Pirates and patricians: 4 stages to narrate the history of Giglio Island

An ancient land, inhabited by wealthy patricians, sacked by pirates, and port of ships and sailors, a possession of Medici and Pisani: Giglio Island may boast an ancient history. And these are the four most important stages of this history.

  1. Iron Age. Giglio Island was inhabited in this period. Subsequently, probably it became an Etruscan military base.
  2. The Ancient Rome. Giglio Island enjoyed its heyday under the domination of Domizi Enobarbi, a very rich Roman family, who built some magnificent villas. In this time, Giglio Island became an extremely important port for the trades between the Roman provinces. The proof are the many shipwrecks found in its sea.
  3. In the Middle Ages. One of the most troubled period of the island begins during Middle Age. Giglio was dominated by several families of central Italy. Then, in 1264, it became a possession of the government of Pisa until 1406.
  4. Pirates. In later centuries, Giglio Island suffered several dominations, including the Medici of Florence since the early Fifteenth century. He suffered the devastating raid of Khair ad-Din, a cruel pirate known as Barbarossa, who in 1544 sacked the island, killed anyone who opposed him and enslaved about seven hundred people. Repopulated by the Medici, the attacks of the Saracen pirates continued until the late Eighteenth century.

Thus a very quiet period in the history of Giglio Island began, which favored the viticulture and marked the beginning of mining on the island. Until 1962: with the closing of pyrite mine, the “tourist phase” of Giglio Island began.


Image source: Flickr.com/photos/gioanola

Related articles