Suggested itinerariesHere are a few of the itineraries worth experimenting during your stay at the Hotel Paradiso: most are within walking distance.
Enfola peninsular: the Enfola promontory is a 15 mins. walk from the hotel, it has a sand and pebbly beach on the left-hand side and a pebbly/rock beach on its right-hand side, a small camping site, the renowned "Emanuel Restaurant/Bar" and a jetty, often animated with local youngsters diving into the crystal clear sea.
Now part of the Tuscan National Park, it is possible to walk up the hill on a marked pathway passing by several abandoned bunkers and military sites, part of the Second World War.
Once at the top, a pathway takes you around the hill offering spectacular views towards Corsica and the Italian mainland ( can be a hot climb on a "sizzling" day, so don't forget a bottle of water!!
Pathway Viticcio-Forno-Scaglieri-Biodola: takes about 30-40 mins, a good morning walk after breakfast! Have a beer and an ice-cream and enjoy swimming off the beaches of Forno, Scaglieri and Biodola before returning along the shady path back to the Paradiso.
Portoferraio: the island's main town only 4 km distant from our hotel, is accessed also by local bus. Founded by the Romans, Cosimo de Medici and his Florentine successors built the fortress, a masterpiece of military architecture, so perfect that it was considered one of the most safest places in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1814 Napoleon arrived on Elba and profoundly marked the territory and the economic and social fabric of the city and indeed of the whole island.
Portoferraio is now a flourishing town, an established cultural centre (with an international classical music festival held each September, a conference hall, the small restored Vigilante theatre and the more important museums), has well organised docks, a good shopping area and each Friday it hosts the island's biggest open-air general market.
A "MUST" on your holiday itinerary is a visit to the "Villa della Linguella" with it's small museum, the Villa Romana delle Grotte (2 kms out of town), Napoleons Museum/Villa San Martino (3 km), the Medici forts surrounding the town with Napoleons "Villa Mulini", Forte Stella, Forte Falcone, Torre del Martello; the Teatro dei Vigilanti (originally a deconsecrated church transformed by Napoleon into a theatre); the beautiful churches - Duomo, Chiesa della Reverenda Misericordia (where you can admire a bronze mask and hand cast of Napoleon) - the Chiesa SS.Sacramento and La Biscotteria (Town Hall); the Pinacoteca Foresiana picture gallery contains works by Signorini, Cannici, Nomellini, Cigheri, Bilivert and other famous artists. Browsing around the streets in the old town centre is a pleasant way to discover "hidden" angles of everyday life from the local bakers shop to numerous handicraft boutiques.
Boat excursions: During the summer there are numerous boat trips to the surrounding islands of Capraia, Giglio, Pianosa and Montecristo.
A special word for Pianosa: until a couple of years ago this was a prison island, it is now possible for limited numbers to visit the island with authorised guides.
A boat excursion to Pianosa usually includes the Villa Agrippa, the catacombs, the ancient town with its picturesque harbour and gives time for a swim in the limpid waters that surround the island.
The elban farmers, guardians of millenary viticultural traditions today, as yesterday, produce excellent wines. They now bear the quality mark of "D.O.C.": Elba Bianco, Elba Red, Rosato dell'Elba, Ansonica Passito, Moscato and Aleatico. A visit to a local wine cellar is another interesting alternative to "sun and sea"!