Imagine a getaway on an island off the Tuscan coast, where you can let yourself go to the sensations, scents and colours of the Mediterranean scrub and regenerate while immersed in nature. This can all be enjoyed on the Island of Capraia, which has always been a destination and crossroads between the Upper Tyrrhenian and Ligurian seas.
In spring and autumn, the island becomes a safe refuge where you can rediscover yourself in nature, far from the frenetic rhythms of everyday life.
Become an islander and come with us to enjoy a unique 4-day experience.
The journey begins at the Porto Mediceo in Livorno where you will head off to the island. People say that you either love or hate Capraia, and that many loves have started right on board the ferry while looking towards the rock. If you already visited the island, you'll know exactly why.
Spend your first day exploring the inhabited area of the island, the bay of the port, as well as the marina and village, getting to know the island community, its rhythms and unique characteristics. Don't miss out on a stroll along the little harbour, featuring a strip of pastel-coloured houses overlooking the quay of Marina di Capraia. The boats moored in front of the tables of the bars and restaurants contribute to the lively atmosphere of the harbour, which is the heartbeat of the island.
The village is nestled at the foot of the San Giorgio Fortress. Here, people speak a little Corsican, some Ligurian and a bit of Tuscan. Explore the village's steep and narrow alleys. Everywhere you look, you will find traces of the history of the border island: both inside and outside the typical houses of the island, in the massive tower that's currently the public library, and in the seventeenth-century church of Sant'Antonio where you can visit the archaeological exhibition "The Return of the Warrior".
Whether you prefer to end your day by enjoying an aperitivo on the quay of the port, or wandering around the village, behind the Friary or down in the Cala gazing out to the sea, the island is there for you, recharging you and giving you back a sense of life and time.
The second day is entirely dedicated to discovering the unspoilt nature of the island.
Start at dawn, with a bottle of water, binoculars, supplies and your camera. Wear hiking boots and your most camouflage clothing to avoid disturbing nature. Walk along the mule track towards the western sea: set your pace and follow the route according to your senses.
The Laghetto/Monte Le Penne/Former Penal Colony is a wonder-filled loop trail featuring lush and wild nature. People will tell you that it takes 5 hours to complete, but please take your time. You will come across valleys covered in scrub and breathtaking views. The rich scents of herbs, myrtles and mastic trees all have aromas that will permeate your clothes, so for a while you will have the perfume of the island. Enjoy the silence, the play of light on the Corsican Channel and the clouds rolling over the mountains.
You will reach a sort of stone door, a northward gateway, that will take you into a totally new landscape made of stunning terraces, stone pools, springs and rows of vines on the steep hillsides. You will see a variety of buildings, which were once the premises of the penal colony and now a resurgent agricultural area thanks to the work of passionate and committed farmers.
From here, you can either go back or head north to Punta del Dattero and admire the sunset over Capo Corso. As it gets dark and the sky fills with stars, you'll head back to the port with memories of an exciting and fulfilling day.
The Capraia sea is a universe to be discovered. It's the sea that makes this offshore “rock” a treasure chest, a gem that's safeguarded by the Marine Protected Area andsomething to be preserved for future generations.
In Capraia, the sea is different: it can be reached by walking down to the rocky and pebbly coves near the port or below the village and swimming along the Blue Mile. However, if you want to fully experience it, you need to venture out by boat, using your own, renting one or letting the islanders take you around. Local operators and the National Park offer a wide range of activities, such as the classic tour around the island with stops for swimming or a dinghy trip; in the morning when the sun lights up Cala Rossa or in the afternoon when the sunset lights the sea, with a dip in the western caves, perhaps enjoying an aperitivo.
Alternatively, you can go seawatching with a park guide and binoculars pointed at the flight of rare seabirds and majestic birds of prey. You'll feel a bit like Jules Verne, discovering the island's geology, daughter of the volcano: the coastline is a treatise on geological beauty that never gets boring in terms of shape and colour. Finally, you can enjoy snorkelling and scuba diving in the blue, azure and turquoise waters among water creatures that have nothing to envy from the exotic coral reefs.
The Capraia sea is empathetic and will reveal things about you that you may not have known.
The last day of our regenerating trip to Capraia is dedicated to the discovery of the island's flavours. There are many opportunities to "taste" the island whether in the village, around the port or directly at the farms.
Wine, honey, goats cheese and fish from the open sea breeding have all received prestigious awards and won international prizes as top-quality products. Not to mention the world-famous Sagra del Totano (Squid Festival, end of October-early November), born out of an old local tradition as an opportunity for the islanders to socialise and summed up in the motto "Andiamo a Totani!" (Fishing for Squid!)
Strolling along the Fortress or the Tigghielle just outside the village, you will be amazed to discover Palmenti’s world: stone-cut tanks used for pressing grapes for centuries. Capraia has a wide number of palmenti which are reminders of the island's past as a social winery in the middle of the sea, where ships from the mainland and other islands docked to refuel with its most precious and exquisite grape nectar. The wine here, no matter if white, red or rosé, releases the unique aromas of the volcanic sea land. Treat yourself to a wine tasting in one of the island's wineries.
Alternatively, you can join a “km 0” trekking, guided walks organized by the National Park where you will taste fresh and aged cheeses in myrtle or helichrysum leaves, as well as top-quality vegetables grown on centuries-old terraces and sweet honey produced by industrious bees. You will discover and learn about the food uses of the island's plants, used in liqueurs, beers, flavoured salts, jams, syrups and biscuits.