Island of Elba: a green oasis in the Tuscan Archipelago
The Island of Elba is one of the few tourist destinations in the world that can brag about such a rich offering which varies within the space of a few miles: from marine depths, a true underwater paradise, to mountains surrounded by age-old woods, to beaches and coves ensconced in Mediterranean copse, to small hillside hamlets immersed in timeless tranquillity.
Each individual visitor can find his or her ideal vacation, pursuing their favourite sport, getting a tan, or going on to discover what the Tuscan archipelago can offer in terms of history, culture, and cuisine.
Just a little more than 6 miles from the continent, with 140 square miles of surface area, the island of Elba is the largest island of the Tuscan archipelago and Italy’s third largest island. Several years ago it was incorporated into Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago Toscano (Tuscan Archipelago National Park), along with Pianosa, Capraia, Montecristo, Giglio, and Giannutri.Because of the variety of its coasts (extending almost 92 miles), the amenities of its beaches, the majestic beauty of the Monte Capanne group (more than 3000 feet high), it has rightly become a world famous tourism destination.
Inhabited even in prehistoric times and known for its iron mines at the dawn of human history, Elba, which the Ligurians called “Ilva”, the Greeks “Aethalia”, was first Ligurian, then Greek, then Etruscan, and for centuries it remained Roman. In the Middle Ages the Pisans held it, then under the Appiani and the Medici. From time to time it attracted the interest of the European powers who left numerous traces of their dominion.The Medici left indelible signs at Portoferraio (the city was called Cosmopoli in honour of Cosimo dei Medici), as did the Spanish who erected the Fort of Saint James and Fort Focardo in Porto Azzurro.
Napoleon’s brief reign (1814-1815, nine months and 23 days) left significant mementos in Palazzina dei Mulini, in Villa San Martino, in the ancient churches of Portoferraio, in Marciana Alta (Madonna del Monte), and in other places.
Administratively, Elba is divided into eight municipalities: Portoferraio, Campo nell’Elba, Capoliveri, Marciana, Marciana Marina, Porto Azzurro, Rio Marina, and Rio nell’Elba.
Famous wines and excellent cuisine, combined with uncontaminated sea, mild climate and clean air, make Elba a place to relax and stay, the ideal tourist destination for all seasons. The island of Elba is immersed in green Mediterranean thicket, among cliffs, small plains, mountains and hills: only 4% of the territory is developed.
It is one of the safest places in Italy: no pick-pocketing, robberies, or riff-raff here.
Sights on Elba
The historical centres of Marciana and Poggio with the Archaeological museum, the historical centres of Portoferraio and Capoliveri.
Monte Capanne with Cabinovia.
The Elba aquarium at Marina di Campo.
Gite to see the marine depths, with the wreckage of ancient ships, with a Nautilus surface submarine.
Visit by mini-train in the small mine of Porto Azzuro and Parco Minerario di Rio.