A name written on the iron: here’s why Elba Island is called in this way

iron island

Its name remains impressed in mind (and the same it’s for its panoramas and its coasts, sights which you can’t easily forget). Bu the curiosity remains. Many people ask, while they’re spending their holiday there, why Elba Island is called in this way. And probably you’re asking yourself the same.

The ancient Greeks – Aithàle, Aithàleia and Anithalia was three names used by the ancient Greeks to call the isle. All of them hail from the greek word “aithàle”, which means “soot”. The connection is with the iron, which the subsoil of Elba was full of and that was extracted even in that era.

For the Latin – Eras changed, but Elba remained known mostly for its mineralogical treasures hidden in its subsoil, but its name changed the meaning: from aithàle it became Ilva. Which hail from the Ilvatis, a population which ethnicity belongs to Ligurians who lived in the isle during the protohistoric era.

During Middle Ages – Here we get close to the official and definitive name of the island. In fact, Ilva became Ilba and the Helba during Middle Ages.

That’s why Elba Island it’s called in this way. Today the mines are disused. But this very ancient past still relives, especially in places as the Mining Park of Rio Marina.


Image source: Flickr.com/photos/smiling_da_vinci

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