Elba is the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago. It’s older than Rome, and in the past was famous not only for its beauty, but also for some mundane activity - on the east coast there was an iron ore mine.
According to the legend, during a sea bath, Venus lost her pearl necklace, and the pearls had scattered in the waters of the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Sea. In this way they had created one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the region. One of the pearls of the necklace belonging to the goddess of love is Elba, now called the island of Venus. It's hard to believe that Napoleon was exiled here in a punishment for his misbehaviour.
Ferry to Napoleon
Venus was the goddess of love and beauty. No wonder that the island also distinguishes itself with an extraordinary beauty. Elba’s sandy beaches, romantic coves, charming towns and eternal green Mediterranean flora delight all those, who will come with a visit. To get here, you have to take the ferry in the port of Piombino, separated from the Elbe with a 12-kilometer strait.
The ferry runs every hour and we get off in Portoferraio, the main town of the island. It’s located on a promontory with steep slopes, surrounded by the sea on three sides. Its main attractions include the numerous forts and a building, where Napoleon lived.
Apart from Portoferraio, ferries also run to Cavo (the trip takes 35 minutes) and Rio Marina (45 minutes). Unless we transported our own vehicle by ferry, the most convenient solution will be to rent a bike or car. Surely, you can use local buses, but they don’t reach all the places worth exploring during your stay.
Attractions of Elba
At the command of Napoleon wonderful, evergreen gardens were founded, which smelled of jasmine and mimosa, pointedly emphasized with a hint of rosemary. He lived in the Villa dei Mulini (Palazzina dei Mulini), to which leads a steep lane running uphill. The villa offers particularly impressive views from the terrace and a collection of volumes - Napoleon had gathered over 2 000 of them. Being here, you should also visit the living room with furniture in the Empire style and a Baroque bedroom.
Extremely beautiful (because tempting with exotic species of plants) is the garden that surrounds Villa Napoleonica di San Martino. The palace, located approx. 5 km from the city now houses a museum.
The old town of Portoferraio hides some valuable points for the lovers of sacred architecture, including the church of San Rocco and the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. It catches the eyes with wrought iron balconies, decorative arcades and climatic squares, to which you can get by winding, narrow staircase. After a walk along beautiful lanes, you can sit in one of the many pubs and relax.
Camping on the island of Elba
On such a beautiful island, finding an accommodation won’t be problematic to anyone. You can choose to rest in some comfortable hotel, or look for a place for your motorhome. At a distance of 30 meters from the long sandy beach of Marina di Campo, the largest resort on the island, there’s a camp "Ville degli Ulivi" (Campsite Village). It offers comfortable accommodation in mobile homes as well as in rooms of a beautiful villa. It has numerous places for tents and pitches for motorhomes hidden in the shade of pine trees. This campsite has a swimming pool and a wellness center. You can play beach volleyball and tenis here.
Per night stay of an adult you will pay from 7 to 15.50 euros. The place for a vehicle costs from 9 to 19 euros. Great location of the campsite provides an easy access to the nearby resort. It has to be admitted that people who love to party won’t get bored here. In addition to the extensive beach of Marina di Campo, it tempts with a great view of the picturesque bay and a wide range of entertainment.
While being on the island of Elba, it’s worth trying "stoccafisso alla riese" (spicy cod dishes) and local wine. It was already appreciated by the ancient Romans. Apart from Elba Rosso and Elba Bianco, equally delicious is Moscato, Rosato and Aleatico. You can take a bottle as a souvenir.
To find out more about Elba please visit www.elbalink.it