RIO ELBA (200 m) – LE PANCHE (327 m) – MONTE CAPANNELLO (496 m) – MONTE STREGA (427 m) – S. CATERINA (268 m) – TORRE GIOVE (352 m)
Length 6.4 km
Duration 2 h 30 minutes
Total ascent 432m
Total descent 256m
Highest point 408 m
Lowest point 167 m
The walk starts from Rio nell’Elba at 200 m. above sea level. It is a typical mining village in which, among other things, you can visit a museum (called “Gente di Rio”) exhibiting Elba minerals. The walk leaves the village from a castle gate towards the Volterraio and continues on an unpaved road uphill until reaching Le Panche, where it crosses the Provincial Road from Portoferraio.
From this point you can decide either to make a detour to visit the Castle of Volterraio, a fascinating fortress that was never conquered, or continue and reach the summit of Mount Capannello (496 m.), easily identified by the military aerial. From this point to the descent from Mount Strega (427 m.) there is a beautiful view to admire.
In fact, the walk goes along an easy track on a ridge from which you can see at the same time the southern and the northern coastlines of the island. As you descend Mount Strega through a steep track you will return on the Provincial Road. Walk along this road for a few hundred meters until you come across an unpaved road that goes to the hermitage of Santa Caterina. It is a small church today used as an international cultural center in which you may admire a very rare species of ancient rose bushes.
By walking north past the hermitage, you will come across a small track – it can be difficult to spot – that leads to the old ruins of country houses; from there the track descends toward the Provincial Road. After crossing the Provincial Road the itinerary continues uphill to the Fortress of Giove, romantic ruins dating from the middle of the 14th century. From this point, Rio Elba is distant 4 kilometers and it may be reached on foot along the Provincial Road; in fact, although it is a normal road, not many cars pass by and it is a good opportunity to see some geological formations.