Pianosa Island

A day on Pianosa equals an experience out of time and space, enjoying heavenly peace


The earliest evidence of human habitation is very ancient, pertaining even to the Neolithic period, a time when the island was in the right position to serve as a stopping point along the route that brought Sardinian obsidian to the Tyrrhenian coast. The island also flourished during the Roman period, when it was chosen as a place of exile by Postumius Agrippa, grandson of Augustus and owner of the large maritime residential complex still partly visible. Its peculiar conformation had to lead Pianosa to be chosen as one of the first early Christian centers on the islands of the Archipelago, the only one of all to have a complex of catacombs dating from the early fourth century AD and now located near the small, partially abandoned village. The history of Pianosa continued when Pisa tried to build a settlement there, which, however, being difficult to defend from pirates due to the lack of natural high ground, was sacked and razed in the 16th century. Instead, the recent history of the island sees an exploitation as a maximum-security prison, which led to a clear division between agricultural spaces, for the use of the prisoners, and a part of the small town used for living by the service personnel: this division was in use until the prison was decommissioned in 1998, and since 1999, guided excursions within the island's territory have been possible.
Thanks to the many enhancement projects that are being activated, Pianosa Island is once again usable for hikers who book their visit experience: history and nature are thus protected and together contribute to defining a unique landscape.

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