Giglio Island, just a hop, skip and a jump (16 kilometres or 10 miles and a breezy 1 hour ferry ride) from Monte Argentario, is a rugged pint-sized grant island surrounded by crystalline water. With the misfortune of being in a desirable position, it has an ancient and turbulent history, suffering centuries of pillaging by pirates and changing hands of owners - from the Pisans to the Meopolitans, then to noble families like the Piccolomini from Siena, who sold the island to Eleonora di Toledo, the wife of Cosimo de’ Medici I. Today it’s a sleepy island for most of the year, until summer time, when beachgoers arrive, seeking the smooth sand and turquoise waters.
Giglio is also known for its white wine, Ansonaco, The first time I tasted it was during an unforgettable visit to Altura winery, with its breathtaking historic terraces of rambling vines that seem to just drop right into the sea. Almost 20 years ago, this abandoned, historic vineyard was rescued and restored by Francesco Carfagna. It’s here where they make their Ansonaco in the most natural ways.