Seniors Enjoy Portoferraio

Portoferraio_panorama_01 Portoferraio on the edge of the harbor of the island of Elba, seniors discover, is the island’s largest city. Portoferraio, situated on a rocky spit of land on a natural harbor, is the key port of arrival for car ferries.

The Old Town with the fortifications of Forte Stella and Forte Falcone surrounds the old harbor. The center of the Old Town is the bustling Piazza della Repubblica.


Do you remember your history and the story of Napoleon Bonaparte being exiled to the Isle of Elba?  He lived in the town during his banishment between 1814-15. From what I have read and seen, Elba is a great place to be exiled.

Seniors Visit Napoleon’s Residence

The Palazzina Napoleanica, the residence of Napoleon during his exile, has been decorated with furniture from the 18th and 19th century. Only a small number of original furnishings exist today. From the garden of the residence, senior visitors will enjoy the scenic view of the Tuscan coast.

Portoferraio became a main shipping port of the iron ore towards the mainland, therefore the current name, meaning “Iron Port” in Italian. Because of its terrain, many of its buildings are situated on the slopes of a hill surrounded on three sides by the sea.


The small harbor was acquired by Cosimo I de’ Medici in the mid-16th century, when its distinctive fortifications took shape. The Medici family fortified this former Roman town from the 16th to 18th centuries, and it was under French siege from May 1801 to June 1802 during the Napoleonic Wars.

The town center is crowded around the small marina in a scenic natural cove. Senior visitors flock to the Forte Stella, Forte Falcone, Forte Inglese and the Archeological Museum, each a major point of interest in town.

 Seniors Find Beautiful Beaches

Portoferraio is a resort town and port in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the Tuscan west coast of Italy.  TripAdvisor offers beautiful beaches that are an integral part of the attractions on Elba.


Lonely Planet cautions senior visitors that Portoferraio can be a hectic place, especially in August when vacationers and day-trippers pour off the ferries from Piombino on the mainland. Ferries dock in the city’s newer half to the west, but the city’s core is still an old fishing village, a U-shaped conglomeration of streets terracing up the side of the rocky promontory.

The Museo Villa Napoleonica di San Martino was where Napoleon dropped in to escape the city heat. Behind the illustrious name of Villa Romana delle Grotte, visitors will find the remains of a Roman country house from the 1st century BC. From high up on the hilltop one can enjoy a beautiful view of the entire bay of Portoferraio.

Bring along a healthy appetite and enjoy some of the 8 fine dining establishments in town and enjoy your stay at Portoferraio. -jeb

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