Snorkelling and diving are activities appreciated by those who immerse themselves in contemplation, people who refuse to stop on the surface of things, who want to know more, discovering and finding something brand new in a sea that conceals wonders just a few meters from the covering of light where we tend to swim. For sea explorers, the Tuscan coast offers excitement and the islands, shining pearls on the surface, are the personification of paradise, oases of underwater beauty preserved by years of environment protection.
The Etruscan Coast reveals the mysteries of the Gulf of Baratti to divers, once a thriving Etruscan port and trading hub, now a tourist destination whose sandy seabeds might still hide the remains of a civilization that disappeared centuries ago. A variety of rocky seabeds can be explored in the Maremma around Grosseto, home to numerous fish species that appear to divers who approach without scaring them.
Under the seven islands known as the Pearls of the Mediterranean lies a treasure trove of wonders, right where the Tuscan Archipelago still echoes the words of Venus in love. It’s a place that inspires incredulity metres beneath the surface, where the water pressure transforms into a desire to discover. Snorkeling off Elba Island means being wowed by the fish and seagrass that make their home in these beds; anemone, octopuses and coral are just one part of it all. Diving off Scoglietto di Portoferraio means embracing something truly amazing. A protected nature zone since 1971, numerous underwater treasures can be found here, from multiple life forms. (During just one dive you’ll find practically all the varieties of marine flora and fauna that exist in the Mediterranean!) Here you can encounter a statue of Christ behind which an unusual yellow sponge wall has formed. Natural art and human labour blend in a symbiotic ecosystem that has remained fixed in time, albeit in constant mutation, which can be observed, even studied, only with a certain awe, pure spirit and an open mind.
Capraia is a true paradise for people who love to snorkel. The island’s volcanic origins hasmade the coast rocky and ripe with opportunities to flipper past sea beds and ever crystal-clear water.
Marvels can also be found beneath Pianosa, an island closed to the public for 150 years, keeping its environment well preserved. Through a diving mask, we can see a pristine underwater world, home to lobsters, eagle rays, sunfish and barracuda, happily swimming around visitors.
The lighthouses of Punta del Fenaio in the north and Punta del Capel Rosso at the far south represent both arrival and departure points of a circular route around Giglio Island year round for those who aren’t bound by the seasons.