One of the first things you will come across during your holiday in Elba are the seagulls. You will see them as soon as you get to the port of Piombino as they fly over the jetties, or as they fly down amidst the cars and the tourists "asking" for food. Try throwing them some breadcrumbs and see how dozens of them appear. The beautiful herring gull, with its candid white feathers on its breast and grey and white ones on its wings, its yellow beak and legs, and its eyes with a red outline. Not forgetting the chicks that are more of a greyish/brownish colour and smaller than the adults.
Once the crossing from Piombino to Portoferraio has started and the port of Piombino is now behind you, the first tiny island you will see is the Island of Cerboli in the distance, then the Island of Palmaiolathat has a lighthouse. Both islands are part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park
Cerboli formed by limestone, once belonged to the writer Carlo Cassola, and is about 6.600 metres from the port of Pombino and 8.300 metres from Elba, while Palmaiola is about 7.000 metres from the port of Piombino and about 3.000 from Elba. The two islands are about 5.600 metres away from eachother.
The Island of Palmaiola takes its name from the many dwarf palm trees that once grew there, covers an area of about 8 hectares and is about 85 metres above sea level.
Once you have passed the islands, still on your left, the first part of the Island of Elba you will see is Cavo with a small island called Isolotto dei Topi. The actual town of Cavo lies somewhat hidden from what you can see from the ferry.
So, you will see all these places in this order Nisportino, Nisporto, Bagnaia, Magazziniand Schiopparello. By this time you are inside the bay of Portoferraio and on the right you can first admire the Scoglietto, the tiny island opposite Portoferraio (or to be more precise opposite the Le Viste beach) then the Medicean walls and Forte Falcone, theLorena lighthouse, and finally the Passanante or Martello tower.
If you are lucky enough to get into Portoferraio when the light is right - afternoon/evening is best - you will never forget the beauty of its skyline. The Medicean fortress up on the rocks, the Lorena Lighthouse and Napoleon's Villa all look over the Gulf of Portoferraio, and are all first class material if you wish to film them or take some photos and put them in an album.
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