The Italian Islands
Today we would like to bring you to the world of Italian islands. Welcome to one of Repitaly reading. The summer is fast approaching we want you to recall the beautiful experience that you had in Italy the first time you have been there. By reading our article, to plan a come back so that you can repeat your Italian experience.
Italy, as you might know is a peninsula. Its long shape makes the country itself so unlike any other place you have been. From high mountains peak to beautiful beaches, in any case the sea play an important role into the distinctive character of the Italian country.
And as you know, there cannot be sea without Islands. In this article we would like to invite in those little rather exclusive paradises. You should know by now the Repitaly philosophy. We leave out the obvious choice to introduce you to the specials in our Italian Menu. Places that you might have heard, or not, but that a visit in there would capture for ever and would never let you go. This is at the end what we are trying to do here at Repitaly, inspire you to create your own special and most astonishing experience. Without any further ado follow us and once more Repitaly with us!!
San Giulio (Lake) – Piemonte
The small island of San Giulio, reachable by boat or motorboat, is only 400 meters from the coast of the Orta Lake. Is the only Island of the lake and has a small city center which is dominated by the Romanesque basilica, the bishop’s palace and the Benedictine abbey. The legend say that the island used to be infested by snakes and monster up until the year 390 AC where Saint Giulio crossed the 400 meters on top of his cloak and using his walking stick to sail the tempest. Once in the island he builds the church and establish the island as the “evangelical” center of the region.
The tourist is welcomed on the island by a short staircase that leads to the suggestive basilica, which represent the main attraction of the place. The visit continues through a small road that runs through the entire island; it is the “way of silence and meditation“, a suggestive combination of spirituality and architecture.
Borromean Islands (Lake) – Lombardy
In the middle part of the Maggiore Lake in between Piedmont and Lombardy region there are a small group of islands. The Borromean Islands. Five cosy and tiny stretch of land that have been turned out in magnificent and splendent paradises. In the 1300’s the Borromeo family bought the islands and started to develop them to become the jewel that they are today. Only three of the islands are currently lived. Fisherman Island (Isola Dei Pescatori) has got inhabitant all year around and tourist admire the two marvellous palaces. Isola Madre (Mother Island) is worldly famous for giving shelter to numerous species of animals that come here to rest. And then Isola Bella (Beautiful Island) has got an astonishingly designed garden, developed in centuries, and offer blossoming flowers all year around. The typical daily tour could start from Arona (mainland) start with a short transfer into Isola Bella, a couple of hours should do. Next one will be the Isola Pescatori for a lunch break and a small tour no more than two hours too. Last one Isola Madre for the last part of the tour. Use the boat transit to admire the smallest Scoglio della Malghera and Isolino (little island) of San Giovanni.
Just a little Trivia, in 2004 Isola Madre was the beautiful location for the jet set wedding of John Elkan, heir of the Agnelli family and CEO and Chairmain of FCA Automobile.
Palmaria Island (Sea) – Liguria
Just a s short jump from Portovenere, an integral part of the UNESCO world heritage site of the “Cinque Terre” Palmaria Island can be consider the cherry on top of the cake. An extremely versatile island with an amazing history that stretch for hundreds of years. Started as an extension of the town of Portovenere, it became a site on his own with a convent and few more houses. Within the centuries of its history, the island, has been a military site, a marble cave, a wine and olive sweet spot and it is now a tourism “not to miss” destination with beautiful views, marvellous beeches, crystal clear water and hidden gem sea caves. Once you are in the Cinque Terre, over stretch your stay and come and have a tour on the island, you wont regret it.
Bergheggi Island (Sea) – Liguria
On the other side of the Genoa gulf you will find the small little island of Bergeggi, right on front of the homonym town. Just few metres down the cost the island is not lived in. It used to be in roman times, and you can admire some remaining of that age. There is also a medieval tower that worked as protection of the Genoa Republic. Since then now the island is a protected natural reserve, unfortunately currently threaten by an overgrown population of seagull.
Giannutri Island (Sea) – Tuscany
In Giannutri the charm of nature takes over: the beauty of its seabed rich in biodiversity and the crystal-clear sea make it a paradise for lovers of diving and snorkelling.
Trekking enthusiasts, on the other hand, will be able to walk on paths that cross expanses of dense Mediterranean scrub, Roman remains and enchanting natural scenery until they reach Monte Mario and Poggio di Capel Rosso, the latter being the highest point on the island (88 m above sea level) from which you can enjoy an amazing panorama.
The island is constantly lived in by about 20/30 people even during the winter season, where those residents enjoy the peace and quiet of a paradise on hearth like destination.
Maddalena Archipelago Islands – Budelli / Caprera / Maddalena (Sea) – Sardinia
The Maddalena Archipelago is a group of islands in the north of Sardinia just lying adjacent to the tourist resort of “Costa Smeralda”. There are 62 islands in total for a total of 180 km of coastline. The whole area is now protected as a natural reserve and for that same reason they are a heavenly destination for boaters or snorkelling enthusiast that are coming here to admire the natural beauty and the emerald coloured sea water. Only the Maddalena and the Caprera islands are inhabited while the others offer marvellous beeches. Santo Stefano Island used to be a NATO navy base harbouring nuclear American submarines.
