The sinking of the Costa Concordia








The island of Giglio (I)

The the site, speaking specifically of the vessel but must also speak of where it sank. This island is a paradise on earth, in a few words I will present it.

The island of Giglio where Italian "Isola del Giglio", is an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is a town in the province of Grosseto in Tuscany (Ita). It is part of the Tuscan archipelago with the islands' Elba, Pianosa, Capraia, Montecristo, and Giannutri Gorgon ". Second island in the Tuscan archipelago population statistics with 1466 inhabitants in December 2010, behind the island Elba with its 31 059 inhabitants around. Its area is 23.8 km2, behind again Elbe and its some 224 km2.

Its name comes from the Greek "Igilio" meaning "goat", because a wild goat population had developed. mountainous island made largely of igneous rock, known as "Granite" that should not be confused with the "Granit", this rock is a magmatic with grainy texture, it has an effect crystallized with a composition of minerals.

As in Provence (France), the island is covered mostly by scrubland ((Helichrysum and Cistus) and Pine forests, the highest point of the island is the "Poggio della Pagana", which culminates to 496m, its rating is 27 km long. also included is but rarely that a few decades, Arbutus, oaks, cork oaks and also the tree heath, but forest fires and agriculture have been there.

The Tuscan Archipelago is the largest marine national park in Europe 56,800 hectares of sea and 17,900 hectares of land, the ecosystem is very fragile. Side fauna there are wild rabbits, bighorn sheep and shrews gardens, but also butterflies, snails, lizards, and migratory birds that make their nests.

The sea is full of fish, such as tuna, Barracudas, rocks are home to Moray, the Lobsters, Mussels and crabs. By the spring we also realize the Sperm Whales, a whale (Whale), not to mention the Dolphins having fun with ships.

It consists of cliffs and bays with these small villages "Giglio port" where the Costa Concordia failed, "Giglio Campese" and on the heights village "Giglio Castello", there is also the small hamlet "of Arenella ".

The island has wineries that produce wine lands "Ansonaco" but also agricultural land which produce olives, fruits like oranges, lemons, pears, but also jams of wild cherries (fruit of cherry, wild version cherry) or pear, and especially the famous Grappa that all Italians should enjoy, brandy made from grape pomace base. There is also the "Panficato", a kind of gingerbread made from dried fruits such as grapes and figs previously dried on plates of granite, walnut, honey, apples or pears, wine and chocolate.

For a long time the island lived exploitation of pyrite, fisheries and agriculture today these areas are largely abandoned in favor of tourism, the island has 11 hotels with restaurant, 24 restaurants, 1 camping not to mention seasonal rentals that are for the year 2011 in number 48. There are also 6 diving companies, 6 taxis, boats hire 1, 1 bus route that serves the villages and this 16 times per day.

To connect the Italian mainland, there are no less than two ferry companies that ensure the crossing with the ports of "Monte Argentario" and "Porto Santo Stefano" and that two return trips per day in low season and fifteen in high season this summer to say.

The Saint Patron of the island is "San Mamiliano", archbishop of Palermo in 455, leaky "Vandals" Eastern Germanic people who conquered many countries and of course the Mediterranean islands.

Early in its history towards 800 before J-C. Giglio Island is inhabited by the Etruscans ancestors of Tuscans, they are already using the Pyrite. Later she is one of the main bases of Julius Caesar and the Romans in the Tyrrhenian Sea during the Gallic Wars between 58 and 52 before J-C.

In 410, populations settled to escape the Visigoth invasion. In 455, the island is the property of St. Mamiliano would become their patron saint. In 805, the island belongs to the Western Emperor, Charlemagne, is given in Roman Tre Fontane Abbey (Abbey of the Three Fountains).

Then came the wealthy families of Florence and Pisa that share it, then it becomes under the rule of the Cistercian monks of Pisa and it is here that was built the village of Giglio Castello and its walls, between 1264 and 1406.

But families of Florence and Siena continue to want to impose their rights, it was necessary to calm everyone that the Neapolitans come to protect and support the island. This will only last a time, the Neapolitans in turn sell the island to the Piccolomini family, which sold in 1558 to Eleanor of Toledo, wife of Cosimo de Medicis first.

From there, the island and its inhabitants will become autonomous, laws are promulgated in favor of greater independence in the economy and functioning. But the island is under the control of pirates like Barbarossa who in 1544 had ransacked and had deported the majority of the population in Tunisia to sell as slaves. In total 700 people who were deported, the Medici family repopulate the island with the inhabitants of the city of Siena (Ita).

In the sixteenth century Ferdinand I of Medici, erected three circular towers interspersed with thick walls, and three entries for this fortress backed by granitic rocks, and that will allow people to defend themselves. In 1737, the Grand Duke of Tuscany (François de Lorraine), which takes possession of the island in the death of Gian Gastone de Medici validated by the Treaty of Vienna in 1738.

The island of Giglio is even become French during the Napoleonic period and the invasion by the latter of Tuscany in 1810. In 1870, it is the unification of Italy, and Tuscany and the island of Giglio revert Italian. In the early twentieth century the decline had set continues, more disease "phylloxera" causes the abandonment of vineyards.

In 1938, job creation in the quarries of Granite and Pyrite will not be enough for the economy of the island, which is mainly oriented towards agriculture, was the leak of part of the population to more hospitable lands level jobs, such as Argentina and especially America.

It was not until after World War II (1939/1945), and the closure of the last Pyrite career, that the island is a new activity, "Tourism" ...

In ever remain etched in the history books and the memories, 13 January 2012 and the sinking of the Costa Concordia which has made 32 dead and thousands of hours of images and comments on this small island in Tuscany.


Website of the town of Giglio :
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Marco Mannella

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