A concise encyclopedia about the Island of Elba

The Island of Elba, the island of a thousand faces: the island of history, of civilizations; the island that has seen many special events that have given rise to numerous myths and legends; the island that is never the same.

In this section we are giving you the chance to discover a different Elba: the historical island, Napoleon's island, the geology, so you can learn of the geological origins of both the island of Elba and the Tuscan Archipelago.

That of the towns and villages in Elba that , even if they aren't far from one another, they all have their own traditions, customs and economies.

Not forgetting many historical, naturalistic and geographical facts about the Island of Elba: its flag, the Argonauts, the Tuscan Archipelago Park.

A concise encyclopedia so you can deepen your knowledge of the Island of Elba and the people who live there, as well as many interesting and amusing facts.

Interesting facts

Many historical, naturalistic and geographical interesting facts about the Island of Elba: the flag of Elba, the Argonauts, the Tuscan Archipelago Park.
Protected biology area of Lo Scoglietto
The stretch of sea between Punta Falcone and Capo Bianco, opposite Ghiaie beach, has been a protected biology area since 1971.

Audouin's Gull
The rarest species of seagull in the world: Audouin's gull, the symbol of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.

Saffron from the Island of Elba
Crocus Ilvensis, a new species of saffron that grows only on the Island of Elba.

The Martello Tower
The Passannante Tower, or Martello Tower, or Linguella Tower, in Portoferraio, a clear example of military architecture to protect Portoferraio and its port.

The granite from Elba
The granite from Elba has even been used in historical buildings and monuments, like the Pantheon and the Cathedral in Pisa.

Swimming and sailing rules and regulations
Information concerning swimming and sailing rules and regulations, as stipulated by the Harbour Office

The area of the Island of Elba
Some information to help you realise the size of the Island of Elba, often considered very small.

Islands with the same name!
Pianosa and Capraia, aren't just the names of two islands in the Tuscan Archipelago, but also the names of two islands in the Tremiti Archipelago, in Puglia.

The Argonauts and the Island of Elba
Legend has it that the Argonauts landed on one of the islands called Aethalia in the Tyrrhenian Sea , that is, the Island of Elba.

Posidonia...not seaweed!
Mediterranean Tapeweed is a marine plant that grows in unpolluted seas. The sea around the Island of Elba is rich in meadows of this plant.

Highest peaks in the seven islands
A little information about the mountains and hills in the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. The highest peak is Monte Capanne on the island of Elba.

Size of each of the seven islands
A little information about the size of each of the seven islands in the Tuscan Archipelago.

Amerigo Vespucci training ship
The Amerigo Vespucci is often in the Gulf of Portoferraio. It is a full rigged ship, used in training Officers.

Aleatico from Elba
The unique and famous DOCG wine from Elba that isn't easy to produce, perfect with desserts and chocolate.

The Castle of Volterraio
The Castle of Volterraio was built round about the year 1000, on top of what remained of an Etruscan fortification that pirates never succeeded in entering.

Napoleon's residences in Elba
The Villa dei Mulini and the Villa in San Martino are the two residences Napoleon Bonaparte had built while he was exiled on the Island of Elba.

European Shag
The European Shag is a marine bird very similar to the Cormorant, whose number has greatly inceased all over Elba in recent years.

Herring gull
The Herring gull is part of the fauna in the Tuscan Archipelago, with a stable, average number of about 15-16.000 pairs.

Strawberry trees
Strawberry trees grow in the Mediterranean bush, and can be found both in Elba and in the other islands of the Archipelago.

The seven islands of the Tuscan Archipelago
There are seven islands in the Tuscan Archipelago in the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenan Sea

Population of the Island of Elba
Some numbers about the population of the Island of Elba and its 7 Communes

Elba and the conservation of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park
The Island of Elba's territory, and the sea around Lo Scoglietto in Potoferraio, a marine biology area, are protected by the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.

The tiny island of Palmaiola
The tiny island of Palmaiola is in the strait of Piombino and the lighthouse at the top means it can be easily seen from the ferry to Elba

The island of Cerboli
Cerboli is a tiny island between Elba and Piombino with characteristic flora and fauna, some of which isn't as yet fully known.

