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Towns of the area

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Porto Azzurro

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Inhabitants in 1991: 3.111

The municipal territory extends for 13,36 square kilometres on a promontory along the underlying creek of the east coast of the Island of Elba. It was constituted in autonomous municipality in 1815 and suffered territorial reductions in 1906 when the district of Capoliveri and part of the district of Porto Longone went to form the municipality of Capoliveri.

The nucleus of that which initially was called Longone (and Porto Longone from 1863 to 1947) is made up of the mighty star shaped fortress which Filippo III of Spain commissioned in 1602 to Don Garcia di Toledo. The territory was then part of the Presidi State, together with Talamone and Orbetello, the original instrument through which the Spanish monarchs controlled the principal maritime routes of the Tyrrhenian, mid way between its properties in Napoli and those of the north of Italy. In effect because of its strategic position the Elba settlement served as a stronghold against the aims of the Grand Duchy of Toscana and as a maritime slipway for the Spanish ships. In 1646, after a long siege, it was freed by the French troops, but four years later was again taken by the Spanish. In 1714 it was annexed to the realm of Napoli, and remained with them until 1801, when it was ceded to the French who had occupied the whole of Toscana. With the Vienna congress in 1815, it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Toscana until the Unity of Italy.

Places to visit:
The Fortress of S. Giacomo di Longone, imposing building erected by the will of Filippo III of Spain in 1600. Now it is a penitentiary.

Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Translated by Ann Mountford

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