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Virtual carrier pigeon
Visit the famous Island of Capraia with our digital carrier pigeon.
The Island of Capraia is located in the Corsica Channel and by extension is the third island of the Tuscan Archipelago, with an area of about 19 sq. km. The Island, which is an autonomous municipality in the Province of Livorno with a population of about 300 inhabitants, is considered the most maritime insular reality as it is located at a distance of 54 km from the mainland coast. It’s closer to the coast of Corsica than to Tuscany’s one, and this is the reason why it is perhaps the "wildest" among the islands of the archipelago.
Capraia is considered a small geological paradise, as it is the only volcanic island of the Archipelago. It was the result of a double eruption: an ancient one dating back to about 10 million years ago, which was the one that gave shape to the island, and the second one, about 1 million years ago, on which numerous studies have been carried out.
Steep coasts overlooking the sea, suggestive rocks left bare by the erosion of the wind and the sea, document the succession of eruptions and lava stratifications. All this is clearly visible in the famous Cala Rossa, certainly one of the most particular coves of the Archipelago, where the rocky walls in the shape of a truncated cone have colours ranging from red to black.
The central area of Capraia is the most mountainous area of the island and the highest mountain is Monte Castello, with an elevation 445 meters above sea level. This region is characterized by a shrubby Mediterranean scrub, which is rich in heather, strawberry tree, mastic tree and myrtle and in the area there is also a small lagoon, the Stagnone. The vegetation also presents some (very) rare endemic species, including some species present in the islet of Peraiola (also known as the island of the seagulls): the linaria capraria, the dwarf borage and the centaurea of Capraia.
As for the fauna, the presence of avifauna is significant with some species linked to migratory flows and others which are sedentary. Among the marine species it is possible to come across shags, shearwaters and the rare Audouin’s gull, the latter adopted as the symbol of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, while it’s flying on a rippling wave. Among the terrestrial species, the Corsican citril finch, the kestrel, the peregrine falcon and the raven are worthy of note.
The seabed of Capraia is often a destination for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts, where it is possible to observe groupers, snappers and sea breams among the rich Posidonia meadows. Finally, it is important to point out that in this area of the Mediterranean Sea, there is a massive presence of cetaceans; for this reason, “The Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranea Marine Mammals” was established, which is the largest marine protected area in Europe between the French, Monegasque and Italian territory, where you have the opportunity to see fin whales or stenelle (striped dolphins).
Capraia offers numerous sites of historical interest that can be reached thanks to several paths and mule tracks: the former Penal Colony, Torre del Porto, the Church of Santo Stefano, the Church of the Assumption, the Church of San Nicola, the Church and convent of San Antonio, Forte San Giorgio, coves and caves.