Even if you go over to the Island of Elba for just one day, going round the western ring road is a must: the coastal road that goes from Procchio to Marina di Campo. Sea views alternate with high, hillside villages, cool chestnut woods alternate with granite cliffs, all this on a road that runs all along the top of the hills.
On the horizon Corsica, the mainland and the entire Tuscan Archipelago will be your milestones.
About 1 km after Procchio, you come to the tiny Paolina island, so called because seemingly Paolina Bonaparte loved going there to do some nude swimming where nobody could see her.
The next place you get to is Marciana Marina, a typical, colourful, small sea town; next take the road up to Marciana Alta, but stop before you actually get there and go for a ride on the Chairlift to Monte Capanne, the highest peak in the Tuscan Archipelago. Once you get to Marciana follow the signs for the Pisan Fortress. The view from there is breathtaking: before you the red rooftops of Marciana, seascapes reaching out to an endless sea, Corsica, the Island of Capraia and the coastline of the mainland; behind you Monte Capanne, 1019 metres high, with the tiny village of Poggio resting on its slopes. Go and visit Marciana, you will see the little lanes, houses and churches, and don't forget to go down to the Medieval Door of the Lorena, because there is a fantastic view from there too.
On your way again, you will start to gradually go downhill to Sant'Andrea, la Zanca and Colle Dorano. At one point you'll see a tiny house below you on your left (possibly the one in Elba most tourists take photographs of), surrounded by a vineyard, and then a tight bend in the direction of Chiessi.Stop right there and take a good look at the infinite sea and the islands of Corsica, Pianosa, Montecristo and Giglio on the horizon.
Follow the road at the top of the cliffs and go through the tiny towns of Chiessi and Pomonte, and the next place you come to is the gulf of Fetovaia. Make a point of stopping there too to admire the view: before you the long piece of land stretching far out into the sea, the crystal clear water, the islands on the horizon, and behind you the majestic granite cliffs. Makes you think you're really in some paradise lost. Keep going and the next place is Seccheto, followed by Cavoli with its white quartzite sandy beach. The last town is Marina di Campo, but before you get there, stop for the last time: the cliffs rising up from the crystal clear sea, the islands on the horizon, the coastline of the mainland peeking out again from behind the promontories, this is the best way to say goodbye to an experience that has no doubt been a joy for your eyes, and enrichened your mind and soul.
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