Portoferraio, a seaside town of incomparable beauty

La Stella Marina is located on the front of the deep water pier from where you can view the cruise ships docking. It is located at the start of the historic centre of the town and on one of the most picturesque and architecturally intact docks in Italy. The restaurant overlooks the Gulf of Portoferraio and the spa area of San Giovanni.

According to Apollonius Rhodius , Portoferraio is the place where Jason of the Argonauts landed. You will find remains of two Roman Villas ( Villa del Grotte and Villa Linguella) these being an important reference to the imperial age of the Roman Empire. Portoferraio was founded by Cosimo 1 grand duke of Tuscany from which the town took its name cosmopoli in 1548 and was used as a military garrison to defend the coast and the island , it was also known to be the headquarters of Knights of Santo Stefano. The city, a Tuscan enclave in the principality of Piombino was at first little more than a set of fortifications and comprised 3 forts, forte Stella, forte Falcone and linguella ( forte inglese was built later to reinforce the town due to a siege by the British fleet ) and the beautiful city walls, the remains of which are in good condition and habitable surround the old town of Portoferraio. In April 1814 after the signing of the treaty of Fontainbleu the Island was entrusted to Napoleon Bonaparte where he was first exiled. Napoleon chose Portoferraio as the capital of the island and in the town there are the 2 houses where he stayed , San Martino and Villa dei Mulini. During the french occupation, albeit short ( 1814 1815) Portoferraio and Elba grew in importance due to the infrastructure created and the exploitation of the iron mines of Rio Marina. Portoferraio became the port of transport to the mainland and hence the current name.

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