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Capraia >> The Municipality of Capraia
Presentation The Landscapes
If you really love nature and are looking for a refuge from the city's confusion as you are not fascinated by the gleams of worldly pleasures, then Capraia is the place for you. The island has remained practically untouched and only withered with concrete that elsewhere has suffocated the naturalistic beauties in order to lodge tourists. Capraia instead, is still wild and uncontaminated with coasts overhanging the sea and a single sandy beach, Mortola, that however is exposed to the tantrums of the winds and can only be reached from the sea. In 1986, the penal settlement, that occupied almost two thirds of the island, was closed permanently and the gates to the island were opened to visitors. Only in recent time it has become possible to start recovery work on the pathway and on the old penitentiary buildings that are located in the very heart of the area. The very small harbor, Porto di Capraia, is connected to the village by the one and only asphalted road on the island, a reason for which the possibilities of lodging are very limited but also very charming. The village, dominated by the San Giorgio Fortress, preserves its original characteristics unaltered, with thick-walled houses both to protect them from possible invaders and to keep the rooms cool in the summer heat.
The pastel colored facades, the wide and ariose terraces and the bouganville pergolas complete the charm of these typical island houses. The island's historic and artistic patrimony is very rich and reflects all civilizations that have lived on this land during the last centuries. A visit to Capraia should start from Torre del Porto, erected in 1510 next to a Franciscan building in order to work as a guard for the small bay and as a bastion to the San Giorgio Fortress. The Franciscan complex dates back to the 17:th century and faces Punta del Fanale. In 1873, it became the a penal settlement and therefor even the small church in Pisan baroque style was desecrated , but can still be visited. The Palazzone, is the island's largest building and was built in 1873 by the Savoia family who wanted to relieve the island's economy through a cigar-factory. The fortress San Giorgio, solemn and majestic, dominates the village Capraia, but can not be visited anymore. The very core was built by the Pisans in the 12:th century while the later fortifications were built by the Genoese and especially so the San Giorgio wharf. Above the portico you can admire a bas-relief that depict the Saint while defeating the dragon and an analogous work inside the church depicts the Annunciation. The charming Torre del Bagno, built on a cliff hanging over the sea, dates back to the 16:th or 17:th century and probably made up a way of escape connected to the inside of the San Giorgio Fortress. Strolling about the island you also run in to the ruins of Torre della Regina, located on a peak with the same name, a withered stone construction that reminds of a Sardinian nuraghe, Torre dello Zenobito on the southern top of the island and the charming church Santo Stefano Protomartire. On piazza Milano you will find the San Nicola church, built in 1759 and embellished with pearl-colored church ornaments made by artists from the island.

Photos from APT Tuscan Archipelago and Mediaweb srl.
Villaggio Innamorata Isola d'Elba
Prenotazione on line Traghetti Isola d'Elba
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