People sit at beach under umbrellas. Water and boats to left and low hills in background.

Giglio Island’s Towns – A Look at All Three

Thanks to local Tuscan and Giglio Island expert Suzanne Talenti for this guide to Giglio Island’s towns!

It may be famous for its incredible seascapes and dramatic coastline, but Giglio Island (Isola del Giglio) in Tuscany has three charming villages to discover onland as well. 

Giglio Porto (harbor), Giglio Castello (castle) and Giglio Campese are three very different towns. Though very small, they are the main hubs of 24 km² (9.3 square mile) Giglio Island, in the Tyhrrehnian sea off the coast of Tuscany. 

Cars are not allowed in the small town centers, so you can explore them carefree. 

My family and I go to Giglio Island numerous times every year. Here’s my guide to its unique, picturesque towns. I also have advice about how to get from town to town, when to go to Giglio Island, and how to get there. 

Want to know even more about Isola del Giglio? Check out my Guide to Giglio Island

Giglio Porto

Turquoise water and colorful buildings of Giglio Porto on Giglio Island. Above the town are small hills with low green brush.


  • your gateway to the island: the ferry arrives right in town
  • charming shops
  • harbor front dining 
  • boat watching

Welcome to Giglio Island! The perfect-perfect pastel houses, fishing boats, and lighthouses of Giglio Porto (harbor) await you.

A stroll along the harbor front, lined with bars, little shops and restaurants, is one of our favorite things to do on the Giglio. You can walk all the way from one lighthouse to the other, admiring the boats and looking for knick knacks and souvenirs on the way. 

Don’t forget to explore the town’s hidden passageways and corners as well.

Enjoy dinner at a restaurant overlooking the harbor. Or, there are alimentari (small food stores), bakeries and a butcher if you wish to have a picnic or make dinner yourself. 

Giglio Porto even has two small beaches right in town. You can see Scalettino beach as the ferry pulls into the harbor. It has a small sandy beach, as well as rocks where you can sunbathe and take a dip into the water. 

Buildings right on the water and cruise ship in backround on Giglio Island in Tuscany.
Saraceno cove

Tucked behind the Torre del Saraceno, or Saracen tower, is Saraceno cove. It has a tiny strip of pebbly beach, and is one of the island’s most special little spots.

Giglio Porto is the closest town to two of the island’s most picturesque small beaches: Cannelle and Caldane.

The pronunciation of Giglio Porto is: JEE-lyee-oh POHR-toh

Listen to the pronunciation Giglio Porto here:

Man walks by ivy-covered restaurant above the sand in Giglio Porto in Italy. Shops and buildings on left.

How to get to Giglio Porto: Take the ferry from the mainland (Porto Santo Stefano): Giglio Porto is your entry point to the island


  • small food shops
  • restaurants
  • cafés (bars)


  • souvenir shops
  • clothing stores
  • post office
  • pharmacy
  • tourist office
  • ATM
  • emergency medical clinic 
  • scooter, e-bike and boat rentals
  • scuba diving excursions

Special Events: The Palio Marinaro is a rowboat race held on August 10, the Feast of San Lorenzo, Giglio Porto’s patron saint day. The town’s four neighborhoods, or rioni, compete against each other as crowds lining the harbor roar and boisterously cheer them on.

Giglio Castello

Man and child walk through stone archway in small Italian village on Giglio Island.


  • medieval fortress in the clouds
  • feel like you’re on top of the world
  • incredible views
  • nooks and crannies to discover

Medieval Giglio Castello, or castle, stands guard on one of the island’s highest peaks 405 m (1328 ft) above sea level. There are incredible views from up here, and on clear days you can see the island of Monte Cristo. 

Giglio Castello is so high up that often it’s shrouded in fog in the morning, which makes it seem like you’re in a cloud (don’t worry, by late morning it usually burns off).

The village dates back to the 12th century, and is included in the association of Borghi Più Belli d’Italia, Italy’s most beautiful small towns. 

Inside the castle walls, there is a maze of cobblestone streets to get lost in, with small piazzas and vistas to discover. Bars, restaurants, stores and even an 11th century fortress (rocca) are hidden among the winding paths.

