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The Tuscan Archipelago is a chain of islands between the Ligurian Sea to the north and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the south and between Corsica to the west and the Tuscan coast. It contains seven major islands: Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona (in order of size). It extends for 166 kilometers (103 miles) from the northernmost island of Gorgona to the southernmost island of Giannutri and 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the westernmost (Capraia) to the Tuscan coast. All the islands are protected within one of the largest marine parks in the world, the Tuscan Archipelago National Park established in 1980.

Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona form, with the numerous smaller islands that emerge from the foam of the waves, an extraordinary mosaic of splendid natural scenery, strictly protected. An "anomalous" archipelago, because each island is a world in itself, with its character, its morphology and its history. Each island maintains its own physiognomy and has a wonderful array of natural environments, intact and fragrant vegetation, monuments of history and art.

THE BIRTH of the TUSCAN ARCHIPELAGO. Legends of the seven gems of the Tyrrhenian Sea

A mythical aura has long hovered over the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, which legend has it were born from the waters when Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love (later identified with the Roman Venus to whom all the myths were also attributed , the virtues – few – and the loves – many – of Aphrodite) came into the world. The goddess would therefore have been born, as Hesiod narrates (as opposed to what Homer claims) from the foam (afros) of the sea, emerging already a woman. And this is why she was also called Anadyomene, that is, she who comes out of the sea.

In the rush to reach the shore (where the no less sober Eros was waiting for her) she tried to fasten, with her hands numb from sleep, the necklace that Paris had given her. The thread broke and the pearls fell: seven slipped into the Tyrrhenian Sea, right in front of the Tuscan coast, but, instead of sinking into the abyss, they stopped on the surface between Italy and Corsica set in the blue of the Upper Tyrrhenian Sea, which crowned by a myriad of islets and rocks.

Venus, goddess of beauty and love, was proud of her wonderful pearl necklace that surrounded her neck. One day, however, the necklace slipped off and fell into the Tyrrhenian Sea and gave rise to the Tuscan Archipelago...

For Homer, however, the matter would have taken place very differently: the aforementioned goddess was a kind, helpful, distracted lady, who one morning, as soon as she woke up, called urgently by her father Zeus, attempted to fasten herself, with her hands still numb from sleep, the precious necklace that Adonis had given her (one of her many loves). But it slipped from her fingers, fell from Olympus and, who knows why, fell a few hundred kilometers away from Greece: right in the stretch of sea facing the Tuscan coast, between Livorno and the Argentario. It was the time of astonishing events: the seven large pearls were instantly transformed into as many islands: those that now form the Tuscan Archipelago.

Classical mythology also narrates the fantastic adventures in which the Argonauts were involved when Jason, together with 56 men, set out in search of the Golden Fleece: the fleece of the Winged Ram. The Argonauts, on board a ship built by Argos (with the help of Athena), overcoming infinite vicissitudes, seem to have arrived in the Tyrrhenian Sea, landing right on the Ghiaie beach, near Portoferraio (this is what the historian Apollonius Rodius assures in the 3rd century BC. ).

But above all Elba was the fabulous iron island that made Virgil say:Insula inexhaustis chalybeium generis metallis: generous source of metals.

The origin of the archipelago dates back to the Triassic period and the islands, islets and rocks have different geological origins such as magmatic, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The archipelago is characterized by a Mediterranean climate with high sunshine throughout the year. The flora and fauna differ from island to island, but mainly they all have vegetation similar to the Mediterranean scrub.


Discover our sailing boat itineraries in the Tuscan Archipelago, Etruscan Coast and Argentario.
Experience a wonderful holiday among the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, sailing on a sailing boat between nature and relaxation. 



Sailing Tuscany, Tuscany on a sailing boat,Sailing cruise in the Tuscan Archipelago, Sailing cruise on the Island of Elba and the Tuscan coast, Tour sailing boat on the Etruscan coast, Tuscan Coast Sailing, Tuscan Yoga and Sailing, Eco-sustainable sailing cruises,Naturist sailing cruise in Tuscany.

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