The island of Elba has many nicknames. Sometimes, the island is called the little sister of Corsica and sometimes people refer to it as “Tuscany in pocket size”. Of course, both nicknames have their reason: with the island being as big as 223 km², it is the third biggest island of Italy but still quite a lot smaller than Corsica. On the other hand, people that during a car ride through the winding streets of Elba came very close to cliffs which are sometimes 120m deep and then continued to go through the macchia-levels, vineyards and olive groves in the granite massive all around the mount Capanne with it’s chestnut forests, would think of the island as a miniature version of Tuscany.
However: Elba is simply Elba. With a very interesting and turbulent history, shaped by the occupation of the island by different cultures such as the Etruscan, the Langobards, Pisans, the Spanish and the Saracens which gave the island of the Tuscan Archipelago its very own character that still exists until this day. And last but not least, Napoleon’s banishment to Elba has more to it than being depicted on the Coat of Arms of Elba and is still present at every visit to the old residence of the French emperor.
Elba also has a lot to offer beyond the beach that will make your holiday a memorable one - if it is the viewing of a small chapel, the adventurous ride in a cable car with a steel wagon that looks like a parrot cage up to Mount Capanne, the biggest mountain of Elba which is 1019 meters, or a visit to one of the small villages where you can find some high quality wine or semiprecious stones from the ore mining areas.
Since Elba was discovered for tourism in the beginning of the 50’s of the last millennium, the island has developed continuously in the field of tourism and nowadays does not leave anything to be desired when it comes to holiday’s. But still the fact that there is no major airport and the declaration of all seven islands of the tuscan archipelago to the “Parco Nazionale dell’ Arcipelago Toscano” prevent the tourism to become to intensive.
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Mirjana und Markus Schempp
Loc. Barbarossa 23
I-57036 Porto Azzurro
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