Those who think that Elba’s fine coastline and pristine sea are its only attractions miss a great deal. The north-western part of the Island, where most of the municipality of Marciana lies, is dominated by the Province of Livorno’s three highest peaks – Mount Capanne (1019 m.), Mount Giove (865 m.) and Le Calanche (749 m.) – and provides an excellent alternative to the traditional seaside holiday. With its Mediterranean maquis and large granite rocks, it offers walkers plenty of trails to explore, with stunning views of Elba and the other Islands of the Tuscan Archipelago.
Marciana and Poggio, two towns perched high above the sea on the northern slopes of Mount Capanne, surrounded by a green expanse of chestnut trees and shrubs, are the highest settlements on the Island of Elba and, viewed from beneath, seem to have been placed there to keep watch over the town of Marciana Marina below.
With the typical medieval layout of narrow alleyways and flights of steps which make them impassable to motor vehicles, they are quiet and tranquil even during the busiest summer months.
Marciana has a wealth of buildings of particular architectural and historic interest: the Fortezza Pisana, erected around the X Century, the castle and the Zecca [“Mint”], both built by the Appiani family, Seigneurs of Piombino who chose Marciana as one of their strongholds, and the Archaeological Museum with its many local finds.
Down towards the western coast there are many other, very small hamlets also within the Marciana municipality, which reawaken every year with the arrival of the first holidaymakers, revealing all their beauty. Sant’Andrea, with its sandy beach and wonderful cliffs, has grown into a fine resort with many hotels, which however have in no way impinged on the area’s wild natural beauty. Patresi, Chiessi and Pomonte are small seaside villages along the stretch of coast known as the Costa del Sole, in full, strong sunlight right through to sunset, a factor which even further underlines their colours and charm.
Procchio, a town in the north of the Island and a central hub of the road network of western Elba, also lies in the municipality of Marciana. With a very long sandy beach, which has certainly encouraged its urban development, with many hotels, apartment hotels and holiday homes, it offers many amenities and is a strategic holiday location for fun-seekers, since it is just a few kilometres from the main centres of Elba’s night-life.
Not to be missed ….
… the Castagnate at Marciana and Poggio. Two Sundays of celebrations, with food and wine stands offering traditional chestnut-based dishes and traditional produce from western Elba.
From 24 to 27 December Marciana hosts Elba’s loveliest, most magical Living Nativity. The specially constructed sets and performers re-enact the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, attracting and delighting more and more spectators every year.