Pianosa: Exclusive relax in Tuscany

Nestled in the heart of the Tuscan Archipelago, Pianosa is a small, flat island that boasts a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and strict environmental protections. Unlike its more famous neighbors, such as Elba and Giglio, Pianosa is less frequented by tourists, offering a serene and untouched landscape that feels worlds away from the bustling mainland. This article explores the allure of Pianosa and provides detailed insights into how you can embark on an adventure to this secluded paradise.

Those who stay in Pianosa stay in hotel, with a unique starry sky, silence, surrounded by nature. A journey on a human scale where the guest is not a number but experiences the social relationships of the island. We like to imagine the island as a place from which to start again, of second chances, of restarts and of valorisation of the thousand experiences of solidarity with which the archipelago is dotted, making the image of Pianosa as a regenerating paradise even stronger.

The Enchantment of Pianosa

Pianosa’s charm lies not just in its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, but also in its fascinating history. Once home to a maximum-security prison, the island has stories of infamous inmates and daring escapes, adding a layer of intrigue to its peaceful appearance. Today, the prison stands abandoned, and nature has largely reclaimed the land, turning it into a haven for biodiversity.

The island is part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, Italy’s largest marine park, which ensures the protection of its unique flora and fauna. Visitors to Pianosa can enjoy hiking through its untouched landscapes, snorkeling in its protected waters, and exploring the remnants of its ancient Roman villas and early Christian catacombs.

How to Reach Pianosa

Reaching Pianosa requires a bit more effort than visiting other islands in the Tuscan Archipelago, primarily due to the strict regulations in place to protect its delicate ecosystem. However, the journey is well worth it for the unparalleled tranquility and beauty that await.

Pay attention that if you are without authorized guide, you can ONLY stay on the one beach permitted.

If you have authorized guide, you can also visit the little town, know the special history of island, know the story of its prison, visit catacombs, do snorkeling, walk on the secret nature of the island etc.

From the Mainland

The most common way to reach Pianosa is from the Tuscan mainland, specifically from the port towns of Piombino. It depends on the period of the year.

From Elba

Once on Elba, the town of Marina di Campo is your next stop. Here, you’ll find authorized boat services that offer day trips to Pianosa.

Planning Your Visit

It’s important to note that visits to the island are strictly controlled to minimize environmental impact, and all trips must be booked in advance through these authorized operators.

Given the visitor limitations, securing your spot well in advance is essential, especially during peak travel seasons. Authorized tour operators provide guided excursions that include boat transportation from the mainland or the island of Elba, guided walks through historical and natural sites, and sometimes snorkeling or diving activities in the marine protected areas surrounding Pianosa.

  • Find Authorized Operators: Only authorized operators can conduct tours to Pianosa. Check the Tuscan Archipelago National Park’s official website or contact local tourist information centers in Tuscany for a list of approved tour companies.
  • Choose Your Experience: Decide whether you want a day trip focusing on the island’s history, its natural landscapes, or a bit of both. Some operators also offer specialized tours, such as bird watching or snorkeling expeditions.
  • Book in Advance: Space on boats to Pianosa is limited, and all visits must be booked ahead of time. During the high season, it’s advisable to make reservations well in advance to secure your spot.
  • Check the Schedule: Boat services to Pianosa are not daily and can be affected by weather conditions. Always check the schedule and communicate with the boat operator a day before your trip to confirm departure times.
  • Guided Tours: To protect the island’s ecosystem, visitors are only allowed in certain areas and must be accompanied by authorized guides. These guided tours offer a wealth of information about the island’s history, flora, and fauna, enhancing the experience.
  • Pack Wisely: There are limited facilities on Pianosa, so bring everything you need for the day, including water, sun protection, and snacks. However, remember to leave no trace behind to help preserve the island’s natural beauty.

What to Do on Pianosa

Despite its small size, Pianosa offers a range of activities for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. Here are some highlights:

  • Hiking: Explore the island’s trails to discover its diverse landscapes, from Mediterranean scrub to coastal cliffs. The hike to the Cala Giovanna beach is particularly rewarding, offering stunning sea views. Hike on Pianosa is for anyone.
  • Snorkeling and Diving: The waters around Pianosa are part of a marine protected area, offering some of the best snorkeling and diving in the Tuscan Archipelago. The clear waters are home to a vibrant array of marine life.
  • Historical Sites: Visit the abandoned prison for a glimpse into the island’s past. The ruins of a Roman villa and the early Christian catacombs are also must-see sites, offering a window into ancient life on the island.


Visiting Pianosa is an unforgettable experience, offering a rare blend of natural beauty and historical depth. By planning your visit with care and respecting the island’s regulations, you contribute to the preservation of this unique ecosystem and ensure that it remains a sanctuary for future generations to enjoy. Pianosa’s tranquility, beauty, and mystery make it a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic and thoughtful encounter with Italy’s natural and historical heritage. Reserve Pianosa with expert guide and organization