Portoferraio is the main port of the island and one of the most active tourist ports in Italy. Capital of Elba, it owes its importance to the beautiful natural harbor, exploited since ancient times by the Etruscans and the Romans for the traffic of iron, having the isola one of the most prosperous mines in Italy.
Portoferraio Capital of Elba
Portoferraio is a small town rich in history, already upon arrival with the ship you can admire the imposing Medici fortifications mastering the Bay: Forte Falcone, Forte Stella (recognizable from the lighthouse) and the Torre della Linguella (at the entrance to the dock), all erected in the 15th century. in defense of continuous pirate attacks.
The promenade that leads from the tourist port inside the walls of the historic center is beautiful. Portoferraio has about 13,000 inhabitants and offers many services both in commerce and cultural . On the western side of the country, there are some beautiful beaches of white gravel that highlight the clarity of the sea.
The Falcone Fortress on the highest hill of Portoferraio
Built in 1548 by the Medici, in defense of continuous pirate attacks. Its terraced interior is very large with numerous stairways and underpasses. The very impressive walls surround the entire ancient center of Portoferraio, as you can see from the photos. Thanks to its height from Forte Falcone it is possible to see the whole town and the surrounding area.
Fortress Stella and the Portoferraio lighthouse
It is part of the imposing fortifications built by Cosimo dei Medici, in defense of pirate attacks. It was built in 1548 on one of the two hills above Portoferraio, this gives it a dominant position over the entire bay and much of the surrounding area. The panoramic view from the Forte Stella is truly spectacular.
The Fortress Montebello (or Mount Albero) is a fortification outside those of the historic center which demonstrates the strategic importance of Portoferraio still in the second half of the 18th century.
The fortress stands just over two kilometers as the crow flies from the historic fortified walls of Portoferraio. It constitutes the highest hilly relief in the area and for this reason, exceeding in height those in front of the mount of the Bombe, of San Rocco and of the Annunziata, it allows a free view of the city and its bay.
Tower of Linguella at the entrance to the port of Portoferraio
The Tower of Linguella (Martello) is part of the fortifications of Cosmopoli, is located at the entrance to the tourist port of Portoferraio, the name derives from the narrow strip of land where was built, which is called, due to its conformation. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the tower was still unaltered, as shown by a French relief, while in the twentieth century the small room for the guard disappeared.
Napoleon Villa of the Mills
The residence of Napoleon Villa of the Mills is located between the two fortresses of Portoferraio and is so named for the ancient presence of windmills. It became a national museum after being one of Napoleon’s two residences on the island. The emperor arrived on Elba in May 1814 with his mother, his sister Paolina and a small court with him. Inside the Villa we find many of their objects, outside a welcoming garden with a beautiful view of the coast.
Portoferraio Cathedral Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Cathedral of Portoferraio is dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Marina and was built in 1549, the year in which the construction of Cosmoplis the Medici fortification also began. The church today corresponds to the structure of the early nineteenth century, when the two side chapels, added in 1623 to the building built in the Cosimian age, were transformed into naves.
Bird’s eye view
Aerial view from the Views
Portoferrio from Molo Elba
Portoferraio from the Molo Gallo