Portoferraio

Western Elba

Elba, Italy’s third largest island, offers a vast variety of rich vegetation and rare flowers, suggestive corners and history, examples of the Etruscan and the Roman cultures and Spanish ports.

Heavily forested, but sprinkled with granite outcroppings, Elba is a study of deep green and pink. Dominated by a chain of mountains, the tallest ones are to the West, with the highest peak being Monte Capanne.

This is the ideal “panoramic tour” for those who are mainly interested in sightseeing.

You will drive from Portoferraio to the western coast, stopping first at Marciana Marina, a little and picturesque town by the sea, 19 km away from Portoferraio. Marciana Marina with her picturesque districts, small granite streets and pastel colored houses lining the sea shore is one of the smallest council districts in Italy. The extensive shoreline adorned with rows of tamarisks set an ideal scene for a relaxing stroll that will eventually lead you to the Pisan Tower. Built in the 11th century, this tower was vital to Marciana Marina’s defense against the Saracen pirates.

Here you will have some free time.

You will continue to Chiessi, a little village on the sea which hasn’t forgotten the old farming traditions; then to Pomonte, at the bottom of the mountains, from where in certain clear days you can also see the islands south of Elba (Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio and Corsica); up to Fetovaia, in a narrow gulf, considered to be one of the most beautiful of Elba, famous for its white beaches.

You will have the opportunity to stop to take pictures of the panorama.

Before returning to the port, you will make the last stop at Marina di Campo, a little village of colored houses, dominated by the Pisan Tower, used in ancient times as a watchtower. Marina di Campo has a beautiful promenade along the sea and is renowned as a place where to stroll at night.

Free time before returning to the port.

 

Eastern Elba

Elba is located on the Western coast of Italy, about an hour by ferry from the mainland. It is famous for being Napoleon’s temporary home when he was exiled here, now, it is popular as a nice place where to spend a summer holiday.

Elba is a beautiful island with rolling hills, valleys, and beaches that  sprawl out into a  sparkling blue sea.

This tour will take you to Eastern Elba, with its picturesque coast and its extraordinary countryside.

On eastern Elba, you will visit Marina di Campo. Two kilometers of golden beach and a variety of high quality accommodation make this antique fishing town one of the most popular tourist centers of the island. It is the ideal place for families and for those who want handy comforts. A beautiful pinewood at the back gives the possibility to find pleasant areas of shade.

You will then reach the old Spanish capital of Porto Azzurro.

The town overlooks a lovely bay towered by the star-shaped Fort of San Giacomo (or Fort Longone), built by order of Filippo II of Spain in 1603. This was the Spanish reply to Portoferraio’s imposing fortifications. It had been a detention facility since 1858 and only recently its dungeons have been open to the public. To complete the defensive layout of the bay there was another fortification, Fort Focardo (1678), on the opposite side of the gulf near Capoliveri.

Its original name was Porto Longone, changed into the more tourist Porto Azzurro in 1947.

The town still has a characteristic historical center with stone stairways and narrow alleys flanked by tall buildings.

 

Porto Azzurro & Palazzina dei Mulini

Elba is the biggest island of the extraordinary Tuscan archipelago, with over one hundred kilometers of indented and variegated coastline, modeled by the Libeccio and Maestrale winds, with unending inlets, small coves, and niches set in the rocks.

It is the island of the Etruscans, the Romans, the Medici, and Napoleon. It is the island of minerals, perfumes and flowers. Among sea, mountains and small villages it is, above all in the low season, a relaxing meander always within sight of a spacious panorama.

You will depart from the port of Portoferraio, escorted by your local guide, to the old Spanish capital of Porto Azzurro, with a 1603 fortress built so well they’re still using it as a prison.

Today, the fortified Spanish port is one of the island’s major resort towns, but you can catch a whiff of the past in the shop fronts and bustle of the old quarter around Via d’Alarcon.

Once back in Portoferraio your tour will continue on foot to the Palazzina dei Mulini, once the winter residence of the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

Although Napoleon’s exile on Elba was brief, the emperor left behind a considerable cultural and historical patrimony.

The villa hosts paintings and remembrances of this epoch. In the garden, there is a copy of the Canova’s Galatea and a statue of Minerva. From the beautiful garden a spectacular view of the Tuscan coast can be admired.

 

Capoliveri and Porto Azzurro

Porto Azzurro and Wine Tasting

A View from the Top of Mount Capanne

Porto Azzurro & Villa San Martino

Portoferraio Walking Tour

Marciana Marina an Palazzina dei Mulini

Marciana Marina and Capoliveri

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