Porto Azzurro is one of the most typical among the eight municipalities of the Island. The small harbour faces west Mola Bay, the second humid area of the Elba Island. In the south you can find the Spanish fortress with its lighthouse; to the east the fortress of San Giacomo; to the north/north-west the mountain of Monserrato, which protects Porto Azzurro from the Mistral and Tramontana. Indeed the climate turns out to be milder in the winter months when it blows the freezing north wind.
Porto Azzurro is placed in the Tuscan Archipelago Park, established in 1996. The Tuscan Archipelago National Park is the largest marine park in the Mediterranean Sea. It protects an area with a surface of 61,500 hectares of sea and is composed of seven main islands (Elba, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giglio, Capraia, Giannutri and Gorgona) and smaller islands such Palmaiola, Cerboli, Formiche (Ants) of Grosseto, Scoglio d ‘Africa (Africa Rock). The great biological diversity of the Tuscan Archipelago is due to the variety of the coastline and seabeds: you can just be aware of how different is the island from gulf to gulf this only looking from its beaches and exploring it thoroughly.
Porto Azzurro was born as a Spanish garrison back in 1600 and was dominated until 1650. The traces of this domination can be seen looking at the fortifications of the Fortress of San Giacomo, a massive star-shaped structure, and the bastion of Cape Focardo, a lighthouse located on the opposite bank, in the municipality of Capoliveri. Between 1646 and 1660 there was a short French period, followed by the Kingdom of Naples. In 1815 Napoleon ruled the island during his exile; after this short period, Elba island was restored to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
In the 50s and 60s Porto Azzurro began to take its first steps towards tourism, until both Porto Azzurro and the Elba Island became a popular destination for Italians and foreigners. That’s why the port transformed itself from a commercial one into a touristic one. Porto Azzurro is 14 km away from Portoferraio, easily accessible by car or bus, and about 15 km away from Rio Marina.
Boat owners can contact the company FORTI Yachting Partners, which manages the docks.