San Cerbone steps, through chestnut woods and rocky cliffs

Difference of level: 450m:
How long it takes: 4:30 hours;
Difficulty level: medium.

You start off at Marciana, ancient Medieval town easy to get to by bus (ATL).

Your reference point is the Santa Caterina Parish Church that, once you've gone through the Medieval Lorraine door, takes you through to the historical part of the town; stairways and narrow lanes welcome you off, but bit by bit the chestnut trees take over from the narrow streets and the brooms take over from the flowered balconies.

The chestnut woods are at a height of 500 metres, and stay with you as far as the San Cerbone Hermitage, and it is said that the Saint hid here, in the VI century, while fleeing from Gummarith, duke of the Longobards. The church as we know it today was built some centuries later (XV cent.). Follow the path south westwards and you'll get to San Cerbone about 40 minutes after you set off.

A 20/30 minute uphill walk after the Hermitage takes you to a junction, from which you must keep going round the bends in a noth westernly direction (towards your right). At this point the path is surrounded by Mediterranean scrub, and every now and then there are spaces where the view is breathtaking. The path goes up the rocky slopes of Monte Capanne almost always over level ground, and if you watch out, you might be lucky enough to see some moufflons running over the rocks, or some red grouse, and maybe even the elegant flight of a buzzard in search of prey.

In the spring, the path is even more beautiful with the Mediterranean bush perfume in the air, and the fields and rocks are covered in beautiful orchids and purple violas that add a colourful touch to the surroundings. Even from here you have a good view of the sea.

After the junction, an hour's walk takes you to the Pedalta Valley, and once you've crossed a pine and chestnut wood, you get to another junction. Walk uphill till you get to a pass; on a clear day, you get a good view of Corsica and Capraia to the west and the central eastern part of the Island of Elba to the east.

Before your excursion is over, make a point of going to the high part of the historical part of Marciana to see the majestic Pisan Fortress (XII cent.), and, further along, the Antiquarium, where you will see interesting archeological remains dating back to pre Roman times.

Heights

  1. Marciana: 355m
  2. San Cerbone: 531m
  3. La Stretta: 805m

Information from the Tuscan Archipelago Tourism Promotion Offices

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