Visiting the Island of Montecristo
Montecristo is a protected environment of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park and the State Forest Rangers. Information about guided excursions on the Island.

The island of Montecristo
Alexandre Dumas' novel has brought fame to this small island south of Elba. Nature here is completely untouched, so swimmng and sailing are strictly forbidden.

The flag of Elba
History of the flag of the Island of Elba, with its 3 bees, symbol of hard work. It was given to Elba by Napoleon during his exile on the island.

History of Elba

Some historical information on Elba and its origins.
Following the footsteps of Napoleon
The story of the exile of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte on the Island of Elba: 1814-1815. His works and his women.

From the Argonauts to Barbarossa
From the Argonauts to Barbarossa's conquest and loot, via the Etruscan dominion.

The Appiani dominion
At the end of the 14th century the Appiani, from Piombino, Pianosa and Montecristo, took over from the Pisans.

The Medici and Cosmopoli
Under the Medici, Portoferraio was fortified and became a strategic Mediterranean port.

The Spaniards
The Spaniards ruled over the eastern part of Elba, Porto Azzurro and Rio, for 150 years, and built fortifications

The mines
The iron ores in Elba are among the oldest mines in the world.

Geology of Elba

Pluton formation on Monte Capanne, ancestor of the entire Tuscan Archipelago.
Ginevro mine and Old Workshop Museum
The Museum and the Calamita mine: the only underground mine on the Island of Elba that you can visit, part of the mining complex in Capoliveri.

Mineral Park in Rio Marina
There are excursions to the Mineral Park from the Mineral Museum in Rio Marina

The history of the Island of Elba and that of its mines are one and the same thing.

The granite from Elba was exported and used in many important historical sites, like the Pantheon and the Colosseum.

Communes and towns

Up till a few years ago Elba was a group of small towns each one very different from the other, with its own traditions, customs and economy.
Campo nell'Elba
The varied, high quality holiday accommodation makes this ancient sea town one of the island's most important holiday resorts

The small commune of Capoliveri, high up on the hills, is today one of Elba's liveliest and most characteristic towns, rich in fascinating history.

Marciana is a hillside town 375 metres above sea level, and is one of the oldest towns, rich in history and archeology.

Marciana Marina
With its picturesque places, narrow, granite streets and pastel coloured houses looking out onto the sea, it is one of Italy's smallest communes.

Portoferraio, main town on the Island of Elba, has very ancient origins and has always maintained its Renaissance beauty.

Rio nell'Elba
Famous for its iron mines that date back to the Etruscan period, Rio nell'Elba was the mineral centre on the island until the ores were closed down.

Rio Marina
With the closure of the iron mines that made it the "Iron Capital", Rio Marina is now a flourishing beach resort.

Porto Azzurro
A lively, welcoming town with clear Spanish origins, at the foot of a promontory in the wide inlet on the eastern side of the island.

Media gallery

The most beautiful photographs of the Island of Elba: magnificent photographs and wonderful videos
Photographs of the beaches
The most beautiful beaches on the Island of Elba await you to discover them

Photographs of the towns and villages
The most beautiful towns and villages on the Island of Elba, be they small villages along the coast or inland, await you to come and visit them.

Bicentenary Napoleon

Napoleon's bicentenary will be celebrated with 10 months of exhibitions and special events covering various moments of his exile on the Island of Elba.
Napoleon's field tent
The original field tent, recently renovated by Mobilier National, for the first time on show on the island of Elba from June to September

Historical revivals
The historical revivals and the traditions of the time of Napoleon on the Island of Elba

A miniseries about Napoleon produced by Spielberg
Spielberg and kubrick are working on the screenplay of a miniseries dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon leaves Elba
Napoleon didn't secretly flee from Elba but had organized his departure long before

"The Empire Island", a volume about Elba under Napoleon
Revisiting the history of the Island of Elba through the man Napoleon "told" by the documents of the historical archives in the Communes of the Island of Elba

Napoleon's disembarkation
Three whole days dedicated to the official opening of Napoleon's bicentenary

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