Elba is rich in one, specific material that is widely used in building and for ornamental reasons: granite.
The art of working granite goes as far back as the Roman times, as can be easily seen if you look at the numerous buildings and monuments in many of the major cities in Italy. The Italian historian and architect Giorgio Vasari maintains that 7 of the huge granite columns of the Pantheon, 12 metres high and 1,5 metres wide, came from Seccheto. Many of the columns used in the Cathedral in Pisa are also in granite, brought by the Pisans in the XI century who at the time ruled Elba and worked in the quarries; there are also another 3 ornamental columns at the Baptistry in Pisa, and others used in building the Church of San Michele in Borgo, and finally, there are also some in the Church of San Frediano.
We mustn't forget the declarations of one German historian (J.Noggerath - archiv. fur mineralogie, Berlin 1844), that the 18 huge columns in the Cathedral of Aquisgrana are in granite from Elba; seemingly the Empress Elena, mother of Costantine, had them brought to Cologne, then carlo Magno had then taken from Cologne to Aquisgrana.
Thanks to small cooperative societies and skilled stone cutters in the areas around San Piero and Seccheto, granite working is still very much done today on the island, also because the granite comes from the "rounder" part of the island on the west, that is the granite massif of Monte Capanne.
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