Elba, the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago, has an Etruscan and Roman history, of pirating excursions, iron and mineral mines, and sea battles for dominance, due to its strategic location on the Mediterranean routes.
In the Middle Ages, Pisa was the dominant ruler, and there are some important and impressive buildings built to defend the territory, work that was continued by the Medici with the construction of the walls of Portoferraio. The Spaniards who settled in Porto Azzurro built the fort of San Giacomo.
However, the historical period that made it famous, thrusting it onto the world stage, was the exile of Napoleon, who stayed there for 10 months from April 1814 to February 1815; he was the sovereign of Elba and not just a simple prisoner. During the period of exile, Emperor Bonaparte came to be very knowledgeable about the area and built infrastructure, mines, roads, and defense works. In a short time, the island turned into a political and cultural centre, with the arrival of poets, artists, courtiers, spies and men of the world who took shelter, and helped to keep its life active.
The itinerary includes a visit to the residences and the Napoleonic museums, and places dear to the emperor.
The clear blue sea, the hinterland dominated by the intense green of the Mediterranean, historical and cultural resources, make the island a must for those seeking for intense emotions.