Monte Cristo treasure: among Dumas, San Mamiliano and Giglio Island

Where there is an island, almost inevitably, there are stories of pirates. And the stories about hidden treasures bloom right where the raids of pirates have been more devastating. Such as in the case of Giglio Island, in Tuscany. As the legend of the treasure of Monte Cristo.

The first mention to Monte Cristo treasure dates back to XVI Century. According to this part of the legend, the treasure was hidden in the grotto of San Mamiliano by monks of San Mamiliano monastery: they wanted to protect it from the raids of Dragut the Corsair. The grotto really exists, is located under the ruins of an ancient hermitage.

For the treasure in his novel The count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas was inspired by this legend. The treasure belong to Spada family and was hidden, in fact, in a cave on the island of Monte Cristo.

At this point, you can ask: what has Giglio Island to do with the treasure of Monte Cristo? That’s a good question. There would be, at least, two connections:

  • San Mamiliano is the patron saint of Giglio Island. This means that between the saint and the island there is a close relation.
  • According to another legend, San Mamiliano landed on Giglio Island and defeated a fierce dragon. It seems that a great treasure was obtained by the killing of the dragon.

The relation between the two legends isn’t certain. And it’s not certain that the treasure of Monte Cristo is only a legend. But pirates, knights, lords and ordinary people have tried to find this fabulous treasure for centuries. In vain, it seems.


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