Recognized as an independent municipality until 1906, Capoliveri has a fascinating history of independence. The etymology of its name dates back to the Latin “Caput Liberum” which means the top of the free: perched on a small hill was in fact inhabited by Roman slaves confined which found their freedom here.

Its strategic position that allows the town of Capoliveri to overlook both the Bay of Porto Azzurro and the Gulf Star, characterized its very ancient origins, , dating back first to the Greeks and Phoenicians navigators attracted by copper and iron, then to the construction of one of several offshore Etruscan fortresses. Later on the town became Capoliveri: it is an ancient castle fortified by the Pisans in the twelfth century

Its urban layout within the ancient walls was characterized by the geometric rationality typical of the Latin tradition of building, but during the Middle Ages the village clung around the highest part which is the square from which then branched a series of fishbone alleys, streets and squares.

The oldest testimonies are represented by two places of worship: The Church of St. Michael dating from the twelfth century, of which we have only parts of the apse and the foundation, where it is said that Pope Gregory XI, passing by and finding a repair from a storm, he celebrated Mass and the Sanctuary of Madonna Delle Grazie in the mid-sixteenth century, made of cross plan and crowned by a dome, especially in oriental style.

A spectacular party in sixteenth century costumes, which is celebrated on July 14, is certainly a major event commemorating the tragic story of love. In 1534 the young Lorenzo scion of a noble family was kidnapped by the pirate Barbarossa, in a desperate attempt to follow him, his bride Maria jumped into the sea, drowning in the waves.


Market day: Thursday.