Capraia, at the heart of the Tuscan Archipelago, is an uncontaminated paradise to discover: here are three hiking paths to visit on the island, crisscrossing panoramic roads amidst wild nature and breath-taking views.
We begin at the lost path of the Zenobito, one of the oldest roads on Capraia, leading to the Torre dello Zenobito and which was probably used for the tower’s construction in 1545. The hike lasts about three hours, starting from the Piana. It is a difficult, demanding walk, so it’s recommended that you begin the trek early in the morning.
The entrance to the path can be found to the right a few dozen meters after the end of the fencing that surrounds the Azienda Agricola della Piana. The path runs along the east coast of the Island.
Once you reach the first promontory, you can see the Torre dello Zenobito in the distance, as well as Carbicina, Capo, Scoglione, Porcili and Turco as you go along. The climb has some ups and downs, all of which offer unbelievable views of the east coast of Capraia. The path then merges with an older path that runs from the Arpagna to the Torre dello Zenobito, allowing you to hike a good majority of the Island.
This ancient road is a panoramic path with hairpin bends, from which you can enjoy an incredible view of the port and bay. The road leads to the northern part of the island, occupied until 1986 by a Penal Colony; you can even find the remains of cells and lodgings for the guards. The landscape, in addition to being evocative from a naturalistic point of view, is imbued with an air of mystery and solitude that the silences and buildings, long abandoned, evoke. From the final fascinating section of the prison, called the Mortola, a path branches out that leads to the Punta del Dattero, a sea-side cliff where you can see Corsica in the distance.
The ancient stone mule track leads to the Alloggio del Capo, today reduced to a pile of ruins, and to the Alloggio dei Marinai, both former military buildings. Beyond the path sits the iron Semaforo, at the peak of Mount Arpagna, which was once used as a watch tower for the Navy. The view from the Arpagna is splendid: you can admire the robust Torre dello Zenobito, built entirely with lava rock, as well as the outline of Mount Capanne on Elba Island. A “gallery” of the high section of the Mediterranean scrub leads to the Trattoio Lighthouse, where you can take in the wild western coast, the small Peraiola Island and the grottos of the Cala del Vetriolo.