Elba is 5 1/2 miles from the mainland of Italy, and remains influenced by Tuscany. People come back time and time again for this island's fine local food and wine and great natural beauty. Pine scented forests and wind carved headlands shelter hidden coves where sandy beaches invite you to wade into clear blue waters. Enjoy a local vineyard tour, and near Portoferraio, discover the remains of an ancient Etruscan civilisation. Golfo Stella is a little bay between Marina di Campo to Porto Azzurro.
Called Ilva by the Ligurians and Aethalia by the Greeks, it passed from the Etruscans and became part of the Roman Empire. It was ruled by the Pisans during the Middle Ages and served as a haven for the Barbary pirates in the 16th century. The Medici influence can be seen in the fortifications of Portoferraio. The island was influenced greatly by Napoleon Bonaparte, whose first exile from France was in 1814/15. Although he lived here for less than a year, he did much to improve the island, building new roads, modernizing agriculture, and developing iron mines. His summer home, the Villa di San Martino, can be visited. Elban soil is very rich in minerals and semi-precious stones - some 150 varieties to including garnets, marcasite and tourmaline.
The following 5 cruises call at Elba.
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