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Portoferraio is a small village with a considerable history, a history of banishments, imprisoned criminals, and, naturally, tourism. From the time of the ancient Romans, through the Middle Ages until, between 1814 and 1815, when all of Elba Island was ironically granted to the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte, this small port was the star of many episodes that have rendered it unique, the nerve centre of a stunning island, both in terms of history and nature.
Picturesque, with its position overlooking the sea, it was built in 1548 from a project designed by Camerini. Together with the other two forts (Falcone and Linguella), it dominates the landscape from above and provides Portoferraio its unique silhouette.
Inside the official residence of Napoleon and his court during his exile, an interesting museum has been created that illustrates the public life of the French leader, particularly during the ten months between 1814 and 1815 in which he governed the island.
A white pebbled beach amid the steep coast of the northern side that reaches from Capo Bianco up to Capo Enfola, Sansone beach is characterised by its clear, emerald green water and one of the most enchanting views of the whole island. This beautiful bay can be reached only by boat or on foot, along a short trail.
This small bay lies between the beaches of Ghiaia and Padulella and can only be reached from the sea. Ranked as one of the best beaches on the island, if you are travelling around the island by boat, it shouldn’t be missed.
Ideal for those travelling around by car, Padulella is the perfect choice for anyone who loves uncrowded beaches but does not want to give up any services. Just a few steps from the Capo Biano car park, you can walk down to the beach by following an easy trail.
For the Tuscan archipelago:
Calata Italia, 44 – 57037 Portoferraio
Tel: +39 0565 914671
Fax: +39 0565 914672
Hours: from Monday through Friday: 09:00 a.m. – 01:00 p.m., closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays
If you have chosen to take the Blu Navy ferry without a car, there are many options for getting around the island after landing in Portoferraio.
Certain bus lines connect Portoferraio with the main towns on the island. The bus station can be found just a short distance from the landing pier.
Info at www.livorno.cttnord.it
Taxis are always available when the ferry arrives, in the landing area.
Portoferraio is a lovely village that can be toured on foot. In addition, you can easily walk to the Elba Island tourist office, in the centre of Portoferraio.
There are trails for all tastes throughout the island, from coastal roads to dirt paths to ascents leading to the highest points on the island. If you arrived without your own, you can rent a bike at one of the many bike rental shops near the port.