Elba, Latin Ilva is an island off the Tyrrhenian Sea’s west coast. Elba is the largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago and covers an area of 86 miles (223 km). It is known as Napoleon’s exile. Administratively, Elba is in Tuscany regione (Italy). Its coastline is steep and its interior is mountainous. Mount Capanne rises to 3,343 feet [1,019 meters]).
The Etruscans found iron ore at Elba. It was called Aethalia (“Smoky place”) by the Greeks. This was probably due to the presence of smelting furnaces. Ilva was also a Roman colony that mined iron ore on the island. Pisa ruled Elba in the Middle Ages. In 1290, Genoa took control. In 1399, the dukes de Piombino took it to Genoa. Then in 1548, Cosimo I deMedici of Florence took it. Naples was the next to rule a portion of the island that was Spanish-owned from 1596 to 1709. It was given to France in 1802. Napoleon I died in 1814. He was exiled from Elba. He arrived on May 4. He arrived there on May 4. Elba was then restored to Tuscany and it became a unified Italy in 1806.
The Mulini Palace, Napoleon’s principal residence, is located on the coast near Portoferraio (Elba’s main town), on the north coast. Villa San Martino, Napoleon’s summer home, is located 4 miles (6km) southwest. It contains a museum as well as a collection of engravings. Further west, in Poggio is a spring named for Napoleon. It is well-known for its mineral water.
The mild climate of Elba supports diverse vegetation of Mediterranean type with rich olive groves, vineyards, and other natural resources. Anchovy, tuna fishing and sardine were some of the traditional jobs. Iron ore mining was also an important industry on the east coast. Tourism is now a growing industry. Procchio and Marciana Marina are popular summer resorts. It has bus services and can be connected to Piombino by car and passenger ferry services.