CAPOLIVERI on ELBA ISLAND - Sun, sea, beaches and scuba diving paradise

Naregno, Capoliveri, Elba Island
Capoliveri is situated in the southeast of the Island of Elba, on a ridge of Mount Calamita, 167 meters above sea level. Mount Calamita is 413 meters high and is situated in the south-eastern part of the island. The great presence of magnetite in the area has contributed to the popular stories of shipwrecks along the coast. According to island lore, the minerals attracted the metal parts of ships, making them fatally crash against the cliffs of Punta Calamita. It is true, however, that in this area the compass needle is incredibly erratic.

Things to see around Capoliveri :

  • Focardo Fortress, built by the Spanish in 1678 and used as a defensive system in the Gulf of Mola. Today it belongs to the Navy.
Residence with panoramic pool in Capoliveri near Madonna delle Grazie Beach
  • The Apse of San Michele, situated just outside the village near an abandoned cemetery. This church is remembered for the visit of Pope Gregory XI in 1376, where he celebrated mass inside this parish church.

Madonna delle Grazie Beach
In Capoliveri there are about 30 beaches, many of which situated in small bays, and most of them sandy and relatively easily accessibile. These are the most popular and best known beaches around Capoliveri: Barabarca, Calanova, Felciaio, Ferrato, Innamorata, Lacona, Lido, Morcone, Naregno, Norsi, Pareti, Straccoligno and Zuccale, all sand beaches, while the beaches of Remaiolo, Madonna delle Grazie, Peducelli and Margidore consist of sand and shingle. Finally worth mentioning is Acquarilli beach with pebble surface, in a marvellous bay, avoided by most tourists due to the difficult path to reach it.

Innamorata Beach - Lover's Bay
Innamorata Beach or Lover’s Bay.

From Capoliveri you can take a city road which is about 6 km long to arrive at Cala degli Innamorati, or Lovers' Bay. This long beach with dark sand is protected from winds at the north by Pareti Point at the south by Ciarpa Point and the Gemini Islands. The panoramic road above the Golfo della Stella, or Star Gulf, starts here, passing through the towns of Morcone and Pareti.

Pareti Beach
On the south side, towards Ciarpa Point, a small beach is located under the abandoned mining structures. From here you can swim to the Gemini Islands, or, if you continue past the point, you will find the Grotta del Bue Marino with its own beach where, until just a few decades ago, seals were often sighted. Another small bay can be reached on Pareti Point by following a steep unmarked path from one of the lookout points on the city road.

Lovers' Bay gets its name from a tragic local legend which dates back to 1534. According to the legend two lovers, Lorenzo and Maria, took refuge here after their families tried to stop their relationship. When Lorenzo was murdered by pirates Maria threw herself in the sea. According to the legend the tragedy occurred on July 14th, and every year “Festa degli Innamorati” or “Lovers' Festival” is celebrated with a procession and candle lighting at the sea.

On the hill around Capoliveri, between the town centre and the sea, there are lots of villas and holiday homes, hidden in the Mediterranean vegetation and some of them really exclusive objects often with breathtaking views on the beautiful bays of Capoliveri.

Acquarilli Beach


Just off the coast of Capoliveri are the most famous sea beds of the island.

Capo Stella
Morcone Beach
The route for the dive near Capo Stella, the western limit of the Gulf of Stella, initially follows the seabed made of a rockslide creating hide-outs and narrow passages. The most hidden holes conceal incredible surprises, such as tunicates, echinoderms and bryozoans that reach unusual sizes here. As one goes deeper the cliff becomes steeper and is completely covered with colourful sponges; beyond 35 meters the wall appears to be red thanks to the paramuricea coral that envelops it with its fans and among which swim shoals of pink Anthias. Inside the fractures in the rocks, the light of the flashlight will reveal the delicate branches of red coral Corallium rubrum with perfect polyps opening up with the current.

Gemini Rocks
Gemini Rocks
This group of emerging rocks is situated near the coast west from Capo Calamita. The descent is along a rocky seabed; at a depth of 15-20 meters there are interesting holes, small caves and natural arches in which various forms of life develop; one of these is the Parazoanthus axinellae whose bright yellow colour makes a unique background for the damselfish. There are also many sea-slugs, such as flabellinas, Hypselodoris valenciennesi and the Discodoris astromaculata with its white coat of black spots, that creates a strong contrast with the red sponge Petrosia ficiformis from which the mollusc takes its nourishment. Along the northwestern side, the seabed starts descending and there are various gorgonias full of lobsters and Anthias.

Margidore Beach

Focacciaiola Rock

About 200 meters out to sea from the Gemini rocks there is another partially emerging rock. The south side of this rock is the most interesting: the seabed descends gradually to 20 meters where there are tunnels and fractures. The first cave is 9 meters deep and can be easily spotted thanks to the large opening that allows the diver to swim inside. Here various vents appear and the light filters through the cracks creating a unique scenery. Another cave is situated deeper and inside there are various sessile species, such as the branched formations of Myriapora truncata and the multicoloured sponges, as well as tiny shellfish and often beautiful rock lings or conger-eels hiding inside the deeper cracks. It is important to pay particular attention to the delicate calcareous structures of the bryozoans which can crumble easily!

Peducelli Beach
Remaiolo Rock
Remaiolo Rock is situated at the southernmost point of the island inside the Bay of Remaiolo and in front of the old mine. It is a favourite dive and it is worthwhile to organize various explorations. The dive starts from the south side facing the Island of Montecristo. At a depth of 14 meters the route follows the rocky ridge and descends on both sides quite steeply until it reaches an islet situated at 40 meters which descends to more than 55 meters. The top of this islet is covered with red sea fans swarming with Anthias and it is common also to see some rock lings and lobsters. The west side of the rock is characterized by a vertical wall full of fractures and rich with life. The wall descends from 25 meters to over 40 meters. Finally, the north side offers great rocks, walls and small caves with groupers, scorpion fishes, Parazoanthus and an incredible variety of sea slugs. Also in this area there are often moonfish, john dory and torpedoes.

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