Crystal-clear sea, uncontaminated nature and fewer than ten residents: this is the island of Gorgona, green and wild, the last prison-island in Italy, the smallest in the Tuscan Archipelago and one of the most protected by the Park Authority.
Gorgona is located in the Ligurian Sea, about twenty nautical miles from
the coast of Livorno. The vegetation on the island is dense and lush: there are
about 440 species of flowers and plants, some of which are native. Many birds nest
in this area, making the island an ideal place for birdwatchers.
Since 1869 Gorgona has been home to an agricultural penal colony that still
houses about a hundred prisoners, most of whom work outside their cells, dedicating
themselves to agriculture, wine, cheese and honey production, animal care or
masonry and carpentry work.
Historically a fishing village, only about seventy fishermen still live on the
island, but only seven people are said to live here in a stable way.
Overnight stays on Gorgona are therefore not yet possible.
Since 2016, however, it is possible to visit the island for tourist and naturalistic
purposes, but only with organized and regulated excursions, in order to protect the island’s
biodiversity. In addition, swimming is prohibited throughout the
island, in order to preserve a clear and clean sea, with the resulting
proliferation of marine species. There is a 6 km-long hiking trail that you can take with a guide, but be sure to book in advance as access is restricted.
An appropriate pair of walking shoes, water and sun cream are recommended!
The abundance of nature, together with the charm of an island that is a model of social recovery, make Gorgona an exclusive destination, loved by all hikers.