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Rio Marina

Rio Marina is on the eastern coast of Elba and sits on a small bay surrounded by red iron oxide hills, reminding us of its mining past.

Rio Marina is on the eastern coast of Elba and sits on a small bay surrounded by red iron oxide hills reminding us of its mining past.

It has been one of the Island of Elba’s town councils since 1882 and was the main centre of the iron mining industry,Rio Marina has grown around a small bay on the eastern coast to the north of Capo Ortano. Once it was the Marina of Rio nell’Elba but it separated and became the main mining area. The first houses grew up among the mines. Mining of iron was, together with fishing, the main economic activity of the area. Today Rio Marina is a seaside resort equipped for the needs of tourism: as at Portoferraio ferry boats dock, they connect the eastern part of the island to mainland Italy. The town is set around a small inlet surrounded by the rocks of the mines and overlooked by the hexagonal tower used both for defence and as a lookout post, it was built in 1534 by Giacomo Appiani V. It was surmounted by a small tower in 1882, today it is called the Clock Tower.

In the town proper we find the 16th century Saint Rocco church, and at the Town Hall theElban Mineral Museum of the G. Tonietti club, here we can see over one thousand examples of the minerals that are typical of the Island, along with a rich exhibition of photographs and maps. Behind the town, on the top of Mount Giove, are the ruins of Giove Castle built by the Appiani in 1459 and unfortunately destroyed by Turkish pirates in 1533. Also worth noting in the area of Rio Marina is the panoramic Porticciolo road, Ortano bayand the mines now partially opened to the public. Ask at the Direction of the Mines Societyto be able to visit the mines.

Rio Marina’s history is tied to the economic and political happenings on the island. The first traces of organised life from the Neolithic era have been found near Cavo, while the exploitation of minerals began in the Bronze age, as can be seen by the numerous finds made in San Giovanni cave. From the 3rd century BC, Elba was under Roman rule and the island’s mines became a centre of frenetic activity of exploitation to furnish arms to the Republican legions. During the Imperial era the island was also used for tourism by Roman patricians: and in fact during this period numerous and opulent villas were built. The village of Cavo is about 7 kilometres from the town of Rio Marina, set among reddish rocks and low woods, it can be reached along a coastal road and along the internal Parata road. Cavo has a small harbour and is a seaside resort. We can see the remains of a Roman villa at Capo Castello, it is a typical example of a coastal villa built around the middle of the 1st century AD: some of the remains have been encompassed into modern buildings. The remains of many Etruscan smelting ovens have been found near Cavo. The Tonietti Mausoleum can be seen from the ferry boat, it was a project of the Florentine architect Gino Coppedè.
(Autorizzazione Provincia Livorno n. 129 del 15-12-1997)
di Consorzio Servizi Albergatori
(CCIAA di Livorno REA 56478 – Albo Soc. 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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