Montecristo Island



Montecristo è l’isola dell’Arcipelago toscano più distante dalla costa.


Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago Toscano
tel: 0565 919411

At 63km from the coast, Montecristo is the most distant island of the Tuscan Archipelago, and the fourth largest, with a surface area of 10.4 square kilometres. The island is currently uninhabited and a state nature reserve.

Montecristo’s history is rooted in the Neolithic Age, between the 6th and 5th millennium BC, a period from which fragments of pottery and a flint artefact found in Cala Maestra appear to date. There are very few elements that help to define the history of Montecristo in Etruscan and Roman times. We know of wrecks of cargo ships in the vicinity of its waters (3rd century BC) and we have some evidence of artefacts found in the 19th century in Cala Maestra, such as a fragment of glass, iron scoriae and a fragment of marble flooring, which could belong to a maritime villa similar to those found on other islands in the Tuscan Archipelago.

Isola di Montecristo, Comune di Portoferraio

More information is available from the 5th century AD, when a monastery and a chapel were built in the cave where St. Mamiliano lived while fleeing from the Vandals and which, according to legend, also housed his mysterious treasure. Sources describe how the monastery was built on the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, but have not found any concrete evidence to support this idea.
The island was inhabited until 1553, although it was subject to numerous pirate raids. During the last of these raids by Dragut, the monastery of Montecristo was definitively abandoned and the island became a pirate hideout for many years. Subsequent attempts at repopulation, which continued until the end of the 19th century, were never really successful.