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Tuscan Archipelago >> History
"From the 16th Century to Napoleon"
Once on the throne of France, Francis I showed that he intended see how powerful the king of Spain, Charles V, was. In order to succeed he hired the pirate Barbarossa, the terror of the Mediterranean, who had sacked the islands of the archipelago twice in ten years, pushing them into a spiral of violence and barbarism and deporting many of the islanders to Constantinople were they had become slaves.
From the Prehistoric Era
to the Etruscans
From the Roman Period
to the "signorie"
Today and the Penal Settlements
Peace came with Cosimo I of the Medici family, who, determined to defeat the pirates, built the fortress of Cosmopoli on the ruins of Ferraia on Elba. A period of prosperity and wealth started on Elba, but the smaller islands further away still had to cope with the plunderers. Pianosa did not manage to recover from the assault in 1553 and was almost completely abandoned. The fortresses Focardo and San Giacomo were built in 1600 as Spaniards and French contended the island. The island was then shared between Tuscans and Spaniards. During the 18th century the archipelago is contended by European countries. French, Italian, Spanish and English leaders are fighting for the supremacy until, in 1803, Elba and some of the smaller islands finally become French under Napoleon. And the big emperor left traces on the islands, which can be seen in the architecture. Elba is Napoleon's main scene, even during his worst days when the French emperor had been forced to abdicate after the defeat in Leipzig in order to allow the return of the Bourbons. With a clever diplomatic manoeuvre the defeated emperor managed to be designated uncontested sovereign of Elba where he lived some glory days from 1814. Napoleon renewed the island of Elba, building roads and bridges, dikes, hospitals and ports. He also reorganised the bureaucracy and encouraged the economic activities. While he prepared his return on the European scene, he built marvellous villas and palaces which the islanders adored.

Photos from APT Tuscan Archipelago and Mediaweb srl.
Villaggio Innamorata Isola d'Elba
Prenotazione on line Traghetti Isola d'Elba
hotel le acacie








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