers
We are
Add to favourite website
Write us
MONTECRISTO >> Presentation
Montecristo is the wildest island of the Tuscan Archipelago and the one located most far away. Dumas' pen made it a legend. At the end of the 19th century, the French writer set the adventure of the prisoners who were looking for the fabulous treasure which the monks had preserved and protected in the recesses of a cave. The scientists presume that the mythical treasure, which became famous thanks to Dumas, actually only consisted in furnishings and church ornaments and that the pirates led by Caput found it about three centuries before the date given by Dumas.
As a matter of fact, in 1553, Dragut's pirates, after having sacked Sicily and Sardinia, conquered Montecristo and took all its treasures and the monks became slaves. The legend of the pirate has been kept alive for centuries and many people, adventurers and scientists, have entered the inhospitable forests of Montecristo to look for the lost treasure which still today has not been found. And even if you get the idea to look for golden coins, you will have to give it up as tourists are not allowed to visit the island. The island became a National Park in 1971. The Forest Corp of Follonica organises visits in small groups and you can book it for one day with several month in advance. Montecristo is mountainous, wild and inhospitable. It is hard to get here and the island is almost expugnable due to the huge granite blocks. The irregular coastline rises straight up from the water and has been modelled by the wind and the sea forming extravagant and curious shapes which increase the dark and magnetic fascination of the island. The holm-oak forests that once used to cover Montecristo only remain in the centre of the island, while the Mediterranean bush covers the mountains slopes, hiding many springs and streams. The only place were you can access the island is called Cala Maesta and the only buildings on the island, among them Villa Reale and some back-garden here and there, are located in the valley with the same name. After Dragut's pirates had sacked the island, it was completely abandoned and during the last centuries it has changed owners several times: from the English noble Tylor who built the Villa of Cala Maesta, to the Florentine noble Ginori who made it a game preserve, to the future king Vittori Emanuele III who introduced muflons and goats from Montenegro on the island. The Fortress is a testimony of the past and was built on the top of the mountain with the same name at about 650 metres above sea level, which is the highest peak of the island. It was probably the Appians who built it and the only thing that remains is the stone base. The island also features the ruins of the Benedictine Monastery from the Middle Ages which was abandoned in 1500 after the devastation by the pirates of Dragut. The Monastery in granite, hosted the common halls on the ground floor and the private cells on the first floor. The only thing that remains today are the ruins as a sign of the destruction made by the treasure-hunters and the German navy from the second World War who used it for target practice. Only the impressive Gothic façade resists. The convent was dedicated to San Mamiliano, who died on the island in 460 and the story tells that he hided himself in a cave under the Monastery after having killed the dragoon. The Saint's cave is located at the inlet with the same name and is actually a sober sanctuary in the rock, with a gushing spring considered to be miraculous. Not far away, there are the remains of an old water-mill, built with squared granite blocks. The rich Englishman Lord Tylor had the Villa Reale built in the middle of the 19th century and today it is a guest-quarter for the scientists. The noble Florentine Ginori, who transformed the island into a game preserve, had it restored at the end of the same century and today the Villa preserves a small Museum of Natural Science behind the back-garden.

Photographs granted by Mediaweb.
Villaggio Innamorata Isola d'Elba
Prenotazione on line Traghetti Isola d'Elba
hotel le acacie, all you have to know about Elba Island, in the Tuscan Archipelago: how to arrive, where to accommodate, what to see and what to do. Plan your holiday now!
Site map     Reproducing forbidden - The Tuscan Archipelago site is not connected to the other sites and is not responsible for the their content