Isola del Giglio - Porto
The initial appearance of Giglio Porto will surprise you as it unfolds as you draw to the end of the ferry’s journey from Porto Santo Stefano. As you enter the port for the first time, the eye is drawn towards the arching of the houses, which follow the shore, and the crystal clear water of the harbour. The visitors who return to the island will be familiar with the places unique spirit and a sense of relaxation will descend upon his/her weary bones.
You have just landed at Giglio Porto, the main commercial centre and the only harbour of the island, a busy crossroad crowded with people coming and going in every direction. You will be startled by the confusion reigning around you; bars, restaurants, pizza places, shops, people walking with their beach towels, other with their scuba diving equipment ... watch out ... a three wheeled van is whizzing around carrying some tourists to the hotel at the same time a scuba diver is ploughing through the crowed with is trolley full of equipment. The real estate agent is waiting at the corner to deliver the apartments’ keys to his clients. More tourists are asking information on how to rent a boat or a moped, while some others are looking for the bus stop or a taxi.
Don’t be put off by the confusion; it’s only during high seasons and the landing of the ferries (the same place looks completely different in a winter afternoon). Once you have checked in into your accommodation is time to properly explore the port. You will soon notice the hotels, the scuba diving schools, the chemistry, the church, the banks and everything else you may need during your stay. Behind the ancient tower on the right as you look toward the sea; you will discover the enchanting little cove of Saraceno with its semi submerged ruins, once the location of ancient Romans fisheries, intended to breed large eels (murene) for the nearby patrician villa. You will realize how peaceful is the port as the last ferry leaves in the evening, and how pleasurable is to stroll around the shops or to sip a drink out on the many bars’ verandas.
We hope you will find some time to talk to the locals, who despite appearing detached and slightly rude at first, are capable, like all Tuscan people, of warmth and friendliness. You might met some original ‘character’ of the harbour; the disable old man who asks for his cappuccino from inside his three-wheeled van, or the pensioner, who tackling an impossible crossword puzzle is asking passer-by for answers. You might even find some old sailor seating on the pier willing to tell you his numerous sailing adventures around the world. One last piece of advice, we know you are on holidays, but you should try to wake up at least once during your stay around 6o’clock in the morning. A spectacular sunrise will reward you effort. By the way, there is one every day and they are totally free of charge ... (Translated by Gianluca Fanciulli)