Crossroads of flavors, linked to the many culinary traditions that have mixed here in past centuries, Capraia is an ideal destination for those who love good food: a stay on the island is not complete without having tasted the flavors and learned the history of typical products.
Wine, honey, goat cheese, fish from offshore farming have in fact received important awards and won international awards as products of excellence. Their cultivation or processing dates back to ancient times.
In the northern part of the island, since Roman times, terraces were built for the cultivation of vines. In 1873, the area housed a former agricultural penal colony, but since the 1980s the area has returned to its inhabitants, who have kept its agricultural vocation: in the structures that once housed the prisoners, today we find farms producing typical and often organic products and holiday farms. The area can be reached on foot from the village and visited freely. Along the road connecting the “branches”, the former sections of the Penal Colony, you can stop at the companies and taste the local recipes made with the main local products, from cheese to wine (white, red or rosé), which releases the unique scent of the volcanic sea soil.
The Palmenti, the ancient basins dug into the stone used for crushing grapes since ancient times, are closely linked to the latter and its processing. At least three are the itineraries to follow on foot where you can meet them: at the castle, at the Tigghielle and at the Segalaio. Capraia has such a large number of “Palmenti” that one can think of the island’s past as a social cellar in the middle of the sea, where ships used to dock to refuel with its most precious and delicious grape nectar.
You can also discover the food and wine tradition of the island by taking part in a “0 mile Trekking”, the guided walks organized by the National Park: you will taste fresh and aged cheeses among myrtle or helichrysum leaves, top quality vegetables among ancient terracing and sweet honey from industrious bees. You will also discover the food uses of the island’s plants, used to make liqueurs, beers, flavored salts, jams, syrups and biscuits.
Finally, fish, raised in the open sea, shellfish, prepared in local restaurants, respecting the raw material and traditional recipes. Of all the squid, to which one of the most important autumn events in Capraia is dedicated, the Squid Festival, and the Capariese soup, a sort of local Livorno Cacciucco, deserve special mention.
Taste all the flavors of Capraia and believe: you won’t be able to say what you liked the most!