Giannutri Island

The Archaeological Island par excellence: its entire southern portion is entirely occupied by the large maritime villa


The island experienced significant occupation during the Roman period, between the late republic and empire, when the Enobarbi family chose it as the base for one of its maritime villas (along with that of Saraceno al Giglio and Santa Liberata near Porto Santo Stefano). The enormous size of the complex took up the entire eastern portion of the island, distributing productive and functional structures, such as cisterns and fishponds, along with parts of the residential portion, such as peristyles, chambers, reception rooms and latrines, in its Mediterranean scrubland. Once the splendors of Roman times ended, the island found itself effectively uninhabited for many centuries, being situated in the open sea and having an almost flat terrain that did not allow natural shelters in case of pirate raids. The pirates themselves often landed there to find temporary hideouts in the island's caves in preparation for assaults toward the coast of Tuscany. Becoming part of the Presidi State in the second half of the 16th century, Spanish rulers studied the possibility of building a defensive system on Giannutri, but such plans were never realized. Instead, the Fort of Discovery was built in the early 19th century by the French during the Napoleonic period, in collaboration with the regents of the Kingdom of Etruria, but no trace of it remains. In 1861, when the island had become part of the Kingdom of Italy, a lighthouse was built along the southern coast to signal the island at night to passing vessels. Finally, the island was assigned to the municipality of Isola del Giglio of the province of Grosseto. The rich marble furnishings, combined with the evidence of the large monumental volumes of the rooms, have attracted scholars and archaeology enthusiasts to the island since the 1800s. The excavation of the structures to which they have dedicated their lives has been carried out with love and dedication, immersed in contemplation of the past.
Many fell victim to Giannutri's charms: first and foremost the former Garibaldino Adami and his companion Marietta who, enraptured by that peace, decided to spend their days in voluntary exile on the small island, along with the seagulls, the crystal clear sea and the remains of the great Roman villa that was Nero's.

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