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Portoferraio

Portoferraio sits on a promontory on the north coast of the Island of Elba. It is the place of Napoleon’s exile, a fortress stretching out into the Tyrrhenian sea with lots of characteristics of a military centre.

Portoferraio sits on a promontory on the north coast of the Island of Elba. It is the place of Napoleon’s exile, a fortress stretching out into the Tyrrhenian sea with lots of characteristics of a military centre.

Portoferraio was known during medieval era as Ferraia because it was a commercial port tied to the mining of iron. During the Renaissance Cosimo I de Medici had  fortified the village and  called it  Cosmopolis: with the double meaning of city of Cosimo and city of the cosmos. Fort Stella and Falcone were built on the highest points of the city and the Fort of the Linguella was built on the point that closes off the port, all three were connected by walls and bastions. The Civic Archaeological Museum is at the Linguella fort. During the following centuries the defensive structure was further improved and in 1637 Portoferraio became a city. In 1814 it became, for ten months, the capital of a small State given to Napoleon. Near the Medici pier we can pass through theSea gate widen by Ferdinando II in 1637, we cross Cavour square and then get to the old military square. Here there is the Cathedral, built during the 16th century and enlarged in successive phases, in it there is the Visitazione of Passignano. On the opposite side is the town hall, modified during the 19th century: it is also called the Biscottiera because once inside there was an oven to make bread for the garrison. It is the seat of the Foresiana town Library, a donation by the collector Mario Foresi in 1920 of over 20,000 volumes many from the 16th century.

On Garibaldi Street is the SS Sacramento Church constructed in 1668 and enlarged in 1731, it has an elegant interior with a panelled wooden ceiling. The road continues up a stairway called Salita Napoleone and leads to the Misercordia Church with its small museum containing relics of Napoleon. Not far away is the Madonna di Loreto Chapel of 1745 and the ex convent of Saint Salvatore, today a cultural and congress Centre and seat of the Town Foresiana Art Gallery. We continue towards the 16th century Stella fort where passing through intertwined streets and ex military residences we reach the Lighthouse, built by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo in 1788, from here there is a fine view.

In 1789 the Mulini Palace was restructured for officials, project of Paolo Bargigli and from 3 May 1814 to 26 February 1815 it was inhabited by the Emperor Bonaparte. The palace, together with San Martino villa are part of the National Museum of Napoleonic Residences. The Medici Bastions are an imposing part of the Fronte di Terra (Land Front) built byBernardo Buontalenti around 1558: it is a defensive barrier towards the West of the city and dominates the entrance, originally it was bordered by a long ditch which fortified the citadel as an island in an island.

Worth a visit are: the ex Carmine Church transformed during the Napoleonic era into the Vigilanti  Theatre,  with beautiful  decorations by Vincenzo Revelli, and  the Martello Tower.

Portoferraio has about fifteen beaches some of them are among the most beautiful on the Island of Elba, all are just a short distance from Elba’s main town.

 
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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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