Its western part is characterized by a very high cliff, so that it’s totally unapproachable; the only docking point is a little wharf in the north-eastern side of the island.
Tino island has a surface of mq 127,000 and a almost two-kms-long perimetre. On the top of the island there’s a lighthouse, while in the northern part there’s an ancient monastic building.
The whole island is a “Military Zone” and it’s always garrisoned by the inspection personnel. Tino island is open to visitors only twice a year: on the 13th of September, on occasion of Saint Venerio’s feast, and on the following Sunday. Saint Venerio, who lived on the island for a very long time, used to lit a bonfire on the top of the Tino in the darkest night, to offer a point of direction to the passing through ships. Saint Venerio, who lived on the island for a very long time, used to lit a bonfire on the top of the Tino in the darkest night, to offer a point of direction to the passing through ships.
Saint Venerio died in 630 and the Benedectines built for him a monastery on Tino island, but the following raids of enemies ravaged it so that it was rebuilt more and more times.
Just thanks to his behaviour, Saint Venerio was proclaimed “lighthouse keeper’s Patron”; as soon as, the Genoese erected a high tower on the island, after used as base for the actual lighthouse.
Notwithstanding the limited extension of the island, there’s an interesting variety of vegetation.
Here you are the main species we can observe on Tino:
- Sea Fennel ( very closed to the sea water).
- Cineraria Marittima.
- Eufobia Arborea ( it’s present on the island in great quantity; it’s used to lose the leaves during the summer time, to survive to the barrenness of the period. Its blossoming season is in March-April and its flowers are of a golden yellow colour).
- Corn Poppy.
- Hottentot’s Fig.
- Centaurea Veneris.
- Red Valerian.
- Rue, Thyme, Myrthle and Rosemary.
- Ampelodesma Mauritanica ( a perennial plant with large stubs).
- Ilex ( an evergreen plant that can be 25 meters high. At the end of the 50’s a lot of them was transplanted on the island, to integrate the reduced number of trees, caused by the excessive chopping down during the last World War).
- Aleppo’s Pine.
- Lentisk, Arbutus, Ash-tree, Alder-tree.
Speaking about the fauna of the island, the more common species are:
Royal Sea-mew: they are numerous on the isle, they nest in the strangest places from April. Usually, their eggs are green with darker spots, to aid the mimicry. Their youngs are weaned by both parents for about a month and a half.
Pilgrim Hawk: it’s surely one of the most beautiful italian bird of prey; it can catch its preys at about 300 kms/h. It nests on the high cliff of the island.
Wall Lizard: the most common reptile on Tino. Ias times gots living area is dominated by a male (different from female for the dimensions and the head’s shape) surrounded by a variable number of females.
Gecko: it’s very common but it’s difficult to meet because of its crepuscular habits and the great ability to mimicry. It fastly escapes when percieves a suspicious presence.
Litle Gecko: it’s almost unknown. It has very reduced dimensions and it’s considered the most little reptile in Europe. It has found on Tino Island its perfect habitat.
On the island there’s a lighthouse active from the 1840, thanks to the Military Engineers; at first it was activated with a vegetal oil, then with a mineral one. In 1884, a second higher tower was built: it has an optical system of an incandescent lamp with a voltaic arc.
As time goes by, the lighthouse had a lot of changes and alteration. In 1985 it became totally automatic.