Follow what I call the "Napoleon Trail" and visit his town residence Villa dei Mulini and his home in the countryside Villa S. Martino. This is me in the garden of the Villa dei Mulini, with a typical Napoleonic emblem (eagle with spread wings) in the background.
Boasting a lively and welcoming atmosphere, this town with evident Spanish origins was founded in 1603 by Filippo the third of Spain. Originally named Porto Longone, the town is located at the base of a promontory along an ample inlet, on the island's eastern coast.
Exhibition in the Demidoff Gallery of the Villa S. Martino - the Gallery was especially built in front of the Villa S. Martino, the country mansion of Napoleon Bonaparte, by count Demidoff to house his collection of Napoleon memorabilia. Today you can see scale models here of Napoleon's battles, military uniforms etc.
When you are on the Napoleon Trail, be sure to have a closer look at the personal library of the Emperor, in a room in his town residence Villa dei Mulini in Portoferraio. Another 'must see' for librarians!
The other day, it occured to me that I'm following the Napoleon Trail backwards: already in the 1980s, I visited his tomb in Paris (Invalides) where Napoleon was laid to rest some time after his death in 1821, a couple of years ago we visited Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated in 1815, and this summer we were on Isola d'Elba, where Napoleon resided in exile in the year 1814. So the next thing for us to do would probably be to visit some of the battlegrounds all over Europe (preferably in backward order e.g. Moscow and the Berezina 1812, Jena 1806, Austerlitz 1805?) and then end our project on Corsica, where the Emperor was born in 1769...
There are so many beaches to go to on the island of Elba. They're all pretty accessible, although the further northwest you go, the more mountains you have to fight to get to them. But it's definitely worth it if you have a car or scooter. A great way to see the whole island, and a bit of mainland Italy is to take the cable car (more like a 2-person metal basket) up to the top of Monte Capanne. You can go up and back for something like 8 or 10 Euro. It's definitely worth it. The classic Tuscan countryside is pretty present in the middle of Elba, where viniards and cypress trees fill every inch of fertile ground (Tuscan ground is all fertile).
Elba is a perfect place for sea kayaking. The water is clear, and warm, and it's often very calm, especially late spring through early fall. And there's lots of gorgeous coastline and beaches to land on.
I've been kayaking there a lot. If you have questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This point of view talk to you about the story of Portofferraio, the major city in the island.
A port in the natural bay, since the roman empire time. But not only. Take a look at the disegn of the fortified wall. The project is made by any rinascimental war architect based on an idea by Medici family (sir of Florence and entire Tuscany)
Here you can see Zuccale beach, another great sandy beach. It's possible to park the car and to spend only 1 euro for the whole day, then on the beach, you can buy something to eat and enjoy the gorgeous landscape.
Leaving Portoferraio find the indication to Capo Bianco Beach, just close to the main square. You can reach it easily from a great parking place (it costs only 2 euros and you can stay there the whole day). The beach is completely white and rocky, but you have to suffer a bit if you want to discover a wonderful sea green and blue with its crystal waters!
If you like sandy beaches Lacona is one of the biggest sandy beaches you can find to Elba Island. The beach is almost 1 km long and you can reach it from a big parking area just close to the street, you can't miss it!!
On the way to Portoferraio (or to Fetovaia if you come from the opposite direction) you can stay some hours on the Seccheto beach. If you like sandy beaches this is a good choise. Seccheto is a small beach so try to be there in the morning to take a place for you and for your car.
On the road to Portoferraio; after leavin Fetovaia beach you can find many beautiful corner where to stay and take a picture like this. I was so envious of those people who went there by their boats! Sometimes it's not possible to see places like this from the coast.
Fetovaia beach is maybe the most beautiful beach of the island. This beach is known for its golden sand and the green-blue colour of the water. You can join it from Portoferraio, it takes about 20 minutes by car.
A lighthouse on Elba as seen from the back garden of the Villa dei Mulini, the town mansion of Napoleon Bonaparte. Worth a visit!
You'll pass by this tiny island on your way from the mainland to the harbour of Portoferraio on Elba.