Montecristo was made famous by the French novelist Alexandre Dumas in his classic The Count of Monte Cristo, a story of revenge, honour and buried treasure.
Montecristo is not easy to visit. Until a few years ago only scientists and park rangers could disembark at Cala Maestra, the island’s natural harbour, where boats are allowed to dock. It was open for guided tours only in 2008 but the number of visitors is limited to 1000 a year.
The storyof The Count of Monte Cristo takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815–1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France.
Dumas arrived on the island in 1842, in the company of Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew. "It is fantastic and lonely, smelling of thyme and broom," he wrote, in a letter. He decided to write The Count of Monte Cristo to remind him of the trip. His hero, Edmond Dantes, discovers a pirate's treasure on the island after being tipped off by his companion in prison, Abbé Faria.
Dumas described the island at midday: "Thousands of grasshoppers, hidden in the bushes, chirped with a monotonous and dull note; the leaves of the myrtle and olive trees waved and rustled in the wind. "At every step that Edmond took he disturbed the lizards glittering with hues of emerald; afar off he saw the wild goats bounding from crag to crag."
Access Information and permission
Access by sea can take place only at Cala Maestra.
Corpo Forestale di Follonica
Telefono: 0566 400 19
- The Forbidden Island of Montecristo, Tuscany Retrieved 12.7.2016