From prison island to wild pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea
Smaller and less famous than some of its “sister” islands in the Tuscan Archipelago, including the renowned Elba, the island of Pianosa still retains a mysterious, almost dreamlike charm, the result of the fusion between its fascinating past and its wild, pristine nature.
Inaccessible to the public from the mid-19th century until 1997, when the maximum-security prison was finally closed, today Pianosa is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination. Many visitors are fascinated by its flat terrain, which never exceeds 29 metres above sea level and from which it takes its name (“piano” means “flat” in Italian).
You can enjoy a charming stroll through the alleyways of the ghost town, abandoned when the island became the “Alcatraz of Italy”. The Roman villa of Agrippa and the Christian catacombs are also worth visiting.
But at the heart of tourism on Pianosa is its nature. The island is a paradise for snorkelling enthusiasts, who can don a wetsuit and mask and explore the crystal-clear waters of Cala Giovanna or Cala dei Turchi.
Today, no more than 250 people per day can visit the island. You will need to take your entrance ticket along with your ferry ticket.