2018 Capraia Rock Trail – A Trail on Italy’s “Alcatraz”

by Maria E. Bellini

Registration is open for the 2018 Capraia Rock Trail – the second edition of this adventurous spring trail race that takes place on the wild, Tuscan island of Capraia on the 25th March 2018.

About The Capraia Rock Trail

Capraia Rock Trail - img courtesy of Race organisation
Capraia Rock Trail – img courtesy of Race organisation

When: 25 & 26 March 2018
Where: Capraia Isola – Livorno (LI), Tuscany – Italy
Distance / elevation gain: 24km / 1400m D+
Other distances: 14km / 700m D+ and Kids Trail at 2km

Website: www.capraiarocktrail2018
email: CapraiaRockTrail@gmail.com

Race registration is here:
Race bib only: https://www.endu.net/it/events/capraia-rock-trail/entry
Race bib and accommodation: http://info96034.wixsite.com/capraiarocktrail2018/iscrizioni 
You will have to register to check availability – or contact race director (email above)

  • This is a race on one of Italy’s wildest islands.
  • You may feel as if the island is all yours!
  • Special hotel room rates and packages for runners

You can read Maria Bellini’s 2017 race report here.

Capraia Rock Trail - img courtesy of Race organisation
Capraia Rock Trail – img courtesy of Race organisation

Where is Capraia Island

Capraia is the only island in the Tuscan Archipelago that is of volcanic origin. The other islands that make up Tuscan Archipelago are Elba, Giglio, Giannutri, Pianosa, Montecristo and Gorgona.

The island of Capraia is known as a “walker’s paradise” having numerous trails that enable you to run or walk right round the island. Located some 60 kilometers off the coast of Tuscany, you’ll be offered some amazing views across the wild blue Tyrrhenian sea and of nearby Corsica.

What’s it like there?

A rustic, rugged island, quite hilly and with steep inclines (highest point is Monte Castello at 445mt), Capraia is like a lost paradise but don’t expect to find sandy beaches, as the coastline is rocky and steep cliffs dominate the shores.

With mainly low Mediterranean vegetation covering the endless hills, remember to bring a hat as often shade is limited to under knees height.

The island also has it’s own distinctive aromawhich is produced by the elicriso flowers (i.e., native strawflowers) which are used by the islanders to produce food stuffs, flavorings, beauty products and a tasty beer!

Capraia - Omg courtesy of race organisation
Capraia – Omg courtesy of race organisation

What else can I do there?

  • As a protected marine park, many people go to Capraia for diving
  • You can walk
  • Relax in one of the islands bars on the harbour
  • Take a boat tour around the island
  • Visit the ex prison
Capraia - Omg courtesy of race organisation
Capraia – take a boat trip around the island – img courtesy of race organisation

Capraia in the Past

Due to it’s strategic position, Capraia was used by pirates to store treasures in its numerous caves. The island was also a penal colony (from 1873), and the buildings that made up the old, abandoned prison are still there today, a contemplative reminder of the past and what it must have meant to be a convict far from home, on an island with no escape.

Closure was only in recent years – in 1986, when the area became a National Park.

Are there Any Towns on the Capraia?

There are only two villages on the whole island, the tiny harbour of Capraia Porto and the ‘main’ village of Capraia Paese – both are within easy walking distance to each other, meaning that there is no need to bring a car.

In fact there is only one road, which isn’t even a kilometer long! Hotels and guest houses arrange transportation for yourself and for luggage should you need it.

Capraia Porto and Paese both have bars, restaurants and shops, but bear in mind that if you do go for walks around the island you should take with you water and any snacks or food that you may require.

img courtesy of race organisation
img courtesy of race organisation

How do I get there?

Fly to Pisa, Bologna, Florence or Genova – see our airport guide here.
You do not need a car on the island.

Car parking available by the Port Mediceo in Livorno – we stayed here Parking Mediceo telefono: +0039 338 8969912
Ferry goes from Livorno – Porto Mediceo to Capraia – see Toremar

If you won’t be able to make the race but are interested in walking or running in Capraia, read our Classic Capraia walking/running route, for an idea of what it’s like.

Disclaimer
Event listings are based on information found on the official website and/or from event directors. All information presented is as accurate as possible but is subject to variations without notice. Always check with the official event website for up to date information.


Maria E. BelliniMaria Elisabetta Bellini is Italyontrail.com’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.

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