Route 101 of Elba: between sky and sea

Hiking trail 101 leads from Marciana to Monte Capanne, to the highest view point on the island at 1019 meters of altitude, overlooking the Tuscan Archipelago. From there, it leads down to the sea, ending into an old wreck.

The climb to Monte Capanne

The trail starts from Porta di Sant’Agabito in the medieval village of Marciana and crosses a chestnut wood up to an altitude of 500 meters, were it crosses the footsteps of Saint Cerbone and the cave that sheltered him on the island. The 101 runs across the cable car at the Hermitage of San Cerbone, founded in 573 and rebuilt in 1421 at the Saint’s cave.

The hermitage in the womb of the forest

The oldest place of worship on the Island of Elba, located at a height of 530 meters, is completely immersed in the woods and divided halfway between the villages of Poggio and Marciana, on a plateau on the slopes of Monte Capanne. This was the refuge of the Bishop of Populonia, who fled to the Island of Elba in 569 to escape from persecution by the Vandals. In 1421 it was inhabited by friars, who abandoned it because it was too isolated; in fact, until the 19th century, it was home to hermits. Inside the building,
restored in the 20th century, we find a painting with a portrait of Saint Cerbone from the 19th century, between the altars of San Giacomo and the Madonna della Neve.

The panoramic terrace on the top of Elba

The top of Monte Capanne is a very strong emotional experience because the 360 ​​° view sweeps from the Island of Elba to Corsica, revealing the sensual coastal profiles of the Tuscan Archipelago.

The descent from Monte Capanne

Resuming trail 101 at the first intersection with the Grande Traversata Elbana – GTE trail, you can reach the plateau at the Passo delle Filicaie between Monte Capanne and Monte Calanche and then cross the GTE at the Grottaccia hill and the ancient stone village, which houses the largest
fortification built quite high up on the island.
Along the route, a water stream runs across the old vineyards and forms waterfalls and ponds which can be enjoyed even in the peak of summer. The point of arrival is Pomonte, on the west coast or Costa del Sole. It is no coincidence that this is the best sunset spot on the island.

The village of Pomonte

A little gem of Etruscan origin, it is a village of fishermen and winemakers between the sea and the mountains characterized by terraced vineyards and divided by a ditch that marks the border between Campo nell’Elba and Marciana. From the beaches of Pomonte you can admire the islands of Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio and Corsica. The cliffs of Calello and Cala Maestrale overlooking the sea as well as the beaches of Scalette, Relitto and Ogliera are famous destinations for divers, because of the Elviscott wreck.

The descent to Marciana

Resuming path 101 at the second intersection with the GTE, you can reach the junction with path 110 and 103, the fastest way to reach Marciana.
A small town of medieval origins, Marciana is located at a height of 375 meters. Its urban plan is very suggestive, with granite paved alleys and a square that offers a magnificent view of the Gulf of Marciana Marina and the coast of Piombino. The place is rich in history, with the Archaeological Museum and the Pisan Fortress, but it is also the base for hikers because the numerous paths that wind along the west coast of Elba start here,
both for hiking and mountain climbing.

The golden rules for a perfect excursion

The Tuscan Archipelago offers over 400 kilometers of trails monitored by the Italian Alpine Club which provides hikers with paper and digital maps that can be downloaded for free.
Among the paths managed by the Park, parth 100 is reserved for expert mountain climbers.

The golden rules of Federpachi

• Choose an itinerary based on your physical and technical abilities
• Monitor the weather forecast
• Notify the destination and your approximate return time
• Choose clothing suitable for the season and sturdy footwear
• Choose a light but roomy backpack with first aid equipment, water and food to rehydrate and feed during the excursion
• Stay on the path
• Monitor your geolocation
• Do not throw stones and do not light fires
• After an emergency call to 112 and 118, hold the position

Ph: Roberto Ridi

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