History and culture
Portoferraio port with it's glamorous boats and extraordinary beauty of the bay and the fortifications of the Medici.
As soon as the ferry passes the octagonal outline of the Linguella Tower, just before it enters the harbour of Portoferraio, the visitor becomes aware of the architectural beauty of the town once known as Cosmopoli.
Created by the genius of Cosimo I de’ Medici, Lord of Florence and Grand Duke of Tuscany (from whom the name Cosmopoli derives), Portoferraio was built on the ruins of the Roman town of Fabricia.
And it still has important Roman remains in the forms of the Grotte and Linguella Villas, the latter also housing the town’s Archaeology Museum.
But the true marvels of the island’s capital is the perfect design of the Medicee Fortress, with its majestic ramparts and the Stella and Falcone Forts. And the masterpiece that is the Darsena: one of the Mediterranean’s finest moorings for sailing boats and luxury yachts.
Not to mention the link to Napoleon Bonaparte, who made Elba the centre of Europe during his ten months of exile here.
The splendours of the Villa dei Mulini and the Villa di San Martino, amongst Tuscany’s most-visited National Museums, remain to remind us of the Corsican Emperor’s stay.