Isola del Giglio

Isola del Giglio

This sparsely inhabited island, population 1,400, is a place of easy day hikes with breathtaking views, punctuated by good eating. Isola del Giglio (Iris Island) is 10 kilometers from the Tuscan mainland. It is literally zig-zagged by ancient trails—from which every step offers dramatic views—still used by the locals. You can stay in Giglio Castello at 1,000-foot elevation and do day loops: to the east, down to the sea, and the fairy-tale sized Roman port with exceptional seafood; to the west, to wonderful beaches; to the south tip of the island, which is rough and feels like the ends of the earth; or descend to any number of deserted coves along the way. And do try the local wine, Ansonica, grown on tiny, hand-worked terraces—my favorite white. Enjoy.

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