Granite and Quarries

For years the western side of Elba has been characterized by the rhythmic sound of skilled stonemasons who were already using granite as a resource since the Villanovan times. The use of the Elba granite is already witnessed in prehistoric and Etruscan times, as shown by the discovery of ancient tools, pestles and millstones found in these areas. Known and worked in Etruscan times, the granite from Elba became later increasingly popular among Romans as precious material to be processed , modelled and then exported to build some monuments of the Roman Empire such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum.

The extraction of granite was later taken by the Pisani who used Elba's granite to decorate the Cathedral of Pisa and other important monuments. Later on, the Medici used it to embellish the Boboli Gardens, to build the base for the altar of San Lorenzo and to adorn the chapel of the princes.

The Elba's granite quarries have experienced different destinies throughout the centuries: sometimes they were well owned and managed, other times they didn't.
One of the latest flourishing period of activity in the granite quarries was linked to the german Zimmer family, which contributed to the development of the villages of San Piero and Seccheto thanks to the growth of the quarries. In the aftermath of the confiscation of the quarries by the State against the Zimmer family in 1937, the local stonemasons decided to establish a cooperative intended to manage the quarries in the best way possible .

So the Filippo Corridoni Cooperative was born in 1970 registering one hundred fifty skilled stonemasons for granite working.

The cooperative is currently running even though the number of stonemasons has been reduced and the production mainly includes high quality granite products employed for public and private decor. It is worth visiting the villages of San Piero and Sant'Ilario to see the wonderful art, the fountains, the squares, the paved streets, the portals and archways made with granite evoking the strenuous endeavour of Elba's stonemasons.

There are fascinating valleys to be seen while walking through the many trails of the western side of Elba. These ancient paths, once used to connect the villages of Sant'Ilario, San Piero, Cavoli, Seccheto and Fetovaia, have been opened again for those who love trekking. Going through this locations will leave you astonished for the numerous artifacts sketched-out in the rock by ancient populations. You can discover columns, altars, sculptures and basins that have been abandoned throughout the centuries and that tell the ancient story of these places and of granite working.

Granite Artifacts of Elba

Granite Artifacts of Elba

There are numerous open air evidences of granite, dating back to Roman and Pisan ages that may be encountered during a walk through the panoramic streets of western Elba.

Granite Quarries Excursion

Granite Quarries Excursion

Nice path for a peaceful excursion of 3 km visiting the granite quarries of San Piero.

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