The pronunciation of Giglio Castello is: JEE-lyee-oh kah-STEH-loh

Listen to the pronunciation of Giglio Castello here:

How to get to Giglio Castello:

  • Drive (about 15 minutes from Giglio Porto). Parking: there is limited street parking, and a parking lot outside of the castle walls
  • Bus from Giglio Porto (15 minutes) or Giglio Campese (15 minutes)
  • Taxi van (Andrea Ansaldo: + 39 340 8732865, Antonio Blanco: + 39 347 1941888, Ottavio Brizzi: + 39 338 9706950, Adriano Pini: + 39 330 731424)


  • small food shops
  • restaurants
  • cafés (bars)


  • souvenir shops
  • post office
  • police station
  • ATM

Special Events: September 15 is the Feast of San Mamiliano, Giglio Castello’s patron saint. It’s one of my all-time favorite festivals. After a day of festivities including a religious procession and donkey race, scores of people dance the quadriglia, a traditional local dance, in the piazza. Then there are fireworks over the Castello!

Giglio Campese

Campese beach on Giglio Island in Tuscany. Sand, beach loungers, and closed beach umbrellas. It's near sunset time.


  • beach, beach, and more beach!
  • aperitivo and picnics at sunset
  • accessibility
  • beach amenities

Campese is the town at the island’s largest beach. 

Restaurants and stores are scattered in various clusters among the houses and along the shore. But this town’s main attraction is the long, wide sandy beach looking out on the majestic bay. 

Keep an eye out for a large sea stack in the distance at the southern edge of the bay, called il faraglione. On the northern end of the bay is Campese Tower (Torre del Campese), built in the 1600s. Approaching Campese from above on the dramatic windy road is absolutely breathtaking.

The town itself is not as charming or picturesque as Giglio Porto or Giglio Castello. But if you keep your eyes facing the gorgeous blue water it doesn’t matter!

Campese is relatively flat, and its beach area has the most amenities and easiest access on the island. There are both free access public beaches, and beach clubs. 

If you like sunbathing on the rocks and swimming off the cliffs, check out the northern end of the bay.

Sunset is my favorite thing about Campese. The sun goes down right over the water, so you have strong sun the entire afternoon and well into the evening. I absolutely recommend having an aperitivo or eating a pizza on the beach as you watch the sun go down! 

The pronunciation of Giglio Campese is: JEE-lyee-oh kahm-PEH-seh

Listen to the pronunciation of Giglio Campese here:

Empty main piazza in Giglio Campese in Tuscany. Colorful buildings and souvenir stands line the piazza.
Campese’s main piazza, which is right along the beach

How to get to Campese:

  • Drive (about 15 minutes from Giglio Porto). Parking: there is limited street parking, and a good size parking lot at the sports field
  • Bus from Giglio Porto (30 minutes) or Giglio Castello (15 minutes)
  • Taxi van (Andrea Ansaldo: + 39 340 8732865, Antonio Blanco: + 39 347 1941888, Ottavio Brizzi: + 39 338 9706950, Adriano Pini: + 39 330 731424)


  • small food shops
  • restaurants
  • cafés (bars)


  • beach clubs with daily umbrella and sun lounger rentals 
  • public SUP, kayak and paddle boat rentals at beach clubs
  • souvenir shops
  • ATM
  • boat rentals
  • scuba diving excursions

Special Events: August 16 is San Rocco, Giglio Campese’s patron saint day. The festival is capped off with fireworks right over the bay!

People walking down main street in Giglio Campese, Tuscany. You can see orange building on left and blue umbrellas and tables on right.
Campese’s main street

You may also want to check out
Where to Stay on Giglio Island
Complete Guide to Giglio Island

Giglio Island with Kids

Suzanne Talenti

Suzanne has been living in Italy for almost two decades. Based in Tuscany with her husband and two children, she uses her BA in Italian and Master’s in Gastronomy to teach about Italian food, culture and language, as well as organize food tours and events. She has over 15 years of teaching experience with students on two continents. Suzanne is always on the lookout for fun, interesting places to explore in Italy, ideally with a stop for yummy local delicacies along the way! You can find her at GettingToKnowItaly.