The island of Giglio is part of the chain of Tuscan islands that lie off the mainland, including Elba, most famous as Napoleon's first place of exile and the largest of the chain, then there is Montecristi, a real place and closer ot Giglio the is Giannutri, smaller even than thud island we chose to visit.
There are three villages on the island, Giglio Porto wher
e the ferry docks, Giglio Castello where the twelfth century castle sits on the hill in the middle of the island which measures about six miles long and four wide, and Giglio Campese on the west side where there is a large swimming beach and a small town. In all some two thousand people call Giglio home and each village has it's own very distinct character. We left the dock area in a hurry, as pretty as it was lined with pastel colored houses and thatch palms.
We rode up the steep hill and stopped at the castle where Giovanni took off for his beach aft noon sunning himself on the sand at Campese. He was in pig heaven. We looked for lunch and found a lovely little place with a terrace overlooking the water.
La Porta promised a fabulous seafood menu. Maurizio delivered a fabulous view:
And a meal to die for. We shared an appetizer of cooked pears wrapped in prosciutto ham and covered in gorgonzola sauce:
The dark wine in the background is locally grown and is 16% proof but not at all sweet. It was perfect for the hearty lunch to follow. We sat back and watched the ferry leave for the mainland:
Then a seafood risotto with slightly firm rice which gave it a delicious texture, with octopus and pieces mixed in, all infused with the flavor of the sea and slightly salty.
A mess of grilled fish, shrimp and lobster of which we ate all but the shells:
And for dessert a superb Crema Catalana, a type of creme brûlée though more delicate. Brought to our table flaming:
We bought a bottle of the wine and for about $110 we staggered out of Maurizio and Marcello's divine restaurant. They dismissed Key West as too noisy and too crowded. Oh well. Compared to this they have a point:
And we walked all round the little village of Castello, a mass of alleys, one more picturesque than the next:
It is really quite divine.
More to come in Part Three where we meet the basket weaver and take a ride across the island.
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