Friday, January 5, 2024

Taking the Ferry to Isola d'Elba

We leave Monterosso al Mare and take the train toward Rome, stopping about half way in Piombino to catch a ferry to Isola d'Elba, a new place to us.  The last stop on the train line is right at the ferry terminal and we walk on board and enjoy a glass of wine in the lounge for the 40 minute ride to Portoferraio on Elba.

One of the highlights of the history of Elba is that Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated the French throne and, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, was banished to the island of Elba in May of 1814, living in Portoferraio until March of 1815 when he returned to Paris and reclaimed his emperor title.

In his short stay as Elba's ruler, Napoleon oversaw massive infrastructure improvements: building roads, draining marshes, boosting agriculture, and developing mines, as well as overhauling the island's schools and its entire legal system (apparently, he needed something to do to keep busy).

Our ferry awaits

Around the ferry

Leaving the mainland behind

As we approach Elba, we start to spot pleasure craft around the island and, soon, we round the corner of the island, the city and castle of Portoferraio grow larger, and we spot the several ferry lines coming in and out of the harbor.

Pleasure craft

Approaching the harbor

Ferries in the port

Our hotel is a short taxi ride from the harbor and we check in and absord the fabulous views of the land and sea, before wandering down a short path from our hotel to the beach.

Our hotel and its view

Path to the beach

Walking down the street from the hotel to a small park, we watch the sun set over the Mediterranean as it lights up the water and the sky.

Sunset views from the park

In the park, we find maps of the area, showing we are located between Italy and Corsica, in a protected marine biology area.

Maps for orientation and edification

A new place to explore over the next few days!

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