An enchanted paradise on the island of Elba
Perched on a hill overlooking the sea, Capoliveri is a very old village with small squares and alleys with the charm of a cosy refuge. Considered one of the most beautiful and characteristic places on the island of Elba, it has a varied, diverse territory that is always exceptionally new at every turn. The town, which has retained its medieval appearance, stands on one of the many hills that shape the Elban landscape. It dominates the Mola plain, facing Porto Azzurro on one side and the beautiful Golfo Stella on the other, with Monte Capanne in the background. Lanes, small squares and arches are undoubtedly the dominant elements of this enchanting village that does not fail, however, to offer tourists all kinds of services.
In Capoliveri, you can enjoy a full and fulfilling holiday. Here you will find 50% of the beaches on the whole of Elba, such as the wild and charming ones like Laconella to the west or Remaiolo to the east, along with a myriad of coves and creeks to explore for those who love the essence of nature: Straccoligno, Calanova, Calamita, Innamorata, Pareti, Morcone, Madonna delle Grazie, Barabarca, Zuccale, Calanchiole, Felciaio, Norsi, Acquarilli (the only naturalist beach on the island) and Margidore.
Or the long, well-equipped beaches such as Lacona, Lido and Naregno, where you can find facilities with every comfort. Throughout the area, enthusiasts can enjoy surfing, snorkelling and diving, without forgetting the myriad of marked Capoliveri Bike Park trails for trekking and mountain biking and suitable for all levels of difficulty. The area is developed on the edge of the vast Monte Calamita mining district, an archaic place of work and toil, where wild nature and the island's historical identity come together, and which today is dedicated to hiking and guided tours.
Capoliveri, one of Elba's seven municipalities, was founded as a highland fortress in Etruscan-Roman times. In Latin times, it was also known by the name Caput Liberum, a name derived from the cult of the god Dionysus-Bacco or also known as Libero, and which alludes to the production of fine wines already in antiquity. It is said that Napoleon, who took refuge on the island after his fall, was intent on razing the town to the ground. Fortunately, his passion for a beautiful young Capoliverese woman, 'la Vantina', made him recede from his warlike intentions.
After Napoleon's departure, Elba and Capoliveri in particular experienced a period of economic rebirth linked above all to the resumption of iron mining. The last years of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th century, on the other hand, were harsh and saw a vast emigration of the inhabitants of Capoliveri to South America.
This first migratory movement was followed by another after the Second World War, this time to Australia. Mining activity increased continuously until the second half of the 20th century. The rest is recent history.
Once the iron quarries were definitively closed in 1981, the economy of Capoliveri, like that of the entire island, was revolutionised by tourism, which replaced all other forms of economic production. Today, Capoliveri, most of whose municipality falls within the boundaries of the Tuscan Archipelago Park, is the main centre of tourist development on the island, since it welcomes 35 per cent of all guests to Elba.
haracterised by a very particular architecture, the historic centre is all gathered around the two squares, Via Pietro Gori and the present Via Roma, from which a series of alleys, small squares and chiassi branch off.
The municipality is divided into four districts: the Fosso, the Torre, the Fortezza and the Baluardo, which compete every year on the occasion of two of the most beautiful festivals on the Island of Elba: the Festa dell'Uva (Grape Festival) and the Leggenda dell'Innamorata (The Legend of the Innamorata). The former is usually celebrated on the first Sunday in October and involves a different choreography in each district on the theme of the grape harvest.
The Innamorata festival, on the other hand, originates from an ancient legend that tells of two young lovers, Lorenzo and Maria, who died on the same beach. Since then, the beach has been called dell'Innamorata and, to commemorate the episode, every year on 14 July, it is lit up by the light of a thousand torches and a procession of figures parades on foot and on boats in search of the two lovers.