Guided Walking Tour of Portoferraio and Napoleon's Villa dei Mulini
Portoferraio, Elba, Italy
- Old Town: Small but bustling, you'll see the medieval architecture and city landmarks, with a view of the harbor in the distance.
- Villa dei Mulini Museum: This 17th-century palace was restored in grand style just for Napoleon, whose exile didn't stop him from living like a king.
- Free time: You'll have some time to explore Portoferraio, a vibrant fishing village with bars, souvenir shops, and excellent places for fresh seafood.
About This Portoferraio, Elba Tour
One look at Elba and you may want to follow Napoleon into exile. He was confined to this Mediterranean paradise after his best-laid plans for European conquest went awry. He grudgingly signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau and retreated to the tiny island, exiled but not yet defeated.
He got to keep the title of Emperor, after all, and he set about telling his subjects what to do; they built roads and hospitals, constructed walls, and formed an army. And finding his digs at Villa dei Mulini wanting, he brought in an architect pal from Livorno to raise the roof (literally) and build a grand ballroom.
Mulini is a museum now, and contains some of the most important Napoleonic artifacts in Europe. The place is impressively palatial, and with its picture-perfect view of the sea – and fancy ballroom – you'll wonder why Napoleon couldn't just keep his sword in his pants.
Napoleon's ambition needed more Elba room; he escaped to France after just 300 days on the island, but his defeat at Waterloo meant a one-way ticket to bleak, windswept St. Helena, half the size of Elba and about 25 times as far from France. He died at 51 in a damp, decrepit home there six years later, not far from a disease quarantine station. Recalling the beautiful view from his glorious Mulini, you'll have to believe that at some point he thought, as you might someday: "Damn, why'd I ever leave Elba?"
Please exit the port terminal building or go to the end of the tender pier drop-off to meet your guide. Look for our displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
Expect a 1-2 mile during the tour then plan to spend time in town afterwards. If you decide to eat at a local cafe, be prepared to pay a cover charge (coperto) of 1-2 euros per person. Your guide can point out the best shopping locations. Villa dei Mulini is closed on Tuesday and bank holidays.
This is a walking tour. Plan to stand or walk for the entire duration. This tour is not suitable for travelers utilizing a wheelchair. If your mobility is limited, this tour may be too challenging for you to enjoy and maintain the pace of the group.
Cultural, Walking Tour, Shopping
English, French, Spanish, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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