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The island offers
a marvellous variety of landscapes, from small hidden coves to
long sandy beaches. Each corner of Elba holds its own special
surprise for visitors. The island is washed by crystal clear
water in every shade of blue - a paradise for divers and snorkellers.
Elba island has wooded hills and
panoramic roads that makes it ideal for hikers and mountain bikers.
Those in search of culture will find ancient churches and museums
a pleasant alternative to seaside activities.
Elba island is the
third largest Italian island after Sicily and Sardinia and is
the largest in the Tuscan Archipelago.
It has recently
become part of the Tuscan Archipelago's National Park together
with the islands of Pianosa, Capraia, Montecristo, Giglio and
Elba has a coastline
of 147 km. Its main mountain (Monte Capanne, 1019 m) is accessed
via pathways or by a panoramic cable car.
Measuring 224 square km, the island is situated 10 km from the
mainland with an excellent ferry boat service taking only one
hour from Piombino to Portoferraio (the island's main town).
Elba has approximately 30,000 inhabitants, of these, 11,000 live
The climate is always
mild with an average annual temperature of ca. 16 °C (10
°C in winter, 14 °C in spring, 23 °C in summer and
17 °C in autumn). The
average water-temperature in April is always about 19 °C,
20 °C in May, 24 °C in June, 26.8 °C in July, 27.3
°C in August, 25.5 °C in September and 23.1 °C in
Even in the ancient
times Elba's destiny was determined by two factors: its strategic
position and the richness of its mineral resources. Due to these
characteristics, it was often the object of conquest for the
various powers along the Mediterranean Sea. For the Etruscans
and the Romans Elba represented
an inexhaustible source of riches and the iron from Elba contributed
to the prospering of their civilization.
During the Medieval
period Elba was dominated by Pisa. The remains of some important
and striking defensive structures testify to the importance of
possessing the island. The Appiani Lordship followed, as did
the attentions of Cosimo de Medici, who built "Cosmopoli"
on top of the ruins of the Roman city of Fabricia - now the capital
Portoferraio - and had it surrounded with the impressive walls
that saved the inhabitants from many pirate raids. The Spaniards
settled in Porto Azzurro and they too constructed defences on
their territory - the imposing San Giacomo Fort still dominates
the pleasant landscape.
In the more recent
history, the period that made
the island famous and placed it on the world map was the brief
exile of Napoleon, who stayed here for 10 months prior to his
100 days adventure which ended in Waterloo. Bonaparte left a
significant mark of his short reign: Important reforms and buildings
like his Townhouse "Villa dei Mulini" in Portoferraio
and his impressive summer residence "San Martino" -
which are now museums and can be visited.
The island first
opened to tourism soon after 1950 but has managed to preserve
it's waters, flora and fauna thanks to its local administration
A tiny airport services
the island, permitting only light aircraft to land from a few
privileged European cities. Most visitors arrive by car, others
by train travelling to Piombino Marittima station which is very
close to the ferry departures.
We have selected
this beautiful island of Elba located an hours ferry ride off
the coast of Italy for the fifth Plasma Product Biotechnology
meeting. It is 80 km south of Pisa and about 250 km north of
Join the meeting
and see Elba for yourself.