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seagulls in Elba sky

Legends of Love on Elba Island

The story of Maria and Lorenzo

If you happen to be on the island of Elba on July 14th, you're likely to notice the scent of love in the air: every year, Elba celebrates the story of two lovers that lived in the island many years ago. After the sunset, one hundred people dressed in special costumes participate in a parade. It's a very interesting event and if you have the possibility of taking part. And what's the story of these two lovers?

A starfish in the vicinity of Punta Nasuto
A starfish in the vicinity of Punta Nasuto - Credit: Elba Diving Fb page

The legend says that in 1534 the seaside of Elba was not a safe place: the island was often invaded by dangerous pirates like Barbarossa who dominated the Mediterranean. In that period, the inhabitants of Elba were used to living in tightly knit groups and everyone was advised to avoid certain beaches, but a couple of lovers - Maria and Lorenzo - didn't listen to the advice. Lorenzo and Maria were completely in love with each other, but the rich family of Lorenzo didn't approve the relationship. One day, when Lorenzo was helping a fisherman who worked for his father, he found a special beach, far away from the severe eyes of his family. From that day on, this beach became their secret hiding place.

Innamorata beach
Innamorata beach - Credit: Vivi Capoliveri

For many weeks they lived unforgettable moments of joy and love together on that beautiful beach until July 14th. Lorenzo arrived earlier at the beach because he wanted to prepare a boat to escape with Maria and marry her against his family will. A group of pirates arrived and attacked him. Maria was just arrived at the beach when she saw the fight. When she reached closer, the pirates were already gone, leaving behind them the dead body of Lorenzo. In despair, she went into the sea and nobody saw her again.

In the 17th century, a nobleman from Spain called Don Domingo Cardenas, attracted by the beauty of the beach where the two lovers used to meet, decided to move there andcall it the "Calla de lo Ferro". One summer night, in July, he caught a glimpse of a young pretty lady calling for help. In his surprise at seeing what must have been Maria's ghost, he shouted so loudly that even people at Capoliveri (a village 6 km away from the beach) heard him! Later on, when he learned of the tragic story of the lovers, he promised himself he would light 1000 torches for Maria and Lorenzo. From that date the beach is known as "Spiaggia dell'Innamorata" (that means the lover's beach).

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Romantic and Wedding