Island of Elba – Tuscan Archipelago
one of the most beautiful islands of the mediterranean
Legend has it that when Venus, the goddess of beauty and love, emerged from the sea foam, her necklace broke and 7 pearls fell into the water and formed the islands of the Tuscan archipelago.
In fact, the Island of Elba, about 10 km from the Italian mainland, is one of the greenest and most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. It is the third largest in Italy (after Sicily and Sardinia) with an area of 224 sq km. The pure air, mild climate and plentiful water account for Elba’s richly varied vegetation.
Elba is a true scenic jewel, just 1 hour by boat from the Tuscan coast, and has at least 3 climate and landscape types that make the island extremely varied and different: from chestnut and oak tree forests in the northern part of Mount Capanne to the granite cliffs that plunge into the blue sea in the southwestern part of the same mountain. In the east, however, we find all the beauty of the Mediterranean scrub and richness of its soil minerals which strongly marks the landscape and colours the surface of the rocks with shades ranging from yellow to green and from red to violet.
The scenery changes constantly: 150 km of coastline, with wide sandy beaches, girdle steep cliffs and romantic bays, where crystalclear water invites you to all kind of aquatic sports – sailing, windsurfing, swimming, and diving.In the mountainous interior, Monte Capanne (1019 meters above sea level), the highest point in Elba, offers you an ideal place for excursion. It can be reached either on foot or by cable car. Elba is not only famous for its beauty but also for the hospitality of its inhabitants, for its good wines, and for its excellent cuisine, which specializes in fish and seafood. Besides a great number of recreational activities, Elba offers many sites of cultural interest. Napoleon’s stay (1814-15) has left many traces and represents a highlight of Elba’s interesting history.
The school is situated in Porto Azzurro, a small picturesque harbour town on the island. Porto Azzurro, with its azure coloured harbour, is a very charming village. Directly on the seashore, its “Piazza” is surrounded on three sides by all kinds of shops, restaurants, cafés and gelaterias. Under plane-trees you can find park-benches; opposite, yachts are bobbing up and down on the water and the atmosphere of the warm summer-nights is unique.
Even today the medieval Spanish fortress dominates the village; a visit to the nearby sanctuary Madonna di Monserrato takes you on an inviting walk through a wild and scenic valley.
In the vicinity of Porto Azzurro you will find a number of small, quiet, sandy beaches and beautiful rocky cliffs.
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