Nature: Marine mammal sanctuary

The Marine mammal sanctuary is a sort of triangle of sea that stretches between three countries: Italy, France and the Principality of Monaco. In 1999 it was declared a protected marine area with the aim of safeguarding an area of about 96,000 square kilometres.

The waters between Toulon, Capo Falcone (Sardinia) and Fosso Chiarone in Tuscany have the highest concentration of whales out of all the Italian seas and it is one of the Mediterranean areas richest in marine wildlife.

The Marine mammal sanctuary in the Italian territories of Liguria, Tuscany and Sardinia was established in 1991 as a protected marine area of international interest. The enormous concentration of marine mammals is mainly due to the rich food resources found in these waters; cetaceans are particularly fond of the plankton and krill brought to the surface by a special current. Eight different species find an ideal habitat in these waters: sperm whale, the fin whale, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, striped dolphin, pilot whale, Risso's dolphin and Cuvier's beaked whale.



The Tuscany Archipelago has important historical remains from the Prehistorical period, the most remarkable ones are located on Pianosa Island. You can visit Pianosa just in group with a guide, entrance to the boats has been forbidden since 1979.

During Roman-Imperial time Patricians built their Villas there: at the sea bottom of Pianosa you can see the ruins of Agrippa’s Villa; in the Giglio island you can find ruins of a Patrician Villa; in Portoferraio you can see what remains of the imposing Villa delle Grotte (Augustus period).

In Portoferraio the Medici left their mark. The Medici Route starts with Forte Falcone; you can reach it by climbing the stairs of via Napoleone or by car along the road that goes to the Palazzina dei Mulini. You cannot miss the visit to the Medici Tower on Giglio Island.

Elba Island has a quite large number of churches of various historical periods: in Rio nell’Elba you can visit Padreterno Church (XVIII century); in Rio Marina San Rocco church with its little port and the Octagonal Tower (XVI century); in Porto Azzurro the sanctuary of Madonna del Monserrato, in this village there are also the San Giacomo Fort and Focardo Fort (XVII century). In Capoliveri you can visit the two beautiful Madonna sanctuary.

In Capraia Island Forte San Giorgio and Sant Antonio Convent are worth to be seen.

The historical moment which is certainly best represented in this archipelago is the Napoleon period: the Imperial Town is Portoferraio. The route dedicated to the Emperor starts from the Palazzina dei Mulini, main residence of Napoleon, and goes on to Vigilanti Theatre and Misericordia Church.

San Martino Villa, on the road to Procchio, collects the relics of Napoleon.

Civic Archeologic Museum “Linguella” (Portoferraio)
Minerals Museum (Rio nell’Elba)
Minerals Museum „Gennai Tonietti“ (Rio Marina)
Aquarium (Campo nell’Elba)
Acheologic Museum-Pretorio Palace (Marciana Marina)


Elba is the ideal location for Mountain biking for both the variety of paths and the mild weather.

Thanks to the morphology of the island you can bike along wild beaches, in shady woods or close to panoramic crests.

If you prefer trekking in Elba you can hike discovering the millenary history of its inhabitants, through pictoresque coves and ancient rocks villages. You can find the ancient forts and Etruscan kilns and visit the Roman granitic pits.

- Routes informations and equipping rental: “Il Viottolo” , via Petri, Campo nell’Elba. tel. +39(0)565978005
And for horseback-riding you can have a big choice of routes:
- informations about Elba horseback riding: “Costa dei Gabbiani” tel.+39(0)56594211
For diving:
- Deep vibration loc.Schiopparello tel. +39(0)565933205
- Diving in Elba Procchio tel. +39(0)565907251
- Sirena diving center loc. Enfola tel. +39(0)565918938