Updated: Aug 1, 2021
The Sparviero island is a little rock facing the Marina of Punta Ala. Its peculiar shape, with the Appiani Tower at the top, is part and parcel of the "skyline" of Punta Ala.
Uninhabited and almost completely untouched, the island is extremely popular with local hawks who nest there, as well as with hikers and scuba divers who want to experience the best of Punta Ala’s natural splendour and beautiful waters.
The Sparviero island is ideally linked to the promontory of Punta Ala by three little rocks dubbed as the "three little pigs"; the name goes back to when the Sparviero was called "isola di Troia" ("troia" in italian means "sow", the female pig) and Punta Ala was known as Punta Troia (before the aviator Italo Balbo changed its name to Punta Ala).
You can get to the Sparviero island in 10 minutes from the beach renting a rubber dinghy; the east side, facing the Marina, has a shallow rock pavement, crystal clear water and in the summer is full of yachts at anchor; the west side, facing the Elba island has a vertical wall falling quickly to the deep and is a natural home to lobsters, morays, corals and many breeds of fish.
On the top of the island, the Appiani Tower, built in the Middle Ages, was one of the many outposts south of the Principality of Piombino and part of the defensive system of the tuscan coast in the XVI century.
Here's a list of the many ancient towers on the coast between Piombino and Orbetello:
The Appiani tower was rebuilt in 1561, but it was attacked many times by pirates and in the end it was abandoned to its decay.
Video of a climb to the tower - Youtube
A dive on the west side
Sparviero island - drone view