The Isle of Elba is the largest island of the Tuscan archipelago. Close to Corsica and Tuscany, it is a stepping stone between France and Italy.
Portoferraio is a town located in the province of Livorno, on the edge of the eponymous harbour of the island of Elba. It is the island’s largest city. Because of its terrain, many of its buildings are situated on the slopes of a tiny hill surrounded on three sides by the sea. In the 18th Century it was contended by France, England and Austria because of its strategic position in the Mediterranean. A British garrison withstood the Siege of Porto Ferrajo in 1801, but the 1802 Treaty of Amiens transferred the town to France. In 1814 it was handed over to Napoleon Bonaparte, as the seat of his first exile.
On 26 February 1815, Napoleon sailed away from Portoferraio, on board L’Inconstant, with a flotilla of seven boats, landing on 1 March on the beach of Vallauris, in Golfe-Juan.