Summer has finally arrived: the desire to leave to relax, by the sea, in the mountains or in other contexts is higher than ever. For this new electric itinerary, we thought of one of the most beautiful islands in Italy, the third largest in our country (223 square kilometers): the Island of Elba, to be lived strictly in an electric car.
The island of Elba: a paradise to live even in an electric car
By car, you can think of leaving from Milan or Rome towards the port of Piombino, considering however that the capital is closer to Tuscany than the Lombard metropolis. If you arrive in the port city with a low battery, do not worry: near the port there are several Plenitude+Be Charge charging points, to charge your car while waiting for the ferry to the island.
Day 1: Arrival in Porto Ferraio and accommodation in Lacona
Moving by (electric) car to the Island of Elba, net of any problems related to parking, is a good idea: compared to other Italian islands, the territory is vast and has roads largely suitable for vehicles. Elba has a dual soul, linked to its nature and history. The beaches are of different types: white rock, pebbles or sand, with crystal clear waters perfect for diving.
The island in addition to a beautiful sea offers paths for hikers and cyclists very well-kept. Similarly, history buffs can explore Etruscan museums and sites, but also some ruins of the ancient Romans and the two houses of Napoleon. There are also abandoned remains of a steel industry.
Once disembarked in Porto Ferraio, we head to our hotel to leave our belongings and relax for a moment. We will stay in Via del Moletto, in Lacona, taking advantage of the Plenitude + Be Charge column in the surroundings (at number 156 of the street).
Our early afternoon on the island we decide to spend it in the area, at the sandy beach of Lacona. We decide to live the evening in the surroundings, to prepare for the next day.
Day 2: Seccione, Padulella and Capo Bianco
Being in one of the places with the most beautiful beaches in Italy, the sea could only be the protagonist of our short stay. In fact, we spend our second day in three beaches bordering each other, considered among the most beautiful in the whole resort.
We are talking about three white pebble beaches: Seccione, Padulella and Capo Bianco. In the surroundings of Capo Bianco there is a paid parking, otherwise you can leave your car – with a little luck – in the spaces adjacent to the road. Among the three Capo Bianco is certainly the best known and most easily accessible beach, but swimming or by land you can reach quite easily (with good shoes) the other two.
Having lunch with sandwiches by the sea, we dedicate the evening to the discovery of the island and Tuscan cuisine. Among the flavors that we recommend you try are the bonito in oil, the stuffed muscles, the risotto with squid ink or the penne in the Benassi boat.
Day 3: On the trail of Napoleon and Porto Azzurro
Especially abroad the main reason why the island of Elba is known concerns the fact that Napoleon was exiled there in 1814 for 10 months. The emperor had two villas at his disposal, one in Porto Ferraio and another right on the beach: we are talking about Villa dei Mulini and Villa San Martino.
Both can be visited and are about 6 kilometers apart, but we advise you to check the days and times of opening and closing before going. The cost for entry is 8 euros (full ticket) for each house.
In the very first days of his stay on Elba – from 4 May to 21 May 1814 – Napoleon lived in what is now the Town Hall of Portoferraio. Then he moved to the Villa dei Mulini, also in Portoferraio. He had the central part of the first floor built to house Maria Luisa and the King of Rome but neither decided to move there. On the ground floor are the emperor’s rooms: the living room, the library, the bedroom, the study and the council chamber.
Later he moved to the Villa San Martino: in a small valley cultivated with vines, far from the heat and turmoil of Portoferraio, Napoleon had a small house transformed into a private villa by the architect Paolo Bargigli and the decorator Vincenzo Antonio Revelli. The neoclassical building that visitors discover on arrival is the Demidoff Palace, now a Gallery, built in 1851 by the husband of Princess Matilda, a great admirer of Napoleon.
The villa of San Martino is behind the Gallery. On the first floor are the eight rooms that were inhabited, of these, three were occupied by the emperor, three by Bertrand and the officers. Two others were reserved for meetings and receptions.
If you can not visit the two residences do not worry, the presence of the Emperor is also found in the rest of the island. The residence of Napoleon’s mother, Casa Vantini, is located in via Ferandini 12, 110 meters after the Church of Forgiveness, where every year on May 5 a special function is celebrated to commemorate the death of Napoleon.
In addition, in Monte Giove, after Marciana Alta, Napoleon settled at the Hermitage of the Madonna del Monte from 23 August to 4 September 1814. In Poggio you will find the Napoleon Fountain, whose water – it is said – was particularly appreciated by the emperor. Finally in Porto-Azzuro, there is a fortress that was the residence of Napoleon from September 5 to September 24, 1814.
Right in Porto Azzurro we ended the day with an evening walk and a fish dinner in one of the restaurants a stone’s throw from the sea. Taking a look at the restaurants in advance you can get an idea to find the most authentic and close to your needs.
Villa San Martino
Day 4: Boat Excursion and Paolina Beach
Spending some time on the Island of Elba without taking a boat trip could be a great regret. There are dozens of boats, of all sizes, that carry out different tours on the island. You can opt to sail half a day or for the whole day.
We opted for an excursion of about five hours in the south of the island, leaving early in the morning. The main feature of these sea trips are the numerous stops for diving and swimming or to discover corners of the island otherwise impossible – or difficult to access – on the surface.
Among the different dives, one is truly unique and within everyone’s reach: a few meters from the beach of Pomonte there is in fact a wreck almost on the water’s surface. Destination of many divers, on the bottom of the sea are the remains of the Elviscot, an Italian merchant ship sunk in 1982.
Among the other things that struck us also stand out the black pebble beaches scattered around the island, such as that of Terranera. We were also able to observe hidden coves and caves and circumnavigate the islands of Pianosa, Capraia and Montecristo.
If we have not yet convinced you, know that it is not uncommon to come across groups of dolphins off the Elbe: seeing them is a beautiful emotion to experience.
After returning to the mainland and having lunch, we return by car towards Marciana Marina, and more precisely in Procchio. Along the provincial road with a little luck you can park and go down a staircase in the woods to get to the reserved Paolina Beach. The name of this beach is linked to Napoleon’s sister, Pauline.
Day 5: Cala Giovanna, Marina di Campo Beach and Feliciaio Beach
Our last day on the island we dedicate to the discovery of other beautiful beaches: after waking up early to avoid parking problems we reach the beach of Marina di Campo, one of the best known and equipped in the area. The morning goes by there and we also decide to have lunch in the area, not before leaving the car in charge at one of the two columns near Piazzetta Torino.
In the afternoon we head first to the beach of Cala Giovanna and then to Spiaggia Feliciaio, and then return to the vicinity of our hotel in the Lacona area for dinner. Our journey is coming to an end, and after spending the last evening on the island we wake up heading to Porto Ferraio to take the return ferry.
Despite our many stops, there are other beaches (and other places of historical interest), not to be missed to enjoy the Island of Elba by electric car if time permits, such as the Golfo Stella, the beach of Guardiola beach, the beach of Sansone and many others.