Historic circumstances have kept Montecristo safe from mass population, which makes it the best place in all the Mediterranean to imagine how the Mare Nostrum looked before humans started to colonise it. One of the reasons for the interest in Montecristo is the exceptional state of conservation of its flora and fauna. In some cases, it provides one of the last havens to animal and plant species that used to flourish widely along the Mediterranean coasts.
The Montecristo goat has become one of the symbols of the island. A Middle-Eastern rather than a native species, Capra aegagrus was introduced here when man first arrived on these shores. The Montecristo goat is the only kind of wild goat in Italy, and can be recognized by its curved, pointed horns.
The island of Montecristo has formed part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park since 1996, but the quality of conservation here was celebrated back in 1988 with the European Diploma for Protected Areas, which earned the island more visibility as a site of common interest. Access to Montecristo is therefore severely restricted, managed by the Follonica Forest Guard. Fishing within three miles of its coastline is banned, as is bathing; boats are forbidden to sail within a kilometre of the island too. So if you would like to visit Montecristo, you will have to contact the Park Info point, which organizes trips and special visits with licensed guides.