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Tuscan Archipelago in bloom

From Capraia to Elba: a paradise for nature lovers

Nature lovers in Tuscany won’t miss an outdoor adventure on the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago including Gorgona, Capraia, Elba, Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio and Giannutri. Capraia and Elba can be freely visited, while Gorgona—which hosts a penitentiary—can only be seen thanks to guided visits. Pianosa, also occupied by a closed prison, can been visited by contacting specialized agencies or the National Park Services; Montecristo is a complete natural reserve and visitors must be accompanied by employees of the State Forestry Department.

On Capraia, the most common species are mirth, heather, rosemary, helichrysum; spontaneously growing oleander blooms in the summertime. Visitors can enjoy a stroll around ‘Lo Stagnone’ a large pond filled with rain-water that’s located on the island’s main ridge. It’s the only one of its kind within the Tuscan archipelago. Guided visits are available thanks to several authorized cooperative services.

On Elba Island, there are many ever-green trees, particularly in the northern side of Mount Capanne; there, you can find wild tulips and many varieties of orchids.  Chestnut woods abound throughout the area surrounding Monte di Marciana where you can also find many holly plants. Badgers are also plentiful. Pinewoods have always traditionally dotted the area, even if many of them have been destroyed in recent years due to forest fires, which has resulted in the expansion of Mediterranean vegetation. On the rocky coasts you’ll find many aromatic herbs including rosemary, wild lavender, sea fennel and many more plant and flower varieties. The island also includes some rare examples of dune-based ecosystems where you’ll find marine chamomile,marine lilies and seaside santolina.

The Archipelago’s Botanical Garden called ‘Eremo di S. Caterina’ is located in Rio nell’Elba on the Eastern side of the island next to Monte Serra, an area known for hosting the ancient Hermitage of Saint Catherine. Its recently created garden spotlights many plant species typical of the Tuscan Archipelago. It can be visited from June to September, every day except Mondays. Visitors can gain access by means of the Rio-Cavo provincial road.

The 'Giardino di Ottone' (the Brass Garden) was created at the turn of the 20th century thanks to Dr. Garbari, a wealthy man who was deeply interested in botany. Like other similar gardens in Tuscany and Liguria, the 'Giardino di Ottone' hosts many exotic plants, including the dwarf palm, the Chilean palm and date trees that were the result of Dr. Garbari’s climactic experiments. In the garden, you’ll also find various species from Argentina, the Canary Islands and Eastern Asia.
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Elba and the Tuscan Islands
Crystal-clear sea and Mediterranean scrub, pine groves sitting atop steep cliffs, hidden bays and large beaches of soft sand. ...
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Elba and the Tuscan Islands