Portoferraio is the principle arrival point on the island and one of the most active tourist ports in Italy. Capital of Elba, it owes its importance to its beautiful natural port, used since ancient times by the Etruscans and Romans for the iron trade, the island having one of the most prosperous mines in Italy.
Portoferraio is a small city rich in history; arriving by ferry you can admire the imposing Medici fortifications on the bay: Fort Falcon, Fort Stella (recognizable by its lighthouse) and the Linguella Tower (at the entrance of the harbor), all built in the 15th century to defend from the continuous pirate attacks. There is a lovely walk that takes you from the tourist port along the inside of the historical town walls. Portoferraio has about 13,000 inhabitants and offers many services both commercial and cultural. On the Western side of the town there are some pretty white pebble beaches that throw into relief the clarity of the sea.