Porto Azzurro

From the fishing village to the Spanish fortress of Longone, this beautiful area holds treasures waiting to be discovered


Just by looking at the current coat of arms of the municipality of Porto Azzurro, it is already possible to identify the ancient origins of the town: a village of fishermen and farmers that was given the name Longone and whose history-dating back to around 1600-is inextricably linked to Spanish rule, so much so that even today many families bear surnames dating back to that period.

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During the various historical events that brought numerous bloody battles, resistance and conquests to Elba, the imposing Fort Longone, built by the Spaniards themselves in the previous century, was first occupied in 1646 by French troops and was later recaptured by the Spaniards. The town's agglomeration resided in the area below the Spanish fortress, called the "marina," optimal as a cargo port and shelter for ships. Its economy, partly due to the mild climate of the area, developed mainly in agriculture and fishing.

Meanwhile, the territory passed to the Kingdom of Naples (where it remained until 1801) when Napoleonic troops acquired it until the arrival of Napoleon himself who became "Sovereign of Elba Island." Following its fall (1815), the island of Elba passed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, until the Unification of Italy.

After World War II, the inhabitants of Portolongone asked and obtained in 1947 the possibility of changing the name of the town, which became Porto Azzurro. He has since begun a new story of living more independently from the "Spanish Fortress," which has since become a well-known prison house.

While living with the reality of the prison, Porto Azzurro began with the 1950s and 1960s to enhance its historical and natural treasures, thus boosting tourism in the area. Porto Azzurro thus becomes a favorite destination for thousands of Italian and foreign tourists.

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