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Porto Azzurro

Porto Azzurro an old fishing and agricultural town, it is the heart of society life on the Island of Elba, today it is one of its most celebrated seaside resorts.

Porto Azzurro, an old fishing and agricultural town, is overlooked by Saint Giacomo fort, it is the heart of society life on the Island of Elba, today it is one of its most celebrated seaside resorts.

Porto Azzurro is a centre on the eastern coast of the Island of Elba and is set in a small bay on the deep Mola Gulf, controlled on the south byFocardo Fort built in 1678 by the Spanish. Because of its beauty and the safe and well equipped port for pleasure boats,  it is among the best known and most popular towns of the island .
Towards the east of the town, on a promontory the austere San Giacomo di Longone fort dominates (Longone and Porto Longone were the old names of Porto Azzurro). Now the fortress is a prison, it was built in 1603 by Philip III of Spain on a design by the architect Garcia di Toledo and the original settlement grew around it.

At the start of the 17th century the Spanish troops landed at Longone together with teams of builders and in a short time built the fort. In fact in 1664 the work was more or less finished: five bulwarks connected together by robust walls. The Governor’s palace, the officials’ accommodation, the solders’ barracks, the gunpowder magazine, the armoury, a windmill and an oven are all within its walls. The perimeter of the fortress was inspired by military engineering developed, above all in Italy, during the Renaissance period and is 2,500 metres long.

The first image we get of Porto Azzurro are the pastel coloured houses that surround the pier. The roads of the small town slope down to Matteotti square, a large space facing the sea where the daily life of the Island takes place. 
There are a number of possible excursions from Porto Azzurro: about 1 kilometre to the north, in the valley of Fosso di Riale, a footpath goes up to the Madonna del Monserrato Sanctuary. This was built by the Spanish governor Pons y Lèon in 1606, and enlarged in 1768. Here the statue of the Black Madonna is worshiped, it is a copy of the one found in Montserrat sanctuary in Catalogna.

On the provincial road to Rio Marina, in the Pianetto area, we find the “Piccola Miniera” (Small Mine). This reconstruction by an ex Elban miner, Emilio Giacomelli, is a faithful copy of an old Island mine. On board of a small train you can make a trip round a fully equipped gallery and see stages of mine life. The place also has an exhibition of Elban mineral products and a workshop where you can help working the lathe. 
Not far away we find a special scene, the waters of Terranera lake formed in an area of the old pyrite mines. The lake is coloured  by sulphur. 
The beautiful beaches of Porto Azzurro are: Barbarossa looking onto the Calamitapeninsular; Reale facing south; the rocky triangle of Pianotta, set on the external side of the pier which protects the port and Rossa in front of the town centre.

 
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AGENZIA ILVA VIAGGI
(Autorizzazione Provincia Livorno n. 129 del 15-12-1997)
di Consorzio Servizi Albergatori
(CCIAA di Livorno REA 56478 – Albo Soc. Coop.ve n. A123701)
Calata Italia 26 - 57037 Portoferraio (LI)
Tel 0565.915555 - Fax 0565.930342
Cod. Fisc. e P.IVA 00324500495

federalberghi isola d'elbaThe Elba Hoteliers Association was founded in 1953 and represents 85% of the hotels on the Island of Elba and it is affiliated to the national “Federalberghi” Association.

The “Consorzio Servizi Albergatori” (Hotel Services Cooperative), owns Ilva Travel Agency, which is a cooperative society, founded in 1979, by the Island of Elba Hoteliers Association. About 180 tourist companies are members of it: hotels, tourist residences, residences, holiday apartments and homes, bed and breakfasts, restaurants. It offers about 12,000 bed places.

 
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