Our cruise ship, The Azamara Pursuit was a small luxury cruise liner. Because of that we could visit smaller ports that can’t be reached by the large cruise ships.
When The Pursuit docked in Portoferraio it was the largest ship in the harbor and the only cruise liner there on that day. This made our stay on Elba more enjoyable. Portoferraio is one of the most beautiful natural harbors I have ever seen. The mountainous island has an interesting history dating back to the Etruscans. The town of Portoferraio is beautiful and filled with shops, cafe’s and beautiful beaches.
In the Treaty of Fontainebleau, the Allies exiled Napoleon to Elba, an island of 12,000 inhabitants in the Mediterranean off the Tuscan coast. They gave him sovereignty over the island and allowed him to retain the title of Emperor, while his wife and son took refuge in Austria. He only lived there for ten months before he escaped and raised an army while marching to Paris. Eventually defeated at Waterloo and sent to the island of St, Helena in the Atlantic Ocean where he died.
His house on Elba was small but tucked into a peaceful hill near the enter of the island. The house is in the process of being refurbished but much of the furniture and art was sold off by Napoleon’s sister to pay off family debts.
On our cruise we were excited to visit Elba. It is of course the famous place of exile for Napoleon and we were excited to see Napoleon’s residence. To be honest I was glad we took the tour but Napoleon’s house was the least inspiring part of our trip to Elba.
Our cruise ship docked in Portoferraio which is one of the most beautiful natural harbors I have ever seen. The mountainous island has an interesting history dating back to the Etruscans. The town of Portoferraio is beautiful but as we traveled across the island we saw many other gems. For me the tiny little commune of Porto Azzurro was one of the highlights.