Portoferraio: it is the "Capital" of the Island; Fabricia for the Romans, Cosmpolis starting from 1548, when Cosimo de'Medici began the construction of the present Portoferraio, typical pattern of fortified city, it has a beautiful historic centre and an incomparable fascination.
It hasn't developed a tourist vocation perhaps because of its recent past as an industrial steel centre and this has kept Portoferraio almost intact except for the natural degradation which nobody seems to be interesting in nor wants to remedy. The repairs of the fortresses that surround and overlook this town, carried out in recent years, make the visit particularly exciting.
PLACES OF HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL INTEREST
Visit discovering the Roman, Medicean and Napoleonic town;
Palazzina dei Mulini (Little Palace of Mills), is a national monument and it is located in a panoramic position between two bastions, Stella and Falcone. It was Napoleon and his sister Paolina's official residence; there are many ancient objects to see.
The Palace of San Martino:( situated in the homonymous valley 5 Kilometers from Portoferraio) it was Napoleon's country- residence.
The Church of the Reverenda Misericordia (Reverend Mercy): here one can see a lot of important Napoleonic memories, including Napoleon's bronze mask taken by Doctor Antomarchi, his personal physician, in S. Elena. Every year, on the 5th of May, a memorial service is celebrated in Napoleon's suffrage.
The Church of S.S.Sacramento ( The Holy Sacrament): here are a lot of historical relics along with valuable vestments and vessels. On the left side, entering the Church, there is a votive temple dedicated to the inhabitants, who died during the first World War(1915-18) and designed by Arch.Crott. Three bezels painted by the Elban painter prof.Giuseppe Mazzei,a Barabino's student,are very prestigious.
Medici fortifications : in 1548 Cosmopoli, (the present Portoferraio) was built on the ancient Fabricia's ruins following the will of Cosimo I de Medici, Lord of Florence.
The most important works of fortification are : Stella and Falcone bastions (both of them situated on the upper part) and the Tower of Martello (Hammer) at the entrance of the old harbor.
There are several other bastions and buttresses : all that makes a masterpiece of military architecture.
Villa Romana (Roman palace) - place Le Grotte (I century);
Villa Romana and Archaeologic Museum - place La Linguella;
The romanic Church of S. Stefano - place Le Trane (XII);
High ground fortress dating back to pre-roman age - place S. Martino;
International Art Center of Italo Bolano - place S. Martino;
Pinacoteca Foresiana ( Foresiana picture-gallery), Napoleon Slope;
Biblioteca Foresiana (Foresiana Library) - Palazzo Comunale ( Town-hall).