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The Granite Way Trail

Easy trail

  • Trail Conditions: On foot
  • Interest: Flora, Wildlife, Hystory
  • Departure: San Piero
  • Arrival: San Piero
  • Duration: 3 hour/s
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Length: 9 km
  • Difference in height: Uphill 346m

This loop, on the south-eastern side of Mt. Capanne, is especially interesting from a historical and archaeological perspective, as several archaeological sites and ancient artefacts can be visited in the area. The point of departure is San Piero, where the last remaining stonecutters still work on granite extraction. Take path No 195 from the parking lot of the sports field; the path initially overlaps with the drive to the still operational granite quarries. After the last quarry leave the carriage road and turn right on path 133, which immediately bifurcates: No 133A leads to a panoramic prehistorical site known as "Il Sasso".  Return to the main path and, at the next junction, take path 135B on the right. This area is covered in a low Mediterranean maquis, with many white-flowered rock roses rich in essential oils. At the beginning of the uphill stretch, four menhirs give the name to the place known as "Sassi Ritti". Once arrived on path No 135, turn left and reach Mulino di Moncione - Elba's largest mill, which stopped working in 1910 - then walk down to path 134A. At the junction you may take the path on the right and reach a spot called Lo Spino, where a burial site made of granite slabs dates back to 900 B.C. according to some historians. Walk back to the junction and take path 133 on the left, along which a "domolito" - or small dry stone hut formerly used by shepherds - can be observed. Walk back once more and continue downhill on path 134. Along the way you will notice a semi-processed granite block and a shepherd hut, as well as two more secondary paths: 134B leads to "Cave Antiche" (ancient quarries), where the successive stages of granite extraction are visible; 134C leads to "La Macina" (grinding stone). Back to the main path, continue downhill and, at the junction, turn right on path 195. The last secondary path you meet (195C) leads to an imposing rough-hewn column belonging to the Opera Primaziale Pisana. Walk back to path 195 that will take you to back to San Piero.

Further information
The Granite Way
The Granite Way
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