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The island has three towns -- Porto, Castello, and Campese -- which is the order in which you're likely to experience them. A bus, operated by Autolinee Brizzi (www.autolineebrizzi.it) connects all three; the one-way ticket costs 1.80€, and each leg of the trip takes 15 minutes (for example, Porto to Castello and Castello to Campese).

Ferries land at Porto, the busy harbor town with pastel-colored palazzi lining the waterfront. Any and all waterborne activities can be organized from Porto, and it has several lovely spots where you can eat and drink along the lively seafront promenade. Nearby, the remains of a Roman villa are visible just beneath the water surface. Castello is the historic heart of Giglio; at an altitude of 405m (1,329 ft.) and 6km (4 miles) inland from Porto, it still preserves its citadel feel and has charming medieval alleys, arches, and stairs around every turn. Castello is also the epicurean center of the island, boasting the island's greatest concentration of high-quality restaurants, wine bars, and nightlife. Island tourism is Campese's raison d'être. This laid-back town on Giglio's western coast was developed in the 1970s around a picturesque crescent of golden sand that terminates in the north with the historic Torre del Campese. The watchtower was built to guard against the pirate invasions that plagued Giglio for centuries. The last pirates the island ever saw, Saracens from Tunisia, were repelled in 1799. The tower has been restored, but it's a private residence not open to visitors. Campese offers plenty of watersports and a few casual spots for eating and drinking, and -- since it faces west -- this is a prime place to be for a cocktail at sunset.

Of course, as an island with 28km (17 miles) of coastline and only two coastal towns, much of Giglio can only be seen from the sea. A round-the-island tour with Boatmen will point out all the most interesting geological features and, weather permitting, include several stops for swimming, well away from the typically crowded beaches of Arenella, Cannelle, Caldane, and Campese. If you decide to go for a small boat rental and circumnavigate Giglio yourself, a highlight is the western coast of the island, south of Campese. This part of the island is National Park, providing a stunning backdrop of forested cliffs for your swim or bob in secluded, crystalline waters. The sculpted granite platforms at Punta del Capel Rosso, at the southern tip of Giglio, are a favored spot for nude sunbathing and swimming.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.