Portoferraio is the only port in Italy where you have to keep left, both when entering and exiting.
“All men and vessels are protected in Portoferraio, which due to its size is the safest port in the world” said with conviction one of England’s most beloved and celebrated national heroes, Admiral Horace Nelson.
Nelson had seen it well, but we will never tire of saying that Portoferraio is not just a port. It carries with it the (excellent) reputation as a safe gulf, however, often, once we disembark from the ferry, we leave it behind, losing the opportunity to see things of extreme importance, beauty and rarity.
Just think of the Napoleon Villas, the Medici Fortresses, the Roman Villas and the different military architectures such as the Torre della Linguella (immediately recognizable thanks to its rare octagonal shape) to make us understand that Portoferraio hides many attractions and places to visit within its walls. In addition to the monuments, the “city of Cosimo” has what attracts more than gold in the summer, namely clean sea and postcard beaches.
Argonauts and crystal clear sea, portoferraio is that too
The white pebble beaches, which characterize the coast of Portoferraio, including Sansone, Capo Bianco and le Ghiaie are considered among the most beautiful on the Island of Elba and thanks to them, starting from the 1960s, Portoferraio became a full fledged “tourist resort”. The Ghiaie beach, in particular, also seduces by the legend that concerns the beach: here the Argonauts, once landed on the coast, wiped their sweat with those white and porous stones that distinguish it, staining them forever with black and blue dots.
Curiosity: Victor Hugo spent the first years of his childhood in Portoferraio and the first words he spoke were in Elban "dialect".
If you have booked your ferry early in the morning but you already know that before the afternoon you cannot enter the apartment (or hotel) that you have reserved, take the opportunity to discover this too often underestimated village. A walk through the streets that the Emperor walked, a visit to museums, a trip to the beach, an aperitif on the dock while the boats land or set sail. When you disembark from the ferry, think twice before setting off for your destination: the holidays begin in Portoferraio!