name = Elba
image caption = West Coast
image size = 280px
map_custom = yes
native name =
native name link =
coordinates = coord|42|45.71|N|10|14.45|E|display=inline,title
total islands = 7
major islands =
Elba, Gorgona, Capraia, Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglioand Giannutri)
area = convert|224|km2|sqmi|1|abbr=on
coastline = convert|147|km|abbr=on
highest mount =
elevation = convert|1018|m|abbr=on
country = Italy
country admin divisions title = Region
country admin divisions =
country admin divisions title 1 = Province
country admin divisions 1 = Livorno
country admin divisions title 2 = Communes of Elba
country admin divisions 2 =
Portoferraio, Campo nell'Elba, Capoliveri, Marciana, Marciana Marina, Porto Azzurro, Rio Marinaand Rio nell'Elba
country capital city =
country largest city =
country largest city population = 12,013
country leader title =
country leader name =
population = 31,059
population as of =
Jan 1, 2007
density = 138
ethnic groups =
additional info =
Elba ( _la. Ilva) is an island in
Tuscany, Italy, convert|20|km from the coastal town of Piombino. It is the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago, and the third largest island in Italy after Sicilyand Sardinia. Elba and the other islands of the Tuscan Archipelago are protected in the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago. The French island of Corsicalies about convert|50|km|-1 to the west. In Italian it is called "Isola d'Elba".
Originally inhabited by
Ligures Ilvatiwho gave the ancient name Ilva, the island was well known from very ancient times for its ironresources and its valued mines. The Greekscalled it "Aethalia" (fume) after the fumes of the furnaces for the metal production.
The island was then taken by force by the Etruscans first and (after 480 BC) by the Romans. After the end of the
Roman Empire, the island suffered from ravages by barbarians and Saracens. In the early 11th century it became a possession of the Republic of Pisa. When the latter, in 1398, was sold to the Viscontiof Milan, the island was acquired by the Appiani, Lords of Piombino, who retained it for two centuries. In 1546 part of the island was handed over to Cosimo I de' Medici, who fortified Portoferraio, renaming it "Cosmopoli", while in 1577 the rest of the island returned to the Appiani. In 1603 Philip II of Spaincaptured Porto Azzurro and built there two fortresses. In 1802 the island became a French possession, and its economy flourished.
Following the Treaty of Fontainebleau, French emperor Napoleon I was exiled to Elba after his forced abdication in 1814 and arrived at Portoferraio on
May 3, 1814to begin his exile there. He was allowed to keep a personal guard of six hundred men. Although he was nominally sovereign of Elba, the island was watched (more or less) by British naval patrols.
During these months, partly to pass the time and partly out of a genuine concern for the well-being of the people, he carried out a series of economic and social reforms to improve the quality of life on Elba. Napoleon stayed on Elba for 300 days before he escaped and returned to France on
February 26for the Hundred Days. After his defeat at Waterloo he was subsequently exiled again, this time to the barren and isolated South Atlanticisland of Saint Helena. Napoleon's stay on Elba is the basis for the famous English language palindrome: "Able was I ere I saw Elba." It is for the connection with Napoleon that Elba is best known internationally.
Congress of Viennathe island was given to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In 1860 it became part of the new unified Kingdom of Italy.
French troops landed on Elba on
June 17 1944, liberating the island from the Germans. Faulty intelligence and strong defences made the battle more difficult than expected.
More recently, the island has become famed for its
wine. It is today a renowned tourist resort.
* There is an airport on the island,
Marina di Campo Airport. It's served by Intersky, with flights to Friedrichshafen, Munchenand Zurich.
* [http://www.1clickelba.it/geologia-eng/ Elba Geology] a rich site about Elba's geology.
* [http://www.images-italy.com/elba/ Pictures Elba]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/85/a2943885.shtml War story about the WWII battle]
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