Porto Azzurro What a Marvelous Town!
Article from 2010 Elbaper2 magazine. Written by Porto Azzurro Town Council Staff
The country road leading us home crosses Piano di Mola, a flat area rich in vineyards and cultivated fields, close to Porto Azzurro. The fragrance of grapes laid out to dry mixes with scents of freshly cut hay and aromatic herbs scattered along the ditches. A blend of perfumes that stirs our thoughts and our senses. The blossoms of Spanish Broom spread a yellow cloak over the surrounding hills and conquer our sight, and just a couple of miles ahead that charming, lovely town, where we were fortunate enough to be born and grow up, will be unveiled before our eyes: Porto Azzurro.
The intense blue of the sea mirroring Porto Azzurro is our pride, coveted by sailors from all across the Mediterranean. A safe harbor like few others in the world, the heart of our present and future economy. The large square facing the sea looks like a giant fishing net, paved in granite carved with the knots and braided ropes that recall our ancient marine traditions.
Soaring above the town is Fortezza San Giacomo (San Giacomo Fortress), with its imposing bulwarks, witness to the period of Spanish rule. Another tangible sign of Spanish presence is Santuario della Madonna del Montserrato (Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monserrato), a place of worship for the cult of the Black Madonna built in 1606 by Spanish governor Pons y Léon in a valley that reminded him of the Spanish Monastery of Montserrat. Our beaches are less than 1 mile from the town center: the largest, Barbarossa, is easily reached on foot from town walking along Passeggiata Carmignani, a walk along the eastern coastline of our gulf. Reale, smaller beach but equally fascinating, connects to Laghetto Terranera, a small lake whose emerald green waters are rich in sulfur. How beautiful our town and its surroundings are! The main square is our pride, the 'ballroom' of the entire island. It is worth mentioning also Moletto, a beach washed by crystalline waters, and the area of the old market, the modern shipping facilities, and the local artisans' shops, the characteristic restaurants for dining on exquisite fish dishes and excellent Elba wines. The narrow, granite-paved roads of the center become crowded each year on September 8th with the parade that recalls the Spanish rule and celebrates the Madonna of Monserrato, our protector.
Porto Azzurro kindles deep emotions in those who are lucky enough to live in this corner of paradise, so precious to our hearts, emotions that we are and always will be happy to share with whoever comes to visit us. We look forward to welcoming you to Porto Azzurro so that you can see with your own eyes that we did not exaggerate when we said, "What a marvelous town Porto Azzurro is!".
See you soon!
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