The Aquarium of Elba
Experiences of Territorial Culture

The Aquarium of Elba

This small private aquarium, considered among the most comprehensive of its kind, is a must-see for discovering (or learning more about) the Mediterranean's marine biodiversity

Charlie is a large, somewhat aged sea turtle of the species caretta caretta, rescued a few years ago from a fishing net. Nearly blind, she could not have continued to survive in the open sea and is therefore a permanent guest of the Elba Aquarium.

Perfectly at ease among large groupers, moray eels and other pelagic fish, she knows the spaces of the large tank she inhabits inside inside inside out, which allows her to spend her old age in peace, far from danger.

Like Charlie, more than 150 Mediterranean marine species populate the 80 tanks in the Aquarium, each enjoying diverse and specially reproduced habitats. You may encounter stingrays, owlfish, the large spider crabs (which we call sea daisies here), colonies of ascidians and baffles, spirographs, triggerfish, sharks, and octopuses.

Also living here was the famous Octopus Paul, the octapod who became famous for his soothsaying skills and starred in the 2010 World Cup. And today, some of its descendants continue periodically to "churn out" hundreds of eggs. Once hatched, the tiny mollusks are all reintroduced into the sea, heading for the blue depths.

Attention to the environment is in fact one of the prerogatives of the Elba Aquarium: from education, through meetings with Elba schools and others, to conservation, through numerous collaborations with a variety of associations and the Port Authority itself.

A visit to this attraction is definitely a fun and educational activity for the whole family. An opportunity not to be missed to learn about the inhabitants of our seas.

A curiosity? The 1,000-square-meter Aquarium occupies the building that once housed a discotheque. And the tanks, all handcrafted and filled with more than 250 thousand liters of seawater, include the old columns and supporting structures. Look for the fire escape for example, between the Bream and Sponges, saturated with encrustations as if it were that of a shipwreck

Travel notes

Moray eels

Groupers

Owl fish

Sharks

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