Must-see events on Giglio Island


Despite its modest size, Giglio Island is a veritable reservoir of culture and art. Especially during the winter, it may come off as a serene and peaceful place, but don’t be deceived. 

The island’s unique location, its deep bond with nature, and the beauty radiating from it, combined with the slow passage of time and rhythm of the seasons, have instilled a deep-rooted love for art in all its forms among the Giglio residents. As you stroll through the streets of its quaint villages, you might stumble upon various artists – singers, painters, sculptors, musicians, and actors.

They often blend in, appearing as simple merchants, restaurant owners, or innkeepers. Many have migrated to the mainland and established artistic careers, gracing some of Italy’s most prestigious theaters. However, come summer, they return, eager to share their craft with the Giglio community.

This blend of local artists has sparked a series of culturally and artistically significant events. These seamlessly merge with the more grassroots amateur shows, often brimming with unexpected talent.

Religious and Patronal Festivities on Giglio Island

Let’s begin with the traditional events of the Giglio year, ones deeply tied to religious, culinary, and sporting celebrations. The island’s small size hasn’t deterred its tight-knit community from designating three patron saints, one for each village: San Mamiliano for Giglio Castello, San Lorenzo for Giglio Porto, and San Rocco for Giglio Campese.

This ensures a dual purpose: on one hand, to bask in divine providence’s protection through a threefold intercession, and on the other, to preserve a touch of healthy local rivalry. In doing so, Giglio Island strikes a harmonious balance between the sacred and the secular, tradition and innovation, and between culture and art.

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San Lorenzo’s feast

Among the notable events of Giglio Island, the Feast of San Lorenzo in Giglio Porto, held on August 10th, stands out.

The celebrations honoring the patron saint usually span three days, from August 8th to 10th, reaching their zenith with the Palio Marinaro on August 10th at seven in the evening. This rowing race, deeply rooted in the culture of Giglio Porto’s fishermen and sailors, takes place among three districts: Chiesa, Moletto, and Saraceno.

On August 10th, the port is imbued with festive hues, with everyone passionately cheering for their district. The celebrations, which feature dancing nights, children’s games, and other minor rowing contests, climax on the night of the 10th with a firework display over Giglio Porto.

San Mamiliano’s feast

On September 15th, San Mamiliano is celebrated in Giglio Castello, the patron saint of the entire island. The Feast of San Mamiliano is especially cherished by the locals, allowing them to unwind after the bustling season.

During the festival, the quadriglia, a typical local dance performed in pairs, takes center stage. It’s a dance where romances and courtships are revealed, with everyone hoping to end up arm in arm with their beloved.

The three-day festivity encompasses musical evenings, games for both children and adults, religious events, a firework spectacle above Giglio Castello, the “Rabbit Feast” – one of the island’s traditional dishes – and Palio degli Asini.

The latter is a traditional donkey race where the four districts of Giglio Castello – Rocca, Casamatta, Cisterna, and Centro (which never wins!) – compete.

The festival also epitomizes the island’s agrarian traditions, which are more rooted in the land and countryside than the sea.

San Rocco’s feast

On August 16th, San Rocco is celebrated in Giglio Campese, on the island’s other side.

This relatively newer celebration also spans three days, offering dancing evenings, children’s games, a foam party on the beach, and a fireworks show, set against the mesmerizing backdrop of the Campese bay.

Giglio Island Culinary Festivities

Beyond religious and local celebrations, the Giglio Island presents two major wine-related gastronomic events: the Grape Festival and Open Cellars, now celebrating its tenth edition, and the MuVinAr.

The Grape Festival and Open Cellars take place on the last weekend of September within Giglio Castello. At the heart of these festivities is Ansonaco, the island’s wine, entirely produced locally.

This amber-colored white wine boasts a robust, fruity flavor, embodying the island’s characteristics and its inhabitants – simultaneously tart and tasty, strong yet sweet. During the three-day event, attendees can savor the wine and indulge in local delicacies within Castello’s ancient cellars.

Delights such as the poacher’s soup, cod with potatoes, wild rabbit, onion omelette, panficato, and dried grape schiaccia beckon. Local singing groups enliven the scene, and attendees can join in, singing while sipping wine. The Grape Festival and Open Cellars mark the end of the grape harvest. It’s a tradition where the previous year’s wine is consumed, making way for the new.

Come early June, MuVinAr springs to life, a festival that marries Wine, Music, and Art. Throughout the MuVinAr week, visitors can sample Ansonaco from various local producers and the heroic wines from guest winemakers. This event blends the island’s longstanding winemaking tradition with contemporary art, offering a fresh perspective on the island and its ecosystem.

Modern artists are given a platform to showcase their creativity and art pieces, while musical concerts set against breathtaking backdrops enchant the festival nights.

