Eastern side of Elba

Tour on the eastern side of the island of Elba

For our tour of the eastern side of the Island of Elba, we start from Portoferraio in the direction of Lacona which is 5 km away. The small (purely tourist) town is scattered over a vast area of ​​countryside, between the gulf Stella and the gulf of Lacona. The respective beaches are beautiful, in particular that of Laconella.

We continue our tour following the provincial road for the most part along the coast, towards Capoliveri. The ancient town is located on a hill, with characteristic vicoli that intersect each other on different levels, many of these come alive with life and activity in the evening numerous craft stalls. The square, which has now become famous for holding numerous summer concerts, offers a beautiful view of the Golfo Stella and on part of the town. There are many beautiful beaches around the town: Zuccale, Morcone, In love, Cala Nuova (these are just a few).

Hermitages and Sanctuaries on the Eastern Side of Elba

3 km from Capoliveri, in the locality of the same name, there is the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie; same distance, but in the opposite direction, for Fort Focardo, located on the extreme tip of Capo Pero and built in 1678 to guard the entrance to Cala Nuova and the Bay of Mola where Porto Azzurro is located: the next town on the eastern side of the Island of Elba that we are going to visit. Already in the distance we can see Fort S. Giacomo built in 1603 by the Spanish and located on the hill above the town, now used as a penitentiary. We suddenly see Porto Azzurro as we turn the last bend, we are immediately struck by the pretty tourist port and the church bell tower highlighted by the palm trees on the street that leads to the square by the sea. The three restaurants on stilts are characteristic, clearly visible in the photos. Leaving the town for 1 km in the direction of Rio Marina (our next destination), we can make a small detour to visit the Monserrato Sanctuary (about 2 km from the crossroads) located in the middle of reddish rocky gorges, in a hidden place and unique on the island.

The mines of the island

We continue our trip on the eastern side of Elba in the direction of Rio Marina, where the ancient mine where the extraction of pyrite took place, from which iron was obtained, now closed and used as a park mining; in the town there is also the museum of Elban minerals. On the port pier stands the Tower with the clock built by the Appiani in 1500. Let’s go back in the direction of Rio Elba taking the road we just took. It is believed that the town was the first inhabited center on the island and that it exploited the mineral veins already in the Neolithic period, as evidenced by some finds in the cave of S. Giuseppe. To return to Portoferraio we travel along a narrow but short road that crosses Monte Volterraio. After climbing the hill (Alt 350m) you have a wonderful panoramic view of the Portoferraio bay, spectacular at sunset. A little further on we find what remains of the Volterraio Castle built in the 1000s on top of a rocky spur.