Elba is the largest of the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, the largest of the seven pearls that legend has it made up of the necklace lost by Aphrodite and which gave rise to the islands of Tuscany. It is the third largest Italian island (22,350 hectares), and is 10 km from the coast of Piombino, 40 km from Capraia and 50 km from Corsica. It is administratively divided into seven municipalities: Campo nell'Elba, Capoliveri, Marciana, Marciana Marina, Porto Azzurro, Portoferraio and Rio.

Its triangular shape is crossed by a ridge of mountains and hills that culminates in the western summit of Mount Capanne, 1019 meters above sea level. It is precisely its unique conformation, green with woods and meadows, combined with the richness of its subsoil, where there is a concentration of ferrous hematite, that led to the island being at the centre of very early exploitation dynamics. Located at a Mediterranean crossroads, Elba witnessed the alternation of Roman and Etruscan power, and was then subjected to continual pirate raids during the Middle Ages.

Isola d'Elba, caprili

During the Renaissance, Cosimo de’ Medici, realising its strategic importance, launched the grandiose project to build his ideal city, renamed Cosmopoli, near what is now Portoferraio, and later, after entering the orbit of the Principality of Piombino, became famous throughout the world as the site of Napoleon’s first exile.

Such a complex history, summed up in a few lines, can be explored in the various museums scattered around the island, for an experience which combines the beauty of the landscapes with important cultural aspects.

The Museum System in Elba

Napoleonic Places Palazzina dei Mulini, Comune di Portoferraio
Napoleonic Places Museo residenza napoleonica villa di San Martino, Isola d'Elba, polo museale della Toscana
Point of Interest Santuario del Monserrato, Comune di Porto Azzurro
Archeological Area La Torre della Linguella e le terme della villa romana
Archeological Area Il promontorio della Villa romana delle Grotte
Park visitors’ centres
Park visitors’ centres

Marciana Park House

History, Nature

Point of Interest
Napoleonic Places Il Teatro dei Vigilanti Renato Cioni, Portoferraio
Point of Interest Veduta dal Volterraio
Point of Interest La Torre della Linguella e le terme della villa romana
Point of Interest Fortezza Pisana, Marciana

Pisan Fortress

History, Fortress

Point of Interest
Museums Forte Falcone

Falcone Fort

History, Archaeology, Fortress

Museums Collezione entomologica, Nat Lab al Forte Inglese, Comune di Portoferraio

NAT LAB Museum

Fortress, Nature

Museums Gioielli femminili, Museo del Mare, Capoliveri
Museums museo della vecchia officina di Capoliveri, isola d'Elba

The Vecchia Officina (“Old Workshop”) Museum

industrial archaeology, History, Minerals


Museums Museo della Zecca di Marciana

The Marciana Mint

History, Numismatics

Museums Museo Civico Archeologico del Distretto Minerario, Comune di Rio

Archaeological Museum of the Mining District

Archaeology, Minerals, Nature

Museums Museo Minerario di Rio Marina, officina del fabbro ferraio