The village of Cavo is situated on the east coast of Elba and is surrounded by a green pinewood and a lush maquis. Its history goes back thousands of years.
Two important historical events took place in Cavo. In 1376 Pope Gregory XI landed on the island of Elba. The Pope, who had been persuaded by Santa Caterina da Siena, was returning from Avignon and going to Rome in order to move the Papal See to Italy again. That was the first and last time a pontiff set foot on this island. It was the 16 th November and the Pope was sailing with a considerable fleet including his court. There was a very rough sea so, when the fleet arrived near Capo Vite, it met with difficulties and could not continue the journey. Some ships sank opposite the bay of Cavo. The Pope took refuge in Porto Azzurro and the day after, after celebrating mass in the church of San Michele in the vicinity of Capoliviere, he continued sailing.
The other historical event took place on the 2 nd September 1849 when Giuseppe Garibaldi landed at Cavo as he was escaping from the Roman Republic. He ate and drank in Cavo and sailed after a few hours.
During the last century Cavo became an important place of tourist attractiveness. Thanks to its mild and fresh weather, to the residence of Tonietti's family, owner of Elba's mines, important figures visited the village and regularly ate in Pierolli's trattoria. They were Simenon, a famous detective novel writer and creator of the police inspector Maigret, the futurist Marinetti, Marchesi, the musician Pietri, the sculptor Rossellini, the painters Vesna and Pietro Anigoni, the architect Coppedè. In Cavo Coppedè erected the well-known funeral monument to Tonietti's family. The Chapel stands on the pinewood of Capo Vite and it is clearly visible during the course Piombino-Portoferraio.
Getting To Cavo Island
The easiest way to get to the island is by ferry from Piombino to Portoferraio, Elba's capital. In August and throughout the high season, it's best to reserve, especially if you're taking a car over. There are two major ferry companies, Toremar in Piombino and Moby Lines, also known as NAV.AR.MA. Both run regular ferries that take about an hour.
Toremar also offers slightly faster (40 min.) but almost twice as expensive hydrofoils (aliscafo) on which you can't take a car. Toremar has the most ferry runs daily, especially off season, with hourly runs April through August and six to eight daily in winter. Year-round, there are three or four hydrofoils daily to Cavo, on Elba's northeast coast, plus three to four direct to Portoferraio in summer only. You can compare both companies' schedules quickly and easily using the price check facility above.
Toremar also runs boats to Elba's other ports (Cavo, Rio Marina, and Porto Azzuro) as well as a longer-haul ferry from Livorno to Elba once daily (plus an extra Sat run) from May 24 to September 14 that calls on Capraia (and sometimes also Gorgonza) along the way. Toremar in Livorno is at the Porto Mediceo.