Marciana-Elba Island-TuscanyThe country is located in the western part of the island, at an altitude of about 375 meters above sea level. A delightful village , protected behind by mount "Capanne" ( 1019 m. the highest peak of the island, reachable by cable car from the village) and with a splendid view of the bay on which it lies Marciana Marina.
From the ancient Village start a really beautiful Trail, running through magnificent woods of secular chesnut, not too long, but particularly challenging for the slope and the surface (paved with stones), then goes on for long stretches along the hillside with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea.
All the way is punctuated by the Stations of the " Via Crucis ", it is not too long, but particularly challenging for the slope and the surface (paved with stones).
The well-deserved award arrived at the summit is to be able to drink from a source which emits the best water there is.
Procchio-Marciana Marina (21,6 Km - 38' by car).
From Marciana Marina you have to take the statal road direction Mount Capanne (cablecar)- Marciana Alta. After 9,4 Km of statl road you reach the village.
Follow the indications for the Cemetery-Pisan Fortress (ring road).
After 10' by car you reach the parking under the fortress where you have to leave your car.
The trail starts 150m. under the fortress on your right.
The TrailThe Shrine of Our Lady of the Mountain.
To get there you must follow the paved path that starts from the top of the village , which is reached after a few hundred steps. It crosses a paved road and start a journey of high difficulty , the length of about 3 km, going through a magnificent forest of chestnut trees.
The slope is an ancient Roman road lined with rocks , granitic rocks of varying size and 14 small chapels representing the Stations of the Cross.
After 5 minutes you reach the first large area where there was a statue of the Madonna stylized and there is a sign indicating the branches from the main path leading to the "monsters of rock", the rock formations that take the shapes of animals or characters ( a crocodile , an eagle , a horse and even the head of a giant with two faces ... ).
In about an hour you reach the Sanctuary . A complex of two buildings, the church with the curved stone in front of which there are formed two fountains and the hermitage surrounded by nature.
Here, at 627 meters above sea level , a plaque by the citizens of Marciana remember that Napoleon stayed there several times , going to rock referred to as " the Eagle " , watching his beloved Corsica.
It also seems that Napoleon had dislodged the monks to stay him in good company of his mistress Maria Walewska.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte is a real gem . Erected in 1595, but bearing within it works at least a century earlier , the church is divided into three naves with vaulted ceilings colors that stand out despite the light filters exclusively from the main entrance from a side window and through two open windows depicting two saints.
There are three altars and above the central one he shows himself a paint of Our Lady Assumed into heaven surrounded by angels.
She is devoted to the place of pilgrimage arose after the apparition of the Blessed Virgin to some shepherds of Marciana .
Another architectural wonder of the Madonna del Monte is the exedra of 1698, just in front of the facade, commonly known as Theatre of the fountain. The mouths of the fountain are three, but it throws only one, fueled by a rich and fresh source.
The water that comes out of the fountain is a cell purest and best that I have ever drink, it is a water that comes from far away, even from Corsica, where there is the source.
Through the bottom of the Mediterranean first reach the island of Pianosa (where the only source of drinking water, known since the times of the Phoenicians), then through miles and miles of sea it comes to the Island of Elba to gush to the Virgin Mary of Mt.
In Short- When to bike.
Distance: 3,800 km
Surface: dirt track & stone-paved 100%
Total difference in altitude: 340 m
Average journey time: 1 hour
Phone Coverage: 100%
Biking Time:All the Year.