Elba is divided into eight municipalities. Here we highlight the main ones closest by …

Portoferraio

Portoferraio is the main town and port of the island. It was delivered by Charles V to Cosimo de ‘Medici in 1548, who made the centre unassailable, with the famous Medici Fortress and harbour.  The town of Ferraja, which owed its name to the extraction of the iron from the mines of Elba, thus became known as Cosmopoli. The fortifications, which are still visible, also include strongholds (Falcone and Forte Stella), connected by an impregnable wall. Subsequently, between 1600 and 1700, it came under the control of Lorraine and later became the place of exile of Napoleon, who stayed there for 10 months before the famous “100 Days”.

Not to be missed:

  • Places of interest: The Medici Dock, Napoleonic Residences Mulini and San Martino, Linguella Archaeological Museum and Martello Tower, the Church of Mercy and the Medici Fortress.
  • Beaches: Ghiaie, Capo Bianco, Sansone, Enfola, Forno, Scaglieri, Biodola.

 

Capoliveri

Capoliveri, once a mining village, is an idyllic place in the hills overlooking the surrounding sea and with breathtaking views towards Montecristo, Pianosa and Corsica and beautiful landscapes. Known in Roman times as Caput Liberum, and formerly inhabited by the Etruscans, it was subject to various barbarian invasions by pirates.
Its beautiful square, a lovely terrace with many opportunities for evening entertainment, and the church tower in the background, make this one of the most characteristic towns on Elba. Famous throughout the island is the legend of the Lover (leggenda dell’Innamorata) re-enacted each July 14 on the homonymous beach and celebrated by hundreds of people.

Not to be missed:

  • Places of interest: Costa dei gabbiani, Miniere, Monte Calamita, Forte Focardo, Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie.
  • Beaches: Lacona, Norsi, Felciaio, Lido, Barabarca, Zuccale, Stecchi, Innamorata, Morcone.

 

Porto Azzurro

Porto Azzurro: the origins of the town date back to 1600 during the Spanish period Known by the name of Porto Longone, it is famous for its fortress, located on the top of the promontory, and the Spanish Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montserrat, which has an image of a black Madonna, in memory of the shrine of the same name near Barcelona, erected by the Spanish governor.
Like Portoferraio, Porto Azzurro has a delightful seaside promenade, which leads to Piazza Matteotti, the venue for many summer festivals and events, considered the most beautiful on Elba and one of the most beautiful in Italy.

Not to be missed:

  • Places of interest: Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat, the Madonna del Carmine, Spanish Fortress and Terranera Lake.
  • Beaches: Lido, Barbarossa, Reale, Terranera, La Pianotta.

 

The other municipalities are: Marina di Campo, Marciana, Marciana Marina, Rio Elba, Rio Marina. Each of these is unique and yet equally interesting for the local history and traditions.

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