Elba Island ports
In the early days of ferry connections for the Island of Elba, services were offered that connected all the maritime municipalities on the island, since at the time they were faster and more practical than overland connections and because the first vessels used were small and suited to serving even the small ports of Marciana Marina, Marina di Campo, and Cavo.
As tourism developed in the ’60s and ’70s, the ferries serving Elba grew in size, making access to the smaller ports impossible; this was all to the advantage of Portoferraio, which boasted a large port where big mercantile and military ships had been docking since the early 1900s. Thus, the Piombino-Portoferraio line became well-established, as well as a less trafficked route (served only by Toremar for the sake of territorial continuity) that connected Porto Azzurro-Rio Marina-Piombino.
In recent years, interest in the extension of the route from Rio Marina to Porto Azzurro has dropped off, so the extension was abolished and the route became Rio Marina-Piombino. Until the ’70s, the port of Cavo was a stop served by the Aethalia ferry, where passengers were transferred to the shore in a folksy manner in rowing boats. Then the Toremar line was created for hydrofoil passengers and a Moby car ferry line has also served the Piombino-Cavo route since 2010. However, the port of departure for the Island of Elba has always been Piombino, since it is extremely close to Elba, is fairly sheltered, and is a suitable size to accommodate the growing traffic for Elba. In the past, there was also a weekly Livorno-Portoferraio connection operated by Toremar, but this only ran for a few years.
Nowadays, therefore, the following ports connect the Island of Elba with:
- Piombino– Portoferraio
- Piombino– Rio Marina
- Piombino– Cavo