When you stroll through Elba's capital, Portoferraio, you will find plenty to remind you that the island's most famous resident was Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon lived here in exile in the Villa dei Mulini for 10 months in 1814 and 1815, and a group of local history enthusiasts like to dress up in Napoleonic-era costumes for special occasions.
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As ruler of the tiny principality, Napoleon had 10 000 subjects and an army of 1 000 men. In the little time that Napoleon spent on the island, he was able to give the capital city Portoferraio an administrative structure and united the island to become what was essentially his little empire. He turned the capital into something akin to a miniature Paris.
Today most visitors to the island are vacationers and sun-seekers. Elba has large beaches but also many small coves accessible only by boat or long hikes. The island has about 200 beaches and they are all unique and lucky visitors to the island might find themselves with a beach to themselves.
Arriving at one of these beaches after a long hike can feel like quite an achievement and it gives visitors the perfect excuse to dive right in and cool down.
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If you're looking for a comfortable but, never the less, thrilling way to reach the top of Elba's highest mountain, take the cable car in Marciana in the northwest of the island. In a short 20 minutes, the cable car will take you to the peak of Mount Capanne. At 1019 metres, it is the highest point on Elba and offers incredible scenic vistas and has a view over the entire 27-kilometre long island. From here, the Italian mainland is visible, the Mediterranean coast and so much more.
A local perfumery in the harbour town have made it their goal to capture the scent of the island with their perfume Acqua dell' Elba. Several shops on Elba sell it as a souvenir today. Many tourists like the idea that they're taking a bit of the sea and this island back home with them. The perfume is comprised of ingredients and indigenous plants that are found in the area and its colour is redolent of the surrounding seas.
The town of Capoliveri on the south of the island is great for an evening stroll. With amazing, storied restaurants that serve up delicious seafood dishes and more - there are gastronomic delights waiting for visitors to be experienced.
After the heat of a summer day, the cooler evening hours are a pleasure on Elba so take some time out to relax and enjoy some of the finest travel experiences Italy has to offer.
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