Taking a day trip to Elba
If you’re staying in Tuscany, it is well worth taking a day trip to Elba Island. Perhaps best known as the island to which Napoleon was exiled, Elba is just 12 miles from Italy’s mainland. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time on the stunning island.
Travelling to Elba
· By car: If you’re hiring a car for your Tuscan adventure, you can ferry yourselves and your vehicle over from Piombino to Portoferraio, Elba’s largest town, or to the east of the island, landing in Cavo or Rio Marina.
· By train: You can take the train from most Tuscan cities and towns to Piombino Marittima, which is a stone’s throw from the ferry port. Once on the island, local buses or taxis will take you where you need to go if you don’t have your own set of wheels.
· Portoferraio: Make sure you check out Napolepon’s former residence, the Palazzina dei Mulini, which is walking distance from the Portoferraio ferry stop. It is also worth checking out Forte Falcone, built by Cosimo de'Medici in 1548 to defend the town, and Fort Stella, which offers incredible views of the sea and the Medicean dock. The Museum of Napoleonic Antiques, the Misericordia Church and the De Laugier Cultural Centre are worth a visit.
· The west of the island: Medieval hill town Marciana and fishing hamlet Cotone are extremely picturesque. Enjoy a gelato and enjoy the view at the Lorraine Door, Marciana’s main square, or enjoy a walk and a spot of yacht-spotting along Marciana Marina. If you have time, the Monte Capanne Chairlift is fun and offers unmissable views. If it’s beaches you’re after, check out Cavoli, Seccheto or Fetovaia, and for shopping head to Marina di Campo.
· Lunch: If you happen to be in the south-east of the island, La Taverna dei Poeti in Porto Azurro is a charming lunch venue, but don’t forget to book in advance. If you’re in Portoferraio, Osteria Da Libertaria offers fresh ingredients and sumptuous wines. Osteria del Noce is a great lunch venue in Marciana, while Mokambo is the place to lunch in Cavo.
· Dinner: You can sample top-rate Italian cuisine and stunning views at Ristorante Publius in Marciana, or, if it’s high-quality meat you’re after, Steak House I Paoli in Portoferraio is an excellent choice. Enjoy your dinner al fresco at Osteria La Botte Gaia in Porto Azzurro or opt for a quiet, romantic meal at Capo Nord in Marciana Marina. The last ferry runs at 9pm, so you may have to grab an early dinner before heading back to the mainland.