The Park Houses
The Houses of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago are visitor centres opened in 2000 and are considered real instruments of acceptance and presentation of environmental and cultural context of the Park.
The Park House of Marciana is located near the Fortezza Pisana. Divided into two rooms it tells, through the development of several techniques ranging from the reconstruction of natural and manmade environments to computer equipment, the signage, the diffusion of sounds, smells, the whole environment of Elba Island, its land and its sea, its people, its characteristics, and above all manage to make people understand why this extraordinary land must be safeguarded.
The Park House of Rio nell’Elba is located in the historic centre of the country and focuses its activities of visit centre to explain the characteristics of the eastern side of the island, including the bank of the minerals that are found in Elba. A very impressive new washrooms dated in 1907are located on the exterior; here the water coming from the nearby water source cross the building in a tub of cement and then jump into the ditch originating the Valle Dei Mulini.
The Napoleonic Villas
Napoleon chose two residences, both in Portoferraio.
Villa Dei Mulini: Official residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, at the top of the old town of Portoferraio between the Forte Stella and Forte Falcone. The building, existing to Napoleon, took the name of Villa Dei Mulini for the fact that originally there were four mills put up for the ventilated area particularly essential for the needs of a fort. Napoleon restored the building extending it of a plan to be more suited to living with his wife who never reached him. He lived together with his sister Pauline and her mother Letizia. Much space was given to the reception room, where Napoleon liked to surround himself constantly of his guests. Sumptuously furnished and decorated, the villa was enriched with a beautiful garden which offers a splendid view.
Villa San Martino: This villa is set in a green valley just outside Portoferraio; at the moment the great neoclassical building does not meet its original appearance, which was however very small. Indeed, it was enlarged by Prince Demidoff in 1851 with the intent to open up a collection of Napoleon. Discovered by Napoleon during a ride, the villa was used as a summer residence. It was composed of 8 rooms on one floor with a basement. The peculiarity of this residence was in the beautiful and colourful decorations made by Ravelli, among which are those of the Egyptian room – dining room – wanted by Napoleon to commemorate the glories of the campaign in Egypt.
There are many opportunities that are offered to taste the typical products of the island.
Wine production is of significant quality, certified with the DOP, and offers an important range which includes the White Elba, Elba Rosso, Aleatico and many others. You can visit wineries, you can take part in wine tastings in a lot of wine shop like the Enoteca of the Fortezza made ??within the Medici Fortress of Portoferraio.
Also interesting is the opportunity to sample the innovative production of craft beer of Elba, high quality and produced with great attention to the use of local ingredients. The Craft Beer at Chestnuts offers very unusual flavours that will not disappoint the expectations of even the most demanding.
Many are also the craft activities which offer to tourist’s local products, honey, jams, and jellies, accomplished only through the development of seasonal products of the territory, mixing the precious flavours, ancient traditions and innovative ideas.
All this is surely a setting of high-quality and renowned cuisine of Elba Island. From simple beginnings, always offers traditional dishes.
During the whole year many food and wine events are produced that offer the opportunity to taste the distinctive flavours of this earth.