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Tourist Travel Guide to Holidays in Tuscany

Island of Pianosa

Pianosa is an island situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park since 1996.It is the fifth largest among the 7 islands.

It is located about 14 km far from Marina di Campo, in whose municipality it is included. This distance can be covered by motorboat in about 40 minutes leaving from Marina di Campo.

Pianosa has an area of 10.2 square kilometers, the maximum altitude is 29 meters above sea level and has a perimeter of 26 km.

The island is a former prison. The prison was established as a penal colony in 1858 and this was perhaps the salvation of this natural heritage.

The island was used for crops and livestock, prisoners were divided into different buildings and the village was separated from the rest of the island. In 1979, it was built on the island the maximum security section of the prison, definitely closed in 1997.

Today the island is practically uninhabited. There are only about twenty prisoners, which undertake the renovation of some buildings and manage the small restaurant bar Cucina Galeotta ” and the guesthouse Pertini – Caponnetto.

Immediately after getting off the ship visitors are impressed by the particular architecture of the small port of Pianosa built by one of the first directors of the prison, and by the fortress Teglia, built in Napoleonic times and bearing great charm.

When the prison was in operation many people used to live on the island. There are numerous buildings, the sign of the post office, the supermarket, the offices of prison police, the chemistry, public telephones, the numerous crosswalks and even a small hotel as testimony of that recent past.

Since May 2005 only up to 350 daily visitors can acces the Island; the ferry lines that comes every Tuesday may brings up to 150 tourists a day.

Each visitor, with the exception of residents, should pay 6.00 Euros. All tours must be made only with a guide. Mountin bikes can also be hired o make excursions.

Bathing is allowed only in the beach of Cala Giovanna, located close to the restaurant and the bar. From the cliff visitors can enjoy the splendid Roman harbor, a bay with an emerald sea.

Sea depths have remained intact, and today the island is among the most pristine waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

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