Culture Travel

The Island of Elba and Everything You Should See

Travel to the location where Napoleon spent his time in exile and explore everything the island has to offer.

If you have traveled around Italy, you will know that the country has many surrounding islands that are a part of its landscape. They vary in size but are all uniquely different and beautiful. The Isola d’Elba, located in the Tuscan Archipelago between the Tyrrhenian and the Ligurian Sea, is a particularly fascinating destination. 

Elba has been described as a natural paradise, flourishing with plants and animals, and providing a delightful home for all its citizens. The island’s eight districts are distinctive and offer visitors a different experience depending on where they go. I’ve narrowed down a list of some of the best places to visit on the island for any interested adventurers. Here is what you should check out. 



As the island’s capital, Portoferrario is the main point of arrival for most visitors to the island and is the oldest town in the area. The city center is harbored inside the walls of the city’s ancient fortress, which was built by Cosimo I de’Medici during his family’s time of prominence. Here you will find the signs of all the island’s past rulers, including the Etruscans, Ligurians, Greeks, and Romans. 

Monte Capanne


Known as the roof of the Tuscan Archipelago, Monte Capanne is the highest mountain on Elba. It stands almost 1,018 meters tall and is a popular destination for many tourists. To take in the mountain’s views, people are welcome to hike to the top or take the chair lift. 

San Giacomo Fort


Located in the Porto Azzurro locality, the San Giacomo Fort is an impressive remnant from the time of the area’s Spanish rule. It was built in the 17th-century and still towers over the surrounding modern-day buildings. 



Capoliveri is a hilltop town famous for its street markets and the beach Cala dell’Innamorata. The beach is said to be the place where Lorenzo de Medici and his lover Maria would meet in secret. Capoliveri is also well known for its medieval facade that makes up the exterior of this lively area. 

Spiaggia di Capo Bianco


Best known for its expanse of white pebbles and sand, this 290-meter beach is a popular spot for sunbathers. The area is sheltered by soaring cliff faces, while the surrounding water is often calm and stunningly clear. 

The Thermal Baths of San Giovanni


If you are a traveler looking for a relaxing spa day, visit the Baths of San Giovanni. The surrounding area is bursting with iron, iodine, and sulfur, which was first discovered by the Romans. Popular services offered at the baths, including sodium chloride, iodide, and bromide treatments. 

Pomonte Beach


Pomonte Beach is one of the best spots on the island for snorkeling and scuba diving. The pebble shoreline offers those less adventurous travelers time to relax, while underwater explorers wander the nearby shipwreck of Elviscot. 

Villa San Martino


Owned by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Villa San Martino was the famous ruler’s home during his nine-month exile from France. He used money borrowed from his sister to purchase the property and decorate it with the lavish style he was accustomed to. Some popular sights inside the villa include the Egyptian Room and the Demidoff Gallery. 


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