Portoferraio (Elba): what to see


What to see in Portoferraio, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the historic center, the Villa di Napoleone, called Palazzina dei Mulini, the Forts Stella and Falcone, the Villa Demidoff and the Roman Villa.

Tourist information

Located on a promontory, along the northern coast of the Island of Elba, Portoferraio is a popular seaside resort in the summer, as well as an important agricultural, fishing and industrial center.

With origins dating back to Roman times, when it had the name of Fabricia, Portoferraio is the oldest village on the island.

Destroyed by the Saracens, the town was rebuilt with the name of Feraia, deriving from the iron mines in the area.

Subdued by the Appiano, it was ceded by them to Cosimo I dei Medici, who took care of the construction of a fortified city called Cosmopoli, to make it a naval base of the Florentine fleet.

During Napoleon's brief reign on the Island of Elba, Portoferraio was raised to capital in 1814.

What see

In the visit route, once you have passed the sixteenth-century Forte Stella, located in the homonymous street, you come across the Villa dei Mulini, which was the House of Napoleon, or the place where the emperor stayed with his retinue.

The various rooms of the Napoleonic residence are furnished with furniture from that period, there is also the well-stocked library that belonged to Napoleon.

Climbing higher is the Forte Falcone, also dating back to the sixteenth century.

In the surroundings, at a distance of 4 km, there are the Terme di San Giovanni, erected to treat various diseases, including rheumatism, respiratory problems and skin diseases, taking advantage of marine mud and local water.

At 6 km is the Napoleonic Villa of San Martino, the emperor's summer residence where you can admire frescoes by Ravelli.

Recommended readings
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  • Tuscany: Sunday day trips

Next to this building is Villa Demidoff, which houses the Foresiana art gallery, which collects paintings and objects dating from the period between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, including works by Guido Reni, Bergognoni and Fattori, in addition to the famous Galatea, marble sculpture made by Canova.

Very interesting is the Roman Villa located 5 km away which, dating back to the first century, preserves the remains of various rooms and the swimming pool with water heating system by means of steam, as well as warehouses equipped with hoists.

Itálie 2014 - Portoferraio (Italy, Toscana, Elba) (March 2024)

Tags: Tuscany