Reached by ferry from Piombino (a 15-mi/24-km trip) Elba is one of seven Tuscan Archipelago islands in the Mediterranean. Adequate roads make touring relatively easy. Elba has more than 50 beaches thousands of pine trees beautiful reefs mountains (3 000 ft/915 m high) and archaeological ruins. The major town on the island Portoferraio a 16th-century walled city lies in the middle of the northern shore. Elba was Napoleons home during his first exile; be sure to see the library at his residence Palazzina dei Mulini which overlooks the ocean. From Portoferraio take the cable car up the mountain to the Villa of San Martino Napoleons summer residence which has artifacts and displays on his lifeand a great view as well. Up to a week could be spent on the island touring snorkeling and relaxing. The island is so overcrowded during summer however that water shortages often occur.
A dream of sea
If we fantasize of a strip of land on which to toast after a dazzling navigation in the Mediterranean, then there can be no doubt: our favourite harbour is the island of Elba. Beaches of the finest sand, cliffs plunging into the sea, transparent waters teeming with fish…
But also mountain tracks, oak woods, medieval villages, modern hotels, fully equipped tourist centers and sailing schools run by old sea-dogs… Here, the beauties awarded by nature to the 147 kilometers of Thyrrenean coast nearly Tuscany have been preserved. The results of a very strict environment preservation program can be perceived immediately. In Elba, nature is the absolute ruler, the absolute dominator of the landscape.
The island is a continuous discovery: the sea changes colour in every creek. On the south shore it clashes over white cliffs or rails at vast beaches, while on the north
shore it seeps in the creeks among the very high cliffs or it caresses some quiet pebbled beaches. In a few minutes you can go from the granitic massif of Monte Capanne, the realm of moufflons and wild goats, to the mining areas of the east side, a real Eldorado for scientists and geology lovers.
There ore various opportunities for leisure and cultural enrichment, thanks to historical events, sporting events, concerts and village fairs, during which the old traditions are renewed in order to attract both tourists and locals.