Literaure, cinema and art on the Island of Elba

Over the years the history of the Island of Elba has not only captured the interest of artists, poets, writers and scientists, but has also been the destination of many important people.

Thanks to the legend of when the Argonautscame to the island, Elba has been famous for a long, long time. It first appeared in literature at a worldwide level when the great poet Virgil in his Aeneid (X, 173-174), talking about the Etruscans, writes a few but suggestive lines about Ilva, saying it is an "island rich in unlimited iron metals".

The richness of its territory explains why the Island of Elba has often been mentioned in many antique books too. In the Hellenistic days, Tolomeo, famous Egyptian scientist from Alexandria, wrote that Elba was rich in iron, magnet, marble, sulphur, aluminium, vitriol and lead.

Both in the Middle Ages and in more recent times Elba has been mentioned in scientific manuals thanks to its precious resources that come from the rocks and its territory.

After Napoleon's exile the island becomes even more interesting not just for historians and writers but also for tourists. The people from Elba well knew that the island would never have been the same after they had welcomed the Emperor in May 1814.

Many beautiful literary works and paintings have been dedicated to Elba, and the Island has often been chosen by film directors too

Writers, poets, artists and scientists have come to Elba, each of them for a different reason, while many other people who have given a significant contribution to the history of the Italian culture were actually born and brought up here.

The Island of Elba in literature

A journey across the words of writers and poets from all over the world who were fascinated by the Island of Elba
“Tourmaline" by Joanna Scott
Joanna Scott, American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, was so fascinated by Elba and its tourmaline that in 2002 she wrote and set one of her books there

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