In the company of one of the most popular professional guides of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park
To the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte
Federica Ferrini is well known on the island of Elba and is appreciated as one of the most expert environmental guides from the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. Passionate about all aspects of Elba, as well as nature in general, she’ll lead us on one of the most beautiful hiking excursions on the island. Federica suggests a fairly simple path, with a journey time of around 45 minutes uphill and 25 downhill.
“My job is to accompany the walk,” says Federica, and continues, “You can walk in different ways and for different reasons such as getting to know nature, tracing back history or to embark on a journey of self-awareness, a spiritual path, for physical well-being, to relieve stress, oxygenating the body and soul, listening and discovering, challenging oneself or maybe just listen to the silence of nature.
The path to the Madonna del Monte is all this.
Walking time is 30 minutes with a height difference of about 200 meters on granite paving slabs.
The route starts in a chestnut forest interspersed with pines, to discover rocks wrapped in fragrant Mediterranean maquis, thereafter returning through the woods of centuries-old chestnut trees.
It is a little journey into the history of man and nature. A place much loved by believers, who walk for physical and spiritual meditation up the mountain to the sanctuary, following a “Via Crucis”.
But it is also a short and intense trail in the midst of perfumes, stunning natural landscapes and colours that light up the late afternoon to reveal the sunset on Corsica.
Rocks with anthropized forms, excavated by wind and salt that tell the stories of travellers, shepherds and walkers and who a stop to admire the horizon and the islands. I love it at night, in the moonlight, surrounded by silence, where all is quiet and little by little everything is revealed!
The moon lights up the rocks, showing the best way. Its magical energy accompanies a journey within ourselves, through our breathing, which should be attune to the uphill effort. The noises of the animals, who watch us knowing they can’t be seen. Fragrances fill the sensory space, concentrated by the darkness, infusing this intense, olfactory journey. I like to caress the plants, listen to them and recognize them by touch. Feel the rocks under beneath my feet. Feel my breath. Feel that walking in nature unites us with nature and helps us to rediscover ourselves.
No cell phones, no artificial light and no unnecessary chat; silence and the power of complete immersion in nature, even for just one hour, let us concentrate on ourselves and help us to balance mind and body”.
Near to Marciana
Footpath: Ascent and descent Footpath no.3 on the road near the Fortress of Marciana.
Timing: approximately 45 minutes up and 25 minutes down.
Height difference: 200 m approx
Degree of difficulty: Medium-easy
Context: Scenic, paved route through chestnut woods and Mediterranean maquis.
TIPS FOR SINGLES AND COUPLES
After the walk, stop to enjoy a delicious meal at Osteria del Noce in Marciana or, minutes away, at Publius, in the nearby medieval village of Poggio.
Both restaurants are recommended in HI GUIDE, the guide to the best restaurants on Elba
For more info HI GUIDE >
To end the day, book a room at the nearby Boutique Hotel Ilio at Capo Sant’Andrea. To get there, simply continue by car from Marciana towards Sant’Andrea along the beautiful scenic route to your destination by one of the most beautiful bays on the island of Elba.
Info, availability and prices: Hotel Ilio Boutique Hotel >
TIPS FOR FAMILIES
Near Marciana there is a cradle cable car, the only one of its kind on the Tuscan archipelago, up to the highest peak of the island, from where you can admire much of the Island of Elba and the Tuscan archipelago. On clear days you can also see the distant coasts of Corsica and Italy.