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Elba Island, the island of Napoleon Bonaparte, launches “Napoleon Experience”: a new series of tourist-experiential travel experiences that will allow visitors to go back 200 years when the great Corsican Bonaparte ruled Elba Island.

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“Napoleon Experience” will take off in 2023, allowing visitors to enjoy an all-around holiday in a Napoleonic key, thanks to a unique travel experience that mixes culture, food and wine, nature, folklore, and, of course, sea and relaxation.

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It will be like travelling back in time to the period when the emperor led the capital of the Tuscan Archipelago. Napoleon was a great innovator who made a decisive contribution to making Elba Island a modern place for that time, with measures that are even today part of its culture.

“Napoleon Experience” will immerse visitors in the atmosphere of the time: they will experience the excitement of the great parties at which Pauline, the sister of the emperor, was admired, dine at their table, and taste the Aleatico wine that Napoleon loved so much, walk along the roads that always look towards his native Corsica, discover how people lived surrounded by refined craftsmanship and precious minerals extracted from the island belly, and much more.

“Napoleon Experience” project

The new project is starting in 2023 and will last seven weeks from May to September, one week for each municipality on Elba Island. The travel plans will be presented soon and offer various experiences from which visitors will be free to choose, creating their unique Napoleonic holiday.

“Napoleon Experience” is the result of a partnership between the public and private sectors: a virtuous mechanism that makes it possible to build innovative touristic initiatives and project Elba Island into the future.

Elba hosted the emperor for ten months. A period as short as intense profoundly affected the life of the people and its signs are still evident today. His landing took place on 4 May 1814 in Portoferraio, where it is still possible to see the spot where the first French Emperor set foot. From that moment until 27 February 1815, the life of the Elban community was turned upside down by Napoleon’s presence and his traces are still everywhere. Among them is the Elban symbol flag, which presents three golden bees on a red stripe on a white field.

Visiting Elba Island? Check out Portoferraio Walking Tour

Enjoy a walking tour through the old town of Portoferraio, a surprising pearl of the Mediterranean Sea. Its safe harbor was an important trade center in ancient times, especially for the Greeks and the Romans who exploited the rich iron mines of the island. Along the stroll, learn the history behind the pink-paved streets and the impressive, fortifications built by the House of Medici, the powerful Italian family, and leading dynasty of the Renaissance. The defensive walls are still almost intact.  During your visit from the inside, take a moment to fully appreciate this masterpiece of architecture and engineering. Learn also about Napoleon Bonaparte’s legacy. He arrived at Portoferraio in 1814 and during his short stay, he contributed to the flourishing of the town. The building of the two famous residences of the emperor and a gorgeous theatre gave Portoferraio the allure of the royal court. From the fortifications, admire the beautiful white beaches, a perfect ingredient giving Portoferraio a unique blend of history, sun, sea and sand.

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Dramatically more congested than when the emperor was exiled here in 1814 (he managed to engineer an escape within a year), the island is an ever-glorious paradise of beach-laced coves, vineyards, azure waters, hairpin-bend motoring, a 1018m mountain (Monte Capanne) and mind-bending views. It’s all supplemented by fine seafaring cuisine, lovely island wines, and land and seascapes just made for hiking, biking, and sea kayaking.

With the exception of high season (actually only August), when the island’s beaches and roads are jam-packed, Elba is something of a Robinson Crusoe paradise. In springtime, early summer and autumn, when grapes and olives are harvested, there are plenty of tranquil nooks on this stunningly picturesque, 28km-long, 19km-wide island.

 

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