Montecristo, the island made famous by 19th century French author Alexandre Dumas in his book The Count of Montecristo, is to be opened to the public.

The 10 km sq island, in the Tyrrhenian Sea off Tuscany, is an uninhabitated, state-protected nature reserve.

Currently, its only visitors are academics and researchers, no private boats can moor at the island and swimming in its waters is banned. The Tuscan Archipelago Parks Commission plans to allow 1000 visitors a year to join visits guided by forestry warders to montecristo and the neightbouring islands of Pianosa and Giannutri.

Visitors, who can apply to join those kind of tours, will have to attend a day-long environmental education course.