For Elba we start from Piombino, which we have reached through the fascinating landscapes of Alta Maremma Toscana (which we have already mentioned in the post https://www.cittameridiane.it/en/maremma-country-heart/) and of Lunigiana, the northern part of Tuscany at the border with Liguria and Emilia-Romagna. On the territory there are the Apuan Alps on which the marble quarries open up as great scars, in which Michelangelo personally chose blocks for his masterpieces.
Elba, the queen of the Tuscan Archipelago
On the other hand, the gaze looks around the Tyrrhenian Sea on which we return to sail to reach the second destination of our trip: the island of Elba.
After about an hour of sailing, where our discreet and silent companion was a seagull greedy of Apulian tarallias, we landed at Portoferraio.
From the sea, the Medici towers and the ancient village offer a unique, scenic and captivating view. From the dock you reach the village through the seventeenth Porta a Mare and from here you climb to the highest point of the promontory dominated by Forte Falcone.
During the climb we made a stop at the Palazzina dei Mulini, the official residence of Napoleon Bonaparte for ten months from 1814 to 1815 and the seat of representation of the Kingdom of Elba.
In the eighteenth-century building, the furnishings of the period are preserved while at the back there is a beautiful Italian garden overlooking a transparent sea and the changing colors reflected in the green and the blue.
On the same sea there is another symbol of the city, the lighthouse built in local granite that at different times of the day assumes different colors.
Going down to the harbor, you will find the Church of Mercy, a splendid example of the Baroque that preserved the Napoleonic funeral mask today housed in the Napoleonic Remembrance Museum (Salita Napoleone, Tel. +39 0565 918785, open all year round upon reservation), small museum adjacent to the church. Inside there are preserved vestments, ostentric vases and sacred chalices, the bronze funeral mask and the mold of the emperor’s right hand donated by Prince Anatolio Demidoff, Napoleon’s great-grandson.
Visited Portoferraio, you can go to discover some of the beaches of the island, which between sandy beaches, cove and coves boasts are 150, all very different from each other. Right below Forte Falcone there is the beautiful beach of the aquamarine sea called Le Viste. The clearness of its waters highlighted by the clear sand makes it immediately desirable to get down to take a swim. Le Viste is the most loved beach by the Portoferrio inhabitants, but is also frequented by the many visitors of the historic center, which can walk safely to the sea on foot.
The other beautiful beaches around the capital of Elba have appreciated them from the sea, thanks to the availability of friend Mimmo Arciuli, an our homestead longtime resident in the island who, with a ride on the Moscatello Bello Bello, a lobster boat of Austin Parker, a typical American boat from New England for lobster fishing transformed into a comfortable yacht, has made us love Elba even more. In fact, the waters in which they are immersed take on different colors depending on the hours of the day and the depth of its backdrops.
Adoring the sea, this watercourse was one of the most exciting experiences we have ever done at Elba. We borrow George Byron‘s words: “When you are in the sea, your mind is clear, free from any confusion… Suddenly the light becomes clearer, the sounds are richer and you are invaded by the profound, powerful presence of life…”.
Sailing on the blue to a horizon that seems endless and then directing the earthly look to the shadows and colors from afar gives a form of absolute freedom and has given us deep feelings that we will never forget.