A Tour through the Ancient Streets of Cosmopoli
Over and above the sea and the white beaches with a Caribbean flavour, Portoferraio's historic centre offers surprising, themed routes on the trail of Cosmopoli's centuries-old history.
The city tour begins at the final point of Calata Italia, at the Linguella Complex, where you can visit the Archaeological Museum, the Passannante Tower and the ancient Roman Villa.
In the cooler hours, after visiting the museum, you can explore the ancient Medici city with its stepped streets, colourful buildings and delicious cuisine.
Crossing the central square, and going up the salita Napoleone, in a few steps you reach the De Laugier Cultural Centre, a multifunctional centre, where you can visit the Foresiana Art Gallery, the cradle of modern and contemporary art on the island, the historical archives and the municipal library.
A little further on, near the splendid Le Viste beach, is the Palazzina dei Mulini, Napoleon’s city residence, where he attempted to recreate, on a small scale, the atmosphere of his court. Artefacts, furnishings and furniture from the period are now preserved there.
The fourth stop is the Falcone Fort, a pivotal building in the complex defensive structure commissioned for the city by Cosimo de Medici, which is now a museum displaying collections of contemporary art, numismatics, paintings and documents. This is the starting point for a tour of the Medici Fortresses, with their imposing bastions, gardens and unique views of Portoferraio’s harbour.
The tour of the Fortresses ends at the exit in Via Domenico Guerrazzi, a few steps away from which is Piazza Gramsci, an enchanting panoramic terrace where the Vigilanti Theatre is located. This small jewel from the Napoleonic era is the heart of the island’s theatrical activity and is open to visitors.
Set in a high quality historical and environmental context with its two sites, the museum aims to preserve the memory of Napoleon Bonaparte's stay on the island.
Today, recently restored, it is the only one on the island to offer important theatrical and musical events, including international ones.
A key building in the complex defensive structure commissioned by Cosimo de Medici, the fort is now also a museum, hosting collections of contemporary art, coins, paintings and documents.
Foresian Art Gallery
An authentic journey into the heart of Elba's artistic and cultural history.
A location surrounded by the sea where centuries of history and adventures are concentrated. The Archeological Museum of Linguella and the Roman Villa tell us about the archaeological past of the island and the Archipelago. The Tower, of Medici origin, with a more recent history as a prison, has held anarchists such as Passannante and Sandro Pertini within its walls.
An evocative walk crosses these powerful bastions located at different heights and sloping down towards the sea. The Medici Fortresses are one of the city's main defensive poles, together with the Falcone Fort, the Stella Fort and the Linguella complex.