For nine months, Napoleon Bonaparte lived in luxurious exile on the island of Elba. Set just off the coast of Tuscany, his beautiful island retreat has become renowned for its stunning beaches, rich history and gorgeous countryside. And you might wonder: why did the most famous resident of the island ever want to leave?
The loss of Napoleon, though, is your gain. Here are seven things that will make your visit unforgettable.
- Go for a walk
Many people will head straight to the beaches, but Elba is also a popular destination for hikers. If you are feeling energetic, you could try climbing the peak of Capanne Mount. Here, at over a thousand feet above sea level, you will be treated to spectacular views of the island and the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. And for those unable or unwilling to walk, a cable car can lead you there within just a quarter of an hour.
- Discover the life of Napoleon
Even the mildest history lovers will be unable to resist stepping into the shoes of the great man. A trip to his summer house, the Villa of San Martina, will give you an insight into the life he might have lived here and all things considered, it does not seem to have been bad. He would spend his time in this magnificent house built with brightly coloured Elban stone.
- The beaches
You can not come to the island of Elba without spending at least one day by the sea. The beaches here are famous. A particular highlight is Fetovaia, nestled in a beautiful cove. It is a perfect place to relax, take a dip or even go for a trip by paddle boat.
The Island of Elba is rich in marine life. You could do a bit of snorkelling or head up to the small aquarium, where over 80 tanks are home to more than 150 species, including sharks, turtles, starfish and more. In addition, the tanks are handmade with natural materials that accurately reflect the natural environment of each specifies.
- Villa Dei Mulini
The city residence of Napoleon is in the town of Mulini. It gave him a strategic overview of the port where he could see the ships as they came in. Here, he attempted to recreate, in small parts, the glories of his Parisian court. The house still contains his furniture and other memorabilia as well as the library that he brought with him.
- Fortress Volterraio
In the past, Turkish pirates frequently attacked the island, but they never breached the formidable castle of Volterraio. It is the oldest building on the island and dates back to the ancient Etruscans.
- Private boat tours
Elba is beautiful on land and just as spectacular from the sea. To experience the island from another point of view, you could enjoy a private boat tour taking you around the island. It can be a great way to enjoy Elba in a unique way, especially at sunset.
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