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INSEL ELBA - HISTORY
Legend has it that the Tuscan Archipelago originated from a necklace that slipped from the neck of Venus, goddess of beauty and love, and fell into the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. This charming myth does contain some truth, since there is no denying that the Archipelago's islands are genuine fragments of paradise.
Few other holiday locations in the world can boast of such a rich and varied offering within the space of just a few kilometres: from the rich seabeds, a real paradise for divers, to the mountains surrounded by ancient woodland, and from the maquis-framed beaches and coves to the little hilltop villages immersed in a timeless tranquillity.
Every visitor will find exactly the holiday they are seeking, enjoying their favourite sport, dedicating themselves to acquiring a tan, or setting out to discover what the Tuscan Archipelago has to offer in terms of history, culture and food and wine.
KEY FACTS ABOUT THE ISLAND OF ELBA
Just 10 Km from the mainland, with an area of 224 square kilometres Elba is the largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago and Italy's third largest in area, after Sicily and Sardinia. Lying at the tip of the Gulf of Follonica, with Capraia to the north and Pianosa to the south, it is shaped rather like a fish swimming away from the mainland. Elba is an amazing open book where visitors can still read the signs of several millennia of history and observe a wonderful natural environment. Elba and Pianosa, Capraia, Montecristo, Giglio and Giannutri belong to the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, formed several years ago.
The climate is particularly mild with an annual average temperature between 15º and 16º; the seasonal averages are 10º in winter, 14º in spring, 23º in summer and 17º in autumn. The monthly sea temperatures are: April 19º, May 20º.2, June 24º.1, July 26º.8, August 27º.3, September 25º.5 and October 23º.1.
Thanks to the variety of its coastline (which is 147 Km. long), its attractive beaches and the majestic beauty of the Monte Capanne (1019 metres) massif, Elba has quite rightly become a world-famous holiday location.
The main road network (about 160 Km) is paved throughout. There are approximately 80 Km of additional tarmac roads.
Inhabited even in prehistoric times and known for its iron mines at the dawn of the Historic Era, Elba, known as "Ilva" to the Ligurians and "Aethalia" to the Greeks and ruled first by the Ligurians, then the Greeks and then the Etruscans, was held by the Romans for centuries. In the Middle Ages it was under the dominion first of Pisa and then of the Appiani and Medici families. From time to time it also attracted the interest of the European powers, who left many signs of their rule there.
The Medici made lasting changes to Portoferraio (the town used to be called Cosmopoli in honour of Cosimo dei Medici), while the Spanish erected the S. Giacomo fortress, and Fort Focardo at Porto Azzurro.
Napoleon's short reign (1814-1815, 9 months and 23 days) left important signs of his passage at the Palazzina dei Mulini, the Villa at S. Martino, in the old churches of Portoferraio, at Marciana Alta (Madonna del Monte) and in other locations.
For local government purposes, Elba is divided into eight municipalities: Portoferraio, Campo nell'Elba, Capoliveri, Marciana, Marciana Marina, Porto Azzurro, Rio Marina and Rio nell'Elba.
Its famous wines and excellent cuisine, together with its uncontaminated sea, mild climate and clear air, make Elba an ideal place for a holiday, a health-giving break or a cultural trip at any time of year.
Via Roma, 93 - 57031 Capoliveri (LI)
Tel. +39 0565 935482