Hiking in Pomonte Valley

Pomonte valley itinerary
- Journey time: 6 hours
- Pertained paths in cartography: part of number 9 and 31
- Ideal itinerary for: hiking- Gradient 650 meters
- Difficulty: hard

One of the most spectacular itineraries of Island of Elba in many ways, the itinerary of Pomonte Valley crosses one of the widest valleys, cultivated by splendid terraces with vineyards that cling to the slope and with the presence of ancient pastoral caprili.

We do not recommend this route during the summer, as the moat is dry, and then does not allow us to see the waterfalls and the local watering holes, once used as open-air sinks .
Starting from the residential area of Pomonte, you take the paved road that runs alongside the church (village centre), after about 200 meters, a road on the right breaks off, cross the ditch with a concrete bridge. You are on trail 9, you climb immediately on a paved path in the middle of the vineyards, now largely abandoned and covered by Mediterranean forest.

However, you will observe that persistence and effort of man affected the slopes of the valley with narrow and sinuous terraces, almost always occupied by a single row of vines, transversely cut by steep paths and channels. A secular and hard work, up to impressive heights, how far there was place for plantation, in a perpetual struggle with granite and scrub.

We arrive at the junction with trail 31, which will represent the way of our return. We continue on the uphill number 9, at first challenging and irregular, then more and more gentle. On the left, just below us, the moat Barione spreads, marking the territorial border between the towns of Marina di Campo and Marciana. We penetrate further into the Valley, and the former plantations give way to a lush vegetation. We overcome the landslides of the ditch Porterogna, we go along an agriculture ruin , we cross the moat Barione, near a small group of chestnut trees, and go up on the opposite slope, in the locality of Poio. Just above us we will meet other abandoned warehouses besieged by the scrub.

After a flat route, we quickly arrive along the moat Barione. The trail continues along a water flow with a good flow rate for much part of the year. In some stretches you will need to switch from one bank to the other of the ditch. The vegetation is lush and many stretches are shaded by chestnut trees and hornbeams, whereas in the wetter clefts the fans of Osmunda regalis open: it is very rare fern elsewhere but quite common on the Island of Elba.

Once at the bottom of the Valley, the path climbs in a steep ascent on the right side, near a holm oaks plantation. It gives then the space to a Mediterranean forest of heathers and cysts, which allows us to enjoy the view from the top of the Valley we have just crossed. If you pay attention it's easy to see some gliding flight of birds of prey, like the Peregrine Falcon or the Kestrel inhabitant of the area. At the end of the climb we are on the Hill of Grottaccia (645 m), near a ruined caprile. At this point there is a crossroads: rising on the left (trail 8, GTE) you arrive at Filicaie, continuing along the path 30 you reach the area of Macinelle. You continue turning on the right, on the path number 31 which will lead us to the village of Pomonte. Initially we climb along the ridges of the hill, where you can see the imposing drywalls, perhaps the ancient city walls in the upland village in locality le Mure. Once arrived on a large, flat area, often ploughed by wild boars, we can admire the caprili, igloo-shaped structures once used by shepherds, probably the last testimony of a protohistoric village. From here the view of the campese coast is extraordinary, especially in spring.

After visiting the caprili, you go down along the ridge of the mountains, touching the Cenno and the Orleano. Once arrived at the latter, near a new caprile, a steep descent starts. We walk first among a low and reduced vegetation, result of recent fires, but that allows us to have a glimpse from above on Pomonte; afterwards the scrub thickens with arbutus, cysts, heather, and broom of carbonai, which in spring is covered with delicate multicolored flowers.
When you reach the route number 9, faced at our departure, we just turn left to return in a few minutes to the village of Pomonte and conclude our scenic tour.

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