Portoferraio, Province of Livorno, Tuscany

Portoferraio is a small town on the edge of a harbour, the largest city in the Elba island, with typical buildings on the slopes of a tiny hill surrounded on three sides by the sea. At the top of the hill there is a fortress, built by the mighty Florentine family of Medici with the purpose to balance the power of Spanish citadel built in Porto Azzurro. The town center is crowded around the small marina drawn in a natural cove; on the deck a lot of delightful shops lies beside the sea.


  • Population: about 10,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 57037
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0565
  • Frazioni & Localities: Bagnaia, Carpani, Isola di Montecristo, La Biodola, Magazzini, Ottone, San Giovanni, San Martino, Schiopparello, Viticcio.


Following the Treaty of Fontainebleau, French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to Elba when overthrown the first time. Napoleon stayed on Elba for 9 months and 21 days. Although he was nominally sovereign of Elba, the island was watched by British naval patrols. During these months, partly to pass the time and partly out of a genuine concern for the well-being of the people, he carried out a series of economic and social reforms to improve the quality of life on Elba. Napoleon eventually escaped Elba and returned to France on February 26, 1815.

What to see

  • The archeological museum
  • Napoleon's house
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Provinces of Tuscany
Toscana region
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