Montecristo Island

Montecristo Island

Difficult to reach, but his photos show us one of the few remaining territories where natural cycles still occur undisturbed by humans


Montecristo is the fourth largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago, with an area of 10.4 sq. km. The island is currently uninhabited and the subject of an integral reserve.
The history of Montecristo has its roots in the Neolithic age, between the sixth and fifth millennia B.C., a time to which fragments of pottery and a flint artifact found near Cala Maestra seem datable. There are few elements that help to define the history of Montecristo in Etruscan and Roman times. We are aware of onerous shipwrecks near its waters (3rd seol B.C.) and we have some written evidence with respect to artifacts found in the 1800s at Cala Maestra such as a fragment of glass glass, iron slag and a fragment of marble flooring that could be pertinent to a maritime villa on the model of those found on other islands in the Tuscan Archipelago. More information comes from the fifth century AD, when a monastery and chapel were built in the cave where St. Mamiliano lived while fleeing from the Vandals and which legend has it was also home to his mysterious treasure. Written sources describe how the monastery was erected on the remains of a Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, without archaeology bringing concrete evidence to corroborate this information.
The island was inhabited until 1553, although subject to numerous pirate raids. During the last of these by Dragut, the monastery of Montecristo was permanently abandoned, and the island became a den of pirates for many years. Subsequent attempts at repopulation, which lasted until well into the 1800s, were never really successful.

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