A Photo Tour of Elba

October 21, 2014 / Places
Isola d'Elba, Tuscany

The island of Elba, positioned about 20kms off the Tuscan coast, is easily accessible by ferry from Piombino, south of Livorno.

Having a car there is essential as the island comprises many peninsulas which would be difficult to access otherwise. The island has a raw beauty with its golden beaches and mountainous interior.

Capoliveri Marina

Pulling into Portoferraio the first thing one sees is a huge fort overlooking the harbour. Built by Cosimo de Medici in the sixteenth century, it gives an imposing first impression to new arrivals from mainland Italy.

Arrival in Portoferraio, Elba

Spectacularly beautiful beaches touch the blue Mediterranean making the island of Elba a truly desirable holiday destination: apart from the well serviced beaches, there are plenty of restaurants and picturesque towns to visit.

Noon at Capoliveri, Elba
Deliveries by bicycle in Capoliveri, Elba

The island owes much of its fame to the fact that Napoleon Bonaparte was sent into exile there in 1814 and stayed as its ruler for nine months. He, apparently, made a huge difference to the island in that short period of time, revamping its infrastructure and bringing new prosperity. Napoleon’s Villa Mulini, located in the centro storico (historic centre) of Portoferraio, is a must-see.

Napoleon's Villa Mulini, Portoferraio, Elba

The centro storico of Capoliveri, a hilltown perched high over the beautiful harbour of Porto Azzurro is well worth visiting for its quaint streets, houses and little shops, while Porto Azzurro itself is a perfect place to stay and watch the moon rise over this sublime little island in the Mediterranean.

Porto Azzurro, Elba

Moonrise over Porto Azzurro, Elba

by Orna O’Reilly

Orna is a former interior designer who practised in South Africa, Mozambique and Ireland. Now writing full time, she moved from Ireland to the Veneto area of Italy in 2013.

She writes her way around Italy by blogging about it (at Ornasite) and is currently writing a novel set in Venice. You can follow her tweets @OrnaOR, and her Travel & Design page on FB.

5 Responses to “A Photo Tour of Elba”

  1. mary jane

    Nice to know that Villa Molini is reopened. When I was there a year or so ago, only could visit the Villa San Martino complex which is very impressive .

  2. Welcome to the Italian Notebook stable of contributors. Great article. What was Napoleon thinking when he decided to leave Elba, one of the Italy’s floating gems, for the front lines?


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