Written by Missy Johnston

Capraia Island, Italy

Capraia Island, Italy

Located in the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the island of Capraia, Italy is an untouched gem. Its coast offers plenty of opportunities for vacationers on an Italian luxury yacht charter to dive, swim, and snorkel. Scenic coves, and the beautiful beach of Mortola, with its sparkling turquoise waters, are only reachable from the sea.

Capraia has many interesting things to do and see and is described as “a true paradise outside the boundaries of time.”

San Leonardo

When the Genoese were ransacking Capraia in the 16th century, locals, taking advantage of the chaos, used the old Roman road of San Leonardo to escape from the town to the port and out to sea without being discovered by foreign raiders and pirates.

Today, hikers enjoy the road for fresh air, exercise, and jaw-dropping scenery. It’s easy to find; the road of San Leonardo is the only paved road on Capraia.

Island Defenses

Capraia Island Castle and Fortification

Capraia Island Castle and Fortification

Capraia endured numerous raids and attacks. The fortress of San Giorgio was built so thickly and sturdily that its walls still garner attention even though no one is allowed to enter the fortress itself.

Near the fortress is the Torre del Porto, a tower constructed in 1516 by the Genoese to defend against Corsair raids. The tower has been restored in modern times, so it is easy to imagine what the tower was like in its operational days.

Church of San Nicola

Saint Nicola Church, Capraia Island

Saint Nicola Church, Capraia Island

Located in the town square is a church dedicated to and named after Saint Nicholas. The saint’s wooden statue was pulled from the sea and put on display.

The grand cathedral is quite beautiful from the outside, and people are allowed inside if the doors are open.

Wildlife

The Tuscan islands are known for their wild bird habitats, and Capraia is no exception. Peregrine falcons, buzzards, and kestrels are just a few of the rare bird species in the area.

The sea is also full of marine life. The surrounding areas are known as the Shrine of Cetaceans because so many dolphins and whales frequent these waters.

It is easy to include Capraia on a yacht charter itinerary of the Tuscan Islands or if crossing from Corsica to the Tuscan Islands when cruising in the Mediterranean Sea.