Elba Island has a lot to tell and offer. It’s incredibly varied and suitable for any type of holiday. During the Play your Tuscany blog tour we had the opportunity to try something different than going to the beach all day long. We went hiking between Chiessi and Pomonte, up the hill of San Bartolomeo with Umberto Segnini, aka Econauta, an expert hiker from Elba.
From Chiessi to Pomonte over San Bartolomeo hill
The path we took is around 6 km long and has a vertical drop of 500 metres. We met in the central square of Chiessi and immediately started to climb the hill: the first section is quite steep and hard.
After a hour's walking you reach the ruins of the Church of San Bartolomeo at 447 metres above sea level. It was a small Romanesque church dating back to the twelfth century, built on a hill where a small medieval village was erected. The Church of San Bartolomeo was built in a strategic location: the valleys below could be controlled as well as the sea in case of pirates’ attacks. There was also the possibility of having fresh water, so humans have been able to live there ever since ancient times. Old pottery and stone artifacts are proof of this.
Nature also deserves attention here. The blossom of the helichrysum characterizes this place during spring and early summer, together with the catmint. There are "clouds" of butterflies that light up this land.
From San Bartolomeo you can take in a wonderful panorama: Capraia Island to the north, Corsica to the west and the Islands of Pianosa and Montecristo to the south, while turning your eyes to the east you can admire the Monte Capanne, Chiessi and Pomonte.
Route: Chiessi – San Bartolomeo – Pomonte – Chiessi
Suggestion: wear proper hiking shoes and bring your camera ;)
Alternative pathsArcheoTrek "Sassi Ritti" and the ancient columns
It is a half-day walking through the essences of the Mediterranean scrub. The ArcheoTrek "Sassi Ritti" is a trip back in time where you can meet menhirs, prehistorical burial sites and granite quarries from Roman times: thanks to the abundance of artifacts in this location we can rebuild all stages of processing and transport of these materials 2000 years on.
Circular route: San Piero - Sassi-Ritti – Antiche Cave - San Piero
Suggestion: perfect for Archaeology and Mediterranean flora lovers
"The Secrets of Monte Calanche"
It is a half-day hike that allows you to see the island's most spectacular panorama. It is a journey into wild and majestic sceneries, surrounded by the colours and scents of the island until you reach the summit (908 metres). During the ascent you will come across old yews, fortresses, shelters for the shepherds and silence all around.
Circular route: Monte Perone-Monte-Maolo Filicaie-Monte Calanche-Monte Perone
Suggestion: for lovers of trekking and silence
These paths can be hiked during all seasons: Elba Island can be discovered all year round. In fact, Elba Island is inhabited and there are people working there all year.