The way of the old railway

The way of the old railway

A trail to rediscover the island's mining tradition

The trail retraces the old railroad that connected the Vallone open-air construction site to the boarding point near Innamorata beach, just across from the Gemini Islands. The steam railroad, which came into being in the early 1900s, was an advancement for the transportation of iron ore. From the mine to the wharf, the train traveled 6 km every day, loaded with magnetite, hematite and limonite to be loaded onto the merchant ships waiting in the bay. The newly built blast furnace in Portoferraio required large quantities of ore to produce pig iron and steel. Iron was the Island's greatest wealth, and between plants and excavations, almost every Elban man worked for this thriving industry. The trail takes us backwards along the railroad, follows the thread of this long history, through rapid historical, economic and social changes to discover the roots of the people of Capoliveri.





Estimated duration

141 minutes


9.1 km

Recommended departure

8-11 | 15-18

Look at the track

Explore the 360-degree path

Mines of Rio Marina

Strategic location for the large amount of hematite and limonite immediately identified by the emperor as soon as he landed on the island as a strategic-military axis.
Location: Rio Marina

Paolina Beach

The beach is named after the islet a few meters from the shore, itself named after Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister who, according to a legend (probably created by a tourism entrepreneur in the 1960s) loved to sunbathe on these rocks.

Location: Marciana

San Martino Villa

Designated as a summer residence, Napoleon purchased the property from the Manganaro family in 1814, with the intention of transforming it into a comfortable and refined abode that would have nothing to envy from Parisian residences.

Location: Località San Martino (Portoferraio)

Mulini Villa

Built in 1724 by Grand Duke Gaston de’ Medici, it was Napoleon’s city residence during his first stay on Elba Island.

Location: Portoferraio

Sanctuary of Monserrato

It was built as a sign of gratitude in 1606 by José Pons y León of the Dukes of Arcos, Spanish governor of Naples and first governor of the square of Longone (part of the state of principals). In September 1814 Napoleon, accompanied by Pons and Bertrand wanted to visit the sanctuary.

Location: Località Monserrato (Portoazzurro)

MUM Mineralogical Museum

While the Elban economy today is based on tourism, the fact remains that the people of San Piero and the west coast (Pomonte) have also lived and continue to live off their granite and marble

Location: San Piero in Campo

Port and Tower of Marciana Marina

Visit the harbor where Maria Walewska landed and the armed watchtower visited by Napoleon himself in 1814

Location: Marciana Marina