The Capoliveri peninsula also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches on the island of Elba. Among them the Cala dell’Innamorata, so called by the tragic story of two lovers, Lorenzo and Maria, he of a wealthy family and she of a humble family. A legend of the year 1534 tells that the lovers found themselves every night on the beach. When, on the afternoon of July 14, Lorenzo was attacked and killed by pirates. Mary did not bear this pain and threw her into the sea. Even today, July 14, is the day of the Feast of the Innamorata in Capoliveri, celebrated with a procession and with a great torch at sea.
From Capoliveri to Porto Azzurro
The Innamorata Beach is made of soft golden sand and features a crescent coast protected to the north by the tip of the Pareti and south from the tip of the Ciarpa and the Gemini Islands, twin islands famous for the beauty of their backdrops, reachable from the beach also to swimming.
Capoliveri is a country that has maintained its medieval appearance with a labyrinth of small alleys and squares, where it is nice to get lost, after leaving the car in the large free parking at the foot of the village, which is reached within a few minutes of walking.
Climbing to the village, on the left opens the gulf of Mola on which rises Porto Azzurro. Mola derives from the Latin moles (harbor), so even the Romans knew this place as a safe harbor. On the right, however, there is a beautiful view of the Botro valley, surmounted by the mountain Mar di Capanna.
A little jem for those like us traveling with hairy frends? On the beach of Mola lies the only Dog Beach on the island of Elba! The beach and the backdrop are ideal for four-legged friends: the Cala di Mola sandstone is made of gravel and the rock bottom is very low. The bathing establishment has umbrellas, deckchairs, cabins, chemical baths and all amenities for the “needs” of dogs. And if the protagonists are them, the four-legged, free-running and enjoing sea bathing, happy facility for the two-legs is a great free parking lot.
Porto Azzurro looks like a characteristic fishing village, surrounded by golden beaches and deep blue waters of the Piombino canal. Walking around the narrow lanes and the intricate streets of the old town, it is attracted by impressive buildings, a testimony to the ancient past of the village.
Among the most famous Fort St. James, an imposing fortification whose construction was commissioned by Philip III in 1602. The building was erected to fortify the protective network of the area as studied by Don Garcia of Toledo to cope with the constant assaults of Saracen pirates. The fort maintained an important function of sighting and protection until the early nineteenth century when it was dismantled and converted into jail.
From the Piazza Matteotti center, overlooking the sea, you can admire the marina which has majestic yachts but also fishing boats and small boats. On the waterfront there are picturesque restaurants built on stilts, while the many streets of the city center are full of shops.
Have the walks put you hunger? Our advice is to go back to Capoliveri and stop at Koala Restaurant (Località Ravigoli 10, Capoliveri – Elba Island – +39 0565 935255 – +39 340 8741517 – firstname.lastname@example.org).
If at first sight it sounds like a strange name for a place on the island of Elba, chatting with the jovial owners Maurizio and Antonella, father and mother of the most beautiful Mattia, we had the explanation of this choice.
When the island began to close the mines, there was massive emigration to Australia, a country where miners’ work was highly demanded.
Many of these people, then, returned to Elba investing the gains of their hard work in the tourist sector that in the meantime was also affecting this part of the island.
So Koala was born, a hotel so named in honor of the animal symbol of Australia. When it was sold, the Censi family decided to buy the property by moving here the dining activity and taking advantage of the convenient location, just a few steps from the center of Capoliveri, and the scenic terrace. The menu invokes the cuisine of Elba, with proposals between land and sea, and also that of Venetian origin of Maurizio, who is still preparing his fresh pasta with Apulian incursions, among fresh tarallini and mozzarella, thanks to chef Giuseppe Basile of Noci, but at Koala since its first opening day.
At the end of dinner, not only congratulations to the chef but also a pop out to the kitchen to greet him and tell him: we see in Puglia!