Musical Festivals on Giglio Island

Following the hybrid and richly diverse MuVinAr, Giglio Island continues its schedule with two musical festivals centered on chamber classical music and opera. Held in August, these events feature international singers and musicians from Italy’s premier theaters. The Festival Musica al Giglio, now beyond its tenth edition, proudly boasts the artistic and organizational direction of Daniela Petracchi, the event’s brainchild. 

The festival encompasses three days of chamber music concerts, timed at various parts of the day: dawn at Arenella beach, dusk on the panoramic plateau of Altura, and within the historic church of Giglio Castello.  These captivating venues frame performances from Italy’s esteemed musicians.

To stay updated on festival happenings, one can check the Facebook page @FestivalMusicalGiglio. Another unmissable event is the Festival Il Giglio è Lirica, a roving festival lasting a week in August. Through lyrical opera performances, visitors are treated to some of the island’s most enchanting spots. Every year, the festival showcases a varied opera repertoire, always performed by world-class musicians and singers.

For the festival’s program, ticket purchasing and booking details, one can visit the dedicated website, the Facebook page @associazionearteinscena, or send an email to

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The “Il Teatro dell’Isola” P. Buttarelli Company

Throughout the summer on Giglio Island, the all-island company “Il Teatro dell’Isola” P. Buttarelli stands out. From July 1st to mid-September, this esteemed theatrical group offers a series of weekly performances, primarily held within the enchanting Rocca Aldobrandesca or other picturesque venues in Giglio Castello.

On these occasions, amateur and enthusiast actors, all residents of the island, perform works they prepared over the winter. Each year, the company takes on a great classic of theatrical comedy, from Molière to Goldoni, touching upon Shakespeare and in recent years, Eduardo De Filippo. The “Il Teatro dell’Isola” P. Buttarelli company has a history spanning over thirty years. It was founded by Pietro Buttarelli, a renowned actor who worked alongside leading figures in theater, such as Giorgio Strehler of the Teatro Piccolo di Milano.

Enchanted by the island, he chose to spend his twilight years here with his wife, giving birth to the Theater Company and the Island Choir, helping unearth the talents of island residents.

Today, the company, still made up of Giglio actors, is directed by Florentine director Andrea Giannoni. From 2019 to the present, the “La Compagnia dei Cosi”, a group of young professionals, has continued the project “Ti Traghetto Teatro” aboard the Maregiglio ferries departing from Porto Santo Stefano for Giglio Island.

With a cast of two actors at a time, they welcome tourists by recounting stories and legends linked to the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. A vibrant, fresh, and smart welcome meant to spread culture and theater in the most unexpected places.

Sports Events on Giglio Island: The Ricciola Cup

Among the sporting events that liven up the Giglio Island, the Ricciola Cup stands out due to its rising success and significance.

This Amberjack fishing competition takes place on the first weekend of October and, over its 39-year history, has established itself as a can’t-miss annual event. It is especially popular among fishing enthusiasts, especially those from Rome and nearby areas, who join the local fishermen to catch one of the most sought-after and tasty prizes from our seas.

An interesting fact: the first edition of the Ricciola Cup took place in 1985, in September, a time when large Amberjacks start to approach the coasts in search of prey. Since then, it’s this time of year that fishermen gather to participate in this contest rich in history and traditions.

For all details, rules, competition dates, and official announcements, you can refer to the dedicated website:

Don’t miss the events of Giglio, reach the island with Maregiglio!

If you’re passionate about music, art, theater, sports, or simply wish to immerse yourself in a lively and welcoming atmosphere, Giglio Island is the ideal destination for you. So why wait any longer?

To fully experience Giglio’s events and appreciate the island’s beauties, book your spot on one of our Maregiglio ferries right away (we suggest online purchase, especially during peak tourist times)!

Our Maregiglio ferries offer comfortable and safe journeys with flexible schedules to meet your needs, which can be found in the relevant section.

To reach the island, just head to the ferry boarding point located at Porto Santo Stefano at Piazzale Candi 8, making sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure for proper boarding procedures. If you’re bringing any vehicle, remember to specify when booking and pay the appropriate fee: if you decide to leave your car, we can recommend where to park in Porto Santo Stefano.

Besides the numerous events mentioned, on Giglio you can spend wonderful days:

Looking for different experiences? Another option is to reach Giannutri from Giglio Island.

From June 20 to around September 15, Maregiglio offers a direct connection every Thursday, departing from Giglio Porto at 10:30 am and returning from Giannutri at 4:00 pm. Departing from Giglio Porto every Thursday, you’ll have the chance to experience two fascinating mini-cruises, always operated by our company, Maregiglio.

Departing from Giglio Porto, this mini-cruise will take you to discover the ancient ruins of the Roman Villa in Giannutri accompanied by an official guide from the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.

Departing from Giglio Porto, this tour will take you on an exciting excursion to discover the beautiful coves of Giannutri Island, habitat of a rich and varied marine life.