Tavolara – Sant’Antioco – San Pietro / Carloforte – Sardegna
It is only natural to find in the Sardinia region many paradise islands that are worth mentioning for their beauty spot. Maddalena Archipelago, mentioned earlier is a group of island on its own but there are so many others that are tourist destination for their natural beauty.
Located in the Gulf of Olbia, in the North-Eastern part of Sardinia, the Island of Tavolara looks like a rectangular limestone and granite mountain approximately 6 km long, 1 km wide and located at 565 meters above sea level , height that makes it clearly visible from both Monte Albo and Corsica.
Wild and unspoiled, Tavolara is characterized by dream beaches with clear waters and spectacular backdrops. Uninhabited for long periods, the island is now partly owned by N.A.T.O. which has a military base on the east side while in the west (Earth Spreader), human settlements are quite scarce. There is also a legend regarding the island. It is said that both the Italian King and also Queen Victoria of England recognised the island as a kingdom on its own, The Smallest Kingdom in the World.
Sant’Antioco – San Pietro/Carloforte
Still in Sardinia but on the south west side of the island you can find Sant’Antioco and its sister island San Pietro. Far larger island than the one before those are proper settlement. Still full of natural beauty and beautiful beaches and crystal-clear water. San’t Antioco is also famous for the tuna fish catching festival. The migration of the fish is generally happening between May and June and the locals celebrate it in style.
A bit up the coast from the island of Sant’Antioco you find the San Pietro island. Within the island the main town is called Carloforte. The island and the town have been lived since the prehistoric period, however, has been abandoned around the middle ages and was colonised in the 16th century by the Genoa republic. The actual language in the island in fact, has strong link with the language from Genoa. Also, as per its slightly more distance from the main Sardinian Island the town never lost its peculiar medieval town and in fact is a well renowned tourist destination. The island had a tempestuous past with different dominations including French, Tunisian and ultimately Italian/Sardinian.
This is a sign a multicultural background therefore the island today has to offer a lot including an extraordinarily strong culinary tradition.
Isole Pontine – Ponza / Ventotene / Palmarola – Lazio
We now moving back to mainland Italy. Just off Rome and a short offshore from the Gaeta and the Lazio region. Heights, stacks, rugged coasts, caves and coves and above all beaches, splendid between Rome and Naples? All of this is the Pontine Islands. Ponza is famous to be a holiday destination from Roman people and so for the astonishing quality of its beeches. Palmarola is a stretch of land, 3km long but only about 300 metres wide. All the locals generally have a piece of land here because of the quality of its soil, is in fact called the garden of the sea! Ventotene once again astonish for the crystal-clear water and the beaches. It also surprises for the culinary tradition.
Isole Tremiti – San Domino – Apulia
The Tremiti Islands are the only Italian archipelago in the Adriatic Sea and are located about 12 miles off the coast of Gargano, in northern Puglia.
Also known as Diomedee islands, the Tremiti represent a small corner of paradise that attracts thousands of tourists every year thanks to the crustal clear sea water, the clean seabed, the pleasant climate, the pure air, the luxuriant vegetation, the still wild and unspoiled nature, the bays and headlands, low and sandy coasts, but also high and rocky with cliffs overlooking the sea.
Between a dip in crystal clear waters and a sunbath in one of the many romantic coves there is so much to choose from. It looks like an exotic destination. One hardly believes it, looking at the transparency of the seabed, with shades of light green, blue and turquoise, that it is the Adriatic Sea.
Isole Di Dino – Calabria
The island witnessed struggles and battles, pirate raids, assaults, desperate defences. Muslim vessels stopped there on several occasions during their military expeditions to Italy. Once you decide to go on an excursion to the Dino’s island cannot miss the numerous sea caves that open between the rocks. Among these, the most famous are the Blue Grotto, for the intense light blue colour of the water inside, and the Grotta delle Cascate. The best way to visit the island is via boat and what is expecting you is a continuous moment of mesmerising views.
Isole Ortigia – Syracuse – Sicily
Most of you might not know that the marvellous city of Syracuse in Sicily lay actually in a small island called Ortigia. It is indeed an island and it is here that the most beautiful part of the town are. It is only once the Greeks arrived that the original population started to move into the main land. We have covered Syracuse and its beauty plenty therefore we don’t want to carry on here but we wanted to highlight that also this is an island and as such was due to be included in our post.
Enjoy our Italian Islands……..
The nature Islands is to be a segregated location. Hard to get to and not always hospitable. With the many years of exploration, we have learned that Islands are actually vital for the travellers. They offered shelter during bad weather and they transform themselves into paradise on earth during the remaining of the time. As experienced traveller we than felt obliged to make an article for it so that you the reader understand the unmissable beauty that you can find in the many islands that are in Italy. So, a suggestion from us @Repitaly is to never miss them, in Italy but everywhere in the world.