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The Sustainable Paradise

The Sustainable Paradise

Biodiversity and psychophysical well-being

Wild and unspoiled, Elba encompasses all the richness and fascination of the biodiversity of a very evocative territory. Elba is increasingly chosen as a destination for practicing outdoor tourism and experiencing true contact with unspoiled nature, making its own a style in which one can find oneself if one wishes to feel good about oneself and others. A holistic vision in Elba’s key of psychophysical well-being that allows one to relax by doing physical activity according to one’s preferences, indulging one’s passions or sporting aptitudes, engaging in yoga, meditation, or even trying new experiences such as light caving, Nord walking, rowing, and hiking. This also means experiencing a all-around food experience, thanks to natural products and simple, healthy and flavorful cuisine.

Elba part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park and the Tuscany Islands Biosphere Reserve MaB UNESCO

Elba is part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, which encompasses a stretch of sea extending over 600 square kilometers between Livorno and the Argentario promontory. In addition to Elba, the park includes six other islands: Capraia, Giannutri, Giglio, Gorgona, Montecristo, and Pianosa, as well as the Grosseto Ants and other smaller reefs.

The Park Authority has adhered to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (CETS) promoted by Europarc Federation, a methodological tool and certification for improving tourism management in protected areas. The central element of the charter is collaboration among all stakeholders to develop a common strategy and action plan for tourism development in the common goal of protecting natural and cultural heritage and the continuous improvement of tourism management for the benefit of the environment, local people, businesses and visitors.

In turn, Elba is part of the UNESCO MaB Tuscany Islands Biosphere Reserve, a scientific program launched in 1971 to promote a balanced relationship between humans and the environment through the protection of biodiversity and the best practices of sustainable development.

Elba's Blue Flags

As many as five Blue Flags have been awarded in Elba, three in the municipality of Marciana Marina (beaches of La Fenicia, Re di Noce, La Marina) in addition to the tourist landings of Marciana Marina and Marina di Porto Azzurro. The five resorts won in 2022 the prestigious award intended for seaside resorts that meet criteria related to sustainable land management. The annual selection measures, according to 32 criteria, the quality of beaches, particularly from an environmental perspective. Parameters considered include bathing water quality, waste management, and environmental education, but also accessibility to people with disabilities, presence of bicycle paths, and visitor safety.

Where to recharge electric vehicles in Elba

Below is an updated map of all charging stations for electric cars and vehicles.

Elba and the International Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

The International Marine Mammal Sanctuary is an international protected area established in 1999 through an agreement between Italy, France and the Principality of Monaco, by which the three signatory countries pledge to protect marine mammals and their habitat, protecting them from the direct or indirect negative impacts of human activities. It is a marine area north of the Tyrrhenian Sea of 96,000 square kilometers in the shape of a quadrilateral, which extends around the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, of which Elba is a part, and is bounded by Provence (Giens Peninsula in France), Punta Falcone in northwestern Sardinia, Capo Ferro in northeastern Sardinia, and Fosso Chiarone in Tuscany.

Due to its considerable richness in plankton and pelagic life, the area of the International Marine Mammal Sanctuary is affected during the summer months by an extraordinary presence of cetaceans of all species frequenting the Mediterranean. In fact, common minke whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and bottlenose dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), sperm whales (Physeter catodon), pilot whales (Globicephala melas), Grampians (Grampus griseus), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Zifi (Ziphys cavirostris) and common dolphins (Delphinus delphy) are found in this area. Cetaceans are currently protected by numerous international conventions, and the Sanctuary Steering Committee is in charge of introducing new regulations. In any case, when sighting a cetacean, a code of conduct should be adopted so as not to cause a disturbance: maintain a safe distance, moderate your cruising speed, and keep a steady course.

In Elba, the first sustainable (and certified) marriage in Italy

Getting married in Elba with a 100% sustainable wedding. It was done during 2022 by two young Swiss citizens, lovers of the island and regular visitors. Theirs was one of the first sustainable and certified weddings in Italy, because of the choice of location and the ceremony’s ecological, economic and social aspects. To achieve certification, local suppliers were selected who have always worked sustainably.

A ring embellished with pyrite, Elba’s quintessential Elban stone, may be the first step: why not choose just such a mine for the fateful yes on Elba? Perhaps that of the Vallone di Capoliveri, with the wonderful colors of its stones, for a truly romantic ceremony. Here Etruscans and Romans obtained Hematite, Limonite and Pyrite.

To celebrate with friends and family, you can choose the hall of the Old Workshop and Walloon Mine construction sites museum and a themed floral arrangement. The wedding reception hall of the Swiss couple was embellished with native island plants and blooming myrtle, intertwined with iron wires. The mise en place was plastic free, using glass, steel, cotton for ecological sustainability.

The menu can only be based on island recipes and products, as well as for the wine list. Among the whites, all classified as DOC, we find Bianco, perfect with fish, dry Ansonica, which goes well with both shellfish and desserts, and Moscato, probably the most popular sweet wine in the area, to try after dinner with dessert. The reds, on the other hand, enhance the taste of meats to the fullest, such as the Rosso Riserva DOC, which is absolutely excellent with game, the Rosso DOC, which is ideal with first courses, barbecued meat, but also with fish soups, and then the Rosato DOC, which is more delicate and excellent with seafood appetizers or vegetables. The undisputed king, however, is Aleatico Passito DOCG, to be tried with schiaccia briaca (a typical Elban dessert made with raisins and pine nuts), superb with chocolate.

Arranging for guests to be transferred by bus to the chosen ceremony venue: the Swiss bride and groom opted for a single means of transportation for guests, allowing them to reduce CO2 emissions while respecting the green format.

Reduce the consumption of plastic bottles by facilitating the location of public and private drinking water points

Refill Now is a digital platform created to provide access to all public and private water points located in a destination. Even without an app you can access the Refill Map with a simple scan of the Refill Now Qr code or NFC tag and locate #Refill points near you. A quick and easy way to reduce plastic bottle consumption by making it easier to locate public and private, free or paid drinking water points within the destination.

Refill Now is a sustainable project created by three Elbans DOC and activated for the first time in Italy in 2019 with the aim of fostering collaboration with tourism entrepreneurs, public and private entities, and citizens concerned about the preservation of Elba’s environmental heritage in order to develop common and sustainable strategies to reduce the consumption of disposable plastic bottles and materials.