Rio nell'Elba, the sentinel of the East

Rio nell’Elba, Italy is one of the oldest settlements on the island. It is famous worldwide for its rich mining history and fascinating historical and cultural sites

The center of the small village of Rio nell'Elba is perched on a hill about 170 meters above sea level in the northeastern part of the Island of Elba. It is without a doubt one of the oldest communities on the island, as its roots can be traced all the way back to the Bronze Age. The surrounding territory is filled with evidence of its ancient past. Among these are several fascinating archaeological finds and shipwrecks from various centuries. You can explore these mysterious sites yourself, alongside an experienced tour guide who will help you understand the intricacies of Rio nell’Elba’s past.

Rio nell'Elba is famous for its iron mines, many of which date back to the Etruscan period. For this reason, it is called the heart of the mining industry in Elba.

“The Collection of the People of Rio” is an exhibition that displays a wide variety of minerals to the public in the Archaeological Museum of the Mining District. Other places of historical and cultural interest in Rio nell’Elba are the Volterraio Castle, the imposing fortress near the village, the Parish Church of SS. Giacomo and Quirico, the Hermitage of Santa Caterina, the Garden of Semplici Elbano, and the Church of the Holy Trinity, also known as the Church of God the Father. The charming little island of Cerboli is also part of the Rio nell’Elba municipality. You can easily arrive there from Rio nell’Elba and visit this gorgeous natural gem of the Tuscan Archipelago.

The Fonte dei Canali, or the “Source of the Canals,” are five recently restored canals fed by a rich natural spring. You can visit them easily, as they are just a short walk from the old town. Next to the canals you will find the Public Laundry facilities. This is a charming establishment with a beamed ceiling and large windows. The Public Laundry is powered by the same water source as the canals and was used for all of the village’s washing needs until the 1980s.

Between the canals and the Public Laundry, you can also visit the Casa del Parco, or “Park House,” of Rio nell'Elba. It is open from April to October and is managed in collaboration by the City of Rio nell'Elba and the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. The Park House is an info point about the flora and fauna of the area. It also offers free walking tours, nature hikes, and other various events related to the annual Walking Festival. Rio nell’Elba is a must see for those who want to explore the hidden corners of Elba and truly feel her magic.