The earliest evidence of life on the island can be attributed to the Neolithic period when frequentation at Monte Castello is attested: fragments of pottery, spools for weaving and a millstone have been recovered here, as well as obsidian tools that testify to Capraia's inclusion in the route that was supposed to connect Corsica and Sardinia with the mainland. Later it is assumed to have been first an Etruscan naval base and then certainly a Roman center of route control in an anti-Carthaginian key. A column base, a bust of Venus and a marble sarcophagus have been recovered at the Church of the Assumption, testifying to the probable existence of a sacred area. In the late ancient period, beginning in the fourth century CE, Capraia was home to an anchorite Christian community that chose to live in total isolation, and then, during the fifth century, saw the coming of Zenobite monks who introduced the cultivation of the African vine and built the monastery of St. Stephen. This community is the first witnessed by written sources and must have enjoyed some fame if even Rutilius Namazianus mentions it in his De Reditu of 416.
Beginning in the 9th century AD. Capraia was the scene of continuous clashes with pirates and was first abandoned for nearly two centuries, then reoccupied alternately by the Pisans and pirates until the Battle of Meloria in 1284, which sanctioned its entry under the orbit of Genoese influence. The city of the Lantern erected from 1540 the defensive system consisting of the fortress of San Giorgio and the three watchtowers. From 1873 to 1986 it was home to a penal colony (Colonia Penale Agricola di Capraia) that caused massive emigration of the native population.
Today, Capraia Island offers the opportunity for a visit and stay that will project you into a paradise of serenity and peace, in contact with nature and a thousand-year history.
The beach is named after the islet a few meters from the shore, itself named after Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister who, according to a legend (probably created by a tourism entrepreneur in the 1960s) loved to sunbathe on these rocks.
Designated as a summer residence, Napoleon purchased the property from the Manganaro family in 1814, with the intention of transforming it into a comfortable and refined abode that would have nothing to envy from Parisian residences.
Built in 1724 by Grand Duke Gaston de’ Medici, it was Napoleon’s city residence during his first stay on Elba Island.
It was built as a sign of gratitude in 1606 by José Pons y León of the Dukes of Arcos, Spanish governor of Naples and first governor of the square of Longone (part of the state of principals). In September 1814 Napoleon, accompanied by Pons and Bertrand wanted to visit the sanctuary.
While the Elban economy today is based on tourism, the fact remains that the people of San Piero and the west coast (Pomonte) have also lived and continue to live off their granite and marble
Visit the harbor where Maria Walewska landed and the armed watchtower visited by Napoleon himself in 1814