Portoferraio, the magic of mooring in a sea of history: from the Romans to the Medici, not forgetting Napoleon
Overlooking the port stands the Torre di Passanante, named after the anarchic rebel who was imprisoned in the tower: you can leave from here to take a pleasant stroll along the quayside, do some shopping or indulge in the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants. Other heartbreakingly beautiful spots include Forte Stella, Forte Falcone and the walk along the walls overlooking the town in the area built by the Medici rulers. A memorable sight is the Palazzina dei Mulini, the residence where Napoleon spent his 10 months in exile; the historic mansion is reached uphill via a steep cobbled path. History buffs can conclude their Napoleon-related tour with a visit to the Villa Napoleonica, with its lavishly decorated interiors; this was his country residence, where he spent most of his time.
The Marina at Portoferraio runs along the town’s wet dock and makes for a pretty sight. The promenade along this historic port is the lively hub of the small town, and how could it not be: its natural shape, making it a particularly sheltered harbour, is so hospitable that it developed in harmony with the inland part of town that embraces the sea, and vice versa. This is one of the few Mediterranean harbours that is situated on the north coast yet faces southwards, and this unusual conformation makes it naturally sheltered from all winds; something that’s very rare in the Mediterranean.
It is equipped with running water, electric power, individual or assisted berthing and wi-fi. The facilities and public showers are situated next to the Town Hall. In high season, we recommend booking a berth in advance to make sure you have somewhere to moor. Should there be no space available for the boat within the wet dock, you can sail as far as the Marina Esaom, situated 1 NM west of the centre of Portoferraio; it offers 175 berths for vessels of up to 35 metres, along with security cameras, electricity, water, toilets and showers, wi-fi and other facilities.