The eight municipalities of Elba



Elba is the third largest island in Italy by extension with an area of 22,350 hectares and a coastline long 147 km. Administratively it is divided into eight areas: Campo nell'Elba, Capoliveri, Marciana, Marciana Marina, Porto Azzurro, Portoferraio, Rio Marina, Rio nell'Elba.

Elba was once characterized by small villages often disconnected from each other, thus leading to the development of many different customs and traditions. In the past the island was connected only through narrow mule tracks across the mountains, indeed it is not surprisingly that some western villages of Elba, such as Pomonte, had started to trade with the closeby island of Corsica, which was easier to reach by sea. There are also many curious dialects among the villages and not by chance the one of Pomontinco (inhabitant of Pomonte), is very similar to the Course dialect.

Even nowadays the differences between one village and another can be perceived not only in dialect, but even in the preparation of typical receipts that are a real added value of this wonderful island. Another example showing the differences among these cultures in the island can be noticed between the villages of Marciana and San Piero. Although they are only few kilometers away from each other, they have based their past life on different economies: the first on sheep farming, rural life and the collection of wood and chestnuts from the wonderful trees in the valley; while the second village has focused on quarrying the granite from its nearby mines.

Rio Marina and Capoliveri were villages of miners, while Marciana Marina and Porto Azzurro were fishing villages and commercial harbours. Portoferraio has always been the capital in Elba protecting the population that have followed in ages inside its fortress.

Curiosity about Elba

  •  According to the census of 2009, Elba Island has 30,660 inhabitants, 12.007 of which living in the municipality of Portoferraio according to the census of 2015.
    The largest municipality by extension, is that of Campo nell’Elba (which includes the island of Pianosa), followed by the Municipality of Marciana, while Marciana Marina is the third smallest municipality of Italy with its 5.76 km².

  • The island of Pianosa belongs to the municipality of Campo nell'Elba, while Montecristo belongs to the municipality of Portoferraio.
    Marina di Campo has the largest beach of Elba Island, and on the other side the beach of Bagnaia is disputed between the towns of Portoferraio and Rio nell'Elba.

  • The Mount Capanne with its 1,019 meters is the highest mountain in Elba and of all the Tuscan Archipelago; it is possible to reach its peak with a cableway.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte, who lived in the island for about 10 months during his exile, was the first to unify the villages of Elba Island under one unique flag.

  • In February 2011, the Trade Associations of Elba Island founded the Committee for the regional initiative to merge the eight municipalities of Elba. Once collected all the signatures for the quorum, in 2013, April 21 and 22 was held a referendum. The law proposal, however, was rejected by the population with 60.35% of the votes.

 

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