San Piero
Logo of the municipality Campo nell'Elba

San Piero, town
of the municipality Campo nell'Elba

San Piero Tourist information

Today San Piero presents itself like a graceful little village of Elba Island, located up the hills in front of the Gulf of Marina di Campo at a height of 227 metres. It is like it was embedded in a granitic rise south-west spur of the Capanne Mountain, the highest top of Elba Island, from which the plain ofMarina di Campo and the wonderful Gulf of Campo nell’Elba dominate.

Even if the village is pretty small it is very characteristic, rich of history and surely it deserves to be visited. In the heart of the village of San Piero there are three important squares around which settlements have arised. Around Facciatoia, Piazza della Fonte e Piazza della Chiesa are to be found some local businesses such as restaurants, bars, tobacco, bakery and groceries.

Close to those which once were the elementary school of San Piero there was created the Mineralogical  and Gemological Museum Luigi Celleri. The Piazza Facciatoia is famous for the panoramic view from which you can see the Gulf of Campo nell’Elba.

San Piero in Campo is a graceful little tourist village which organizes concerts and festivals during the summer season. Among the main events we recommend il maggio sanpierese, the De AndrèDay, the concerts in the Piazza della Chiesa and in the Piazza Facciatoia, besides the well-known race de li Caretti. In San Piero there are also accommodations for holidays and a lovely family run Hotel.

The recent development of the village of San Piero is witnessed by the growing suburbs around the ancient centre of the village which has kept unspoiled the quadrangular appearance of the old village. Within its perimeter it is possible to walk through the small streets and alleys, the angular indentations in the shadow, the steep stairs made of granite and the old portals and balconies typical of medieval architecture. San Rocco is probably the best place to enjoy that fresh and quiet climate that all the village of San Piero offers to summer visitors.

From the centre of san Piero arise the paths leading to the most fascinating and panoramic valleys of the Capanne Mountain. San Piero is therefore also a starting point from all those who are passionate for trekking and mountain bike. In fact behind the village start many mapped paths from which it is possible to reach evocative landscapes and beautiful panoramic sites of the Western Elba.

 
Besides offering a wonderful landscape, these paths can provide to those with a keen eye evidences of a hard working past which did not have the time to leave monuments but which, regardless that, we don’t want to forget.

If the economy of Elba is today based upon tourism, the fact remains that the sanpieresi (and surely not just them) have lived thanks to their granite, their agriculture and herding up to a fairly recent time after all. In addition to the caves which are still active there are also other smaller ones which no longer work.

Many are the goat sheds and shelters of the shepherds, made with walled dry granite, that have endured over time as to highlight the expertise of those who built them. Abandoning, with a little 'courage , the mapped paths , we finally realize how much was the land cultivated with vineyards, of which some hectares of terraces remain hidden by vegetation.


HISTORY OF SAN PIERO

Administratively San Piero is part of the municipality of Campo nell’Elba, but the story of San Piero is much older and dates back to the Roman times and more precisely to the time of Octavian, the son of Caesar . Between the fourth and fifth centuries it experienced a series of barbaric ravages by the Goths , Vandals, Heruli and Lombards .

Then followed the Saraceni and some peace was established only in the year 1005, when Elba was taken under the rule of the Pisa government which guaranteed a period of decent tranquility and economic prosperity. In order to ensure safety and protection to the village of San Piero, the walls of the Facciatoia fortresses were erected.  

In Cavoli and Seccheto the granitic caves were re-opened and the event was launched by the romans, of which famous testimonies remain today. From Elba is the granite of the Pantheon’s columns and the Colosseum in Rome, so is that of the San Michele church (1018) and that of the famous leaning Tower in Pisa.

In the aftermath periods, while the threat from the predator Turks remained, governments in Elba Island and in San Piero were changing: there was the empire of the Appiani lords, which was then subjugated by the Medici (1549), and later on passed to the Spaniards. Jumping to 1700 we find San Piero (together with S.Ilario, Poggio and Capoliveri) under the rule of princess of Piombino Olimpia Ludovisi, while the rest of the Island was divided between the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de Medici (Portoferraio) and Felipe IV of Spain (Portolongone)

The political unity of the island will only be restored under Napoleon I, from whose administrative talent Elba could pull a strong economic growth. In that period road systems were born,  the excavation of steel flourished in the eastern side of Elba, while in the western side the caves of San Piero, Seccheto and Cavoli restarted with great vigor the processing of granite. The people of San Piero love to remember that Napoleon spent a night in the village, precisely in the house of the Captain Domenico Dini, in Via del Cantone nº 3.

There are many things that the history of Elba Island links to San Piero, but not everything has the same visibility. If the fortresses of the Facciatoia cannot escape the gaze, it is more difficult to realize that while walking in piazza del Brunello we are actually walking on the ancient cistern for water supply of Castle of Campo, which was built in 1715 and took in the same year the current name of San Piero in Campo.

The original map of the village had four doors, three of which remain still today open to the traffic, while the one better preserved is the east door, currently called under the door. And if so far we have pictured a very brief secular history of the village, it is due to remember that San Piero is site of remarkable Christian art treasure, evidence of the religious cult over the years, even though sometimes it seems to hide it.

Right at the heart of the Pisan fortress Facciatoia, a Romanesque church remains preserved, built according to a very rare architectural style with two apses and two aisles only replicated in other three churches known in the world: one in Piemonte, one in Valtellina and the other in Zara, in the territory of Istria. All these churches are dedicated to the cult of the Saints Peter and Paul, and up to 1570, even this one, which currently takes the name of Saint Nicholas, played the role of parochial church remaining entitled to Saints Peter and Paul. Along the road that leads to Poggio, but still in the surrounding areas of San Piero, there is the biggest and most beautiful Romanesque churches in Elba, the one of San Giovanni, which couples with the recently restored tower. Still in San Piero it is possible to visit the oratory of Saint Rocco, nearby the cemetery. 

Beaches close to San Piero

The village of San Piero is located on a hill, but the nearest beaches are only  10 minutes drive away. Very beautiful are the beaches of the Western Coast of Elba, well known as Costa del Sole with the beaches Colle Palombaia, CavoliSeccheto e Fetovaia.

Marina di Campo Beach

Marina di Campo Beach

Wide sandy beach perfect for children.
Features: equipped with beach clubs.

Cavoli beach

Cavoli beach

Sandy beach popular among young people.
Features: equipped with beach clubs.

Seccheto Beach

Seccheto Beach

Sandy beach with granite rocks.
Features: equipped with beach club.

Fetovaia Beach

Fetovaia Beach

Golden sand and granite cliffs ideal for families.

Features: equipped with beach clubs.

Colle Palombaia Beach

Colle Palombaia Beach

Quiet graveled beach mixed with sand.
Features: quiet and wild, ideal for relaxing.

Points of interest San Piero

Village perched on a hill, it represents the crib of the granite from Elba and includes in its centre traditions, history and culture. Various are also the hiking paths that start from the promontory located above the village. 

Places of worship at Elba

Saint John pieve

Saint John pieve

It is an ancient XII century pieve, an important Romanesque remain between Sant’Ilario town and San Piero town.

Museums

MUM Luigi Celleri Mineral Museum

MUM Luigi Celleri Mineral Museum

MUM - Luigi Celleri Mineral and Gemmological Museum

Walks

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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