Tuscany to discover: 5 secret places of the wonderful Elba Island
- Published: 11 January 2016
- Category: Things to Do
Impossible not to fall in love with Elba Island: beaches, small villages, hiking, sea, history, cuisine… And when you think you’ve seen everything, this Tuscan island can surprise you once again.
1. Borgo al Cotone
This sort of journey to discover the lesser-known places of Elba begins at Marciana Marina. There is a real jewel not far away. Borgo al Cotone is a small village, located in a wonderful inlet protected by a granite rock. Here the typical fishing boats dock and cloths are hanged through the narrow streets from window to window.
The scent of the sea permeates the streets. The same sea that was once protected by a tower, still visible from the waterfront.
Perhaps this is the most popular diving site of Elba Island. Surely, it is one of the most beautiful. And it is just one of many secrets hidden by the sea that surrounds the island.
Elviscot was a five-tons Italian cargo which sank in 1972 near Scoglio dell’Ogliera rock. This dive site is quite easy and suitable for all divers. You can also go inside the wreck.
3. Hermitage of San Francesco di Saverio
The hermitages of the island were built from the Middle Ages: they were the last refuge against pirate raids. Today, they are trails very appreciated by hikers. The hermitage of San Francesco di Saverio is one of the lesser-known.
The hermitage, built between XVI and XVII century and dedicated to San Francesco di Saverio (a Spanish missionary who travelled in Japan, India and Malaysia), is a small spiritual place of which only few elements remain, such as the altar. It can be reached walking along a five hundred meters path from Campo nell’Elba towards Monte Perone.
4. Capo Castello Roman villa
It is less known than villa romana delle Grotte but it isn’t less important. It was in Cavo, in the municipality of Rio Marina. It gives its name to the small promontory that separates Frugoso beach from delle Alghe beach. The villa, probably built between the first century BC and half of the first century AD, is located in an unforgettable location.
Probably, it was a very large building. The most beautiful parts were the large garden (surrounding the villa) and the core of the mansion, with mosaic floors.
5. The public wash house of Rio nell’Elba
The last of these 5 secret places to discover Elba Island is the public wash house of Rio nell’Elba. It is located in the northeastern part of the municipality and takes the water from the nearby fonte dei Canali. Of ancient origins, it had eighteen tanks in 1873, while it had only two large tanks from Sixties.
The public wash house, for decades, was the site of socialization for Elba Island’s women who gathered here to do laundry. Even the miners stopped here, to clean themselves before returning home after work.
Image source: Flickr.com/photos/36381187@N02