Huge stone monolith used in pre Romanesque period as a watch tower

If you go for a stroll on the southern side of the island along one of the many paths above the seaside areas of Cavoli, Seccheto and Pomonte, you will inevitibly come across the numerous, important places that are also very interesting from a naturalistic, historical and archaeological point of view.

Not only is this area rich in meadowland and semi worked granite masses, but from here you can easily get to the many areas where you can still see the remains of ancient, outside walls. One example is the area known as Le Mura; another is the very suggestive area known as Le Macinelle, where you can still see the two caprili (granite shelters that in the past were used by shepherds), that are facing eachother.

A suggestion from Infoelba: This area has become the natural habitat of the moufflons, so if you keep your eyes open and manage to avoid their sensing your presence, above all when the wind is at their back, you will be lucky enough to spot them. At the turn of each bend, or behind a rocky spur, you have a good chance of seeing them, and if you're quick enough, you might even manage to take some photographs of them before they move off.

If you start off at the very suggestive area rich in lush woodland known as Piane del Canale and follow the forest route that takes you right to the remains of an ancient "caprile", you will find yourself at the signpost for the large granite monolith known as Pietra Murata, used in pre Romanesque times as a watch tower to protect the Island of Elba from enemies.

Pietra Murataat a height of 544 metres above sea level, is a rocky formation on the southwest side of the Island of Elba, on the granite reliefs of Monte Capanne.

and the entire area is closely linked to that of Le Mure, since both were part of the first, ancient proto historical settlements on behalf of the early colonisers of the Island of Elba from the Bronze Age up to the Etruscan period and the XIV century. During the Hellenistic period, villages consisting of shelters under the rocks and granite huts, with the typical small stone nucleus sticking out of the ground were built all over this part of the island. There is a small, shepherd area with a "caprile" and a stone shelter at the foot of the huge monolith of Pietra Murata too.

You can still see the ancient walls around the village, and many pieces of vases with inscriptions dating back to the Etruscan period have been found there.

while the watch post at the top of the rock formation, consisting of a seat for the armed sentinel who kept constant watch over the sea, dates back to the Middle Ages..

From here you can admire the breathtaking view of the southern side of the Island of Elba, the Island of Corsica and the islands of Pianosa, Monecristo and Giglio, the southern islands of the Tuscan Archipelago.

As we said before, you will have no difficulty in seeing the many semi worked granite masses in this area: broken columns left neglected in the grass, altars and water tanks that are all that is left of the ancient granite quarries.

Although these quarries were used as far back as the Etruscan and Roman times, you can still see the working techniques used in the quarries: caesuras for cutting the blocks of granite as well as bricks and stones for smoothing off the pieces that were semi worked at all the various steps before completion. It is thought that the quarry, opened by the Romans between the I and the II century A.D.. was later used by the Pisans in the years beween 1000 and 1400.

A suggestion from Infolelba: Should you happen to be in this part of the Island of Elba, make sure you go and see other places, like the fascinating area known as Sassi Ritti,where the four menhirs mean it was probably an ancient burial ground, or the Mill of Moncione, the biggest and most beautiful on all Elba; you can still see the big water tank as well as what was used to grind the cereals.

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Pietra Murata