Up to 1947 Porto Azzurro kept the ancient name of Portolongone, denomination assigned to the village when founded in 1603 by Philip III° of Spain who intended to transform it into a fortress to protect his territories.
Today Porto Azzurro appears to be a typical fishermen village, surrounded by golden beaches and by the dark blue colored sea-waters of Piombino’s channel. The main characteristic of this village resides in its capacity to offer many hints of staying, being characterized not only by an abundant natural endowment, but, at the same time, by a precious and varied artistic-cultural one.
Strolling in the narrow alleys and intricate streets of the historic center, your attention might be immediately attracted by an imposing building, the famous Saint James Fortress (Forte San Giacomo). This structure was built in 1602 as a defense from the increasing attacks of the Saracen pirates, and, indeed, served for a long time such an important function of detection and protection, “assignment” which has been kept till the first years of nineteenth century, when it was abandoned and transformed into a state prison.
If you desire to relax and lie down to get sun tanning, then your favorite beaches shall certainly be those of Barbarossa, Reale and Terranera, otherwise if you desire to discover the many places of the island, then you may go on a trip by boat, visiting hidden coves and doing snorkeling and diving to discover the magnificent sea beds of the island.
After such an eventful day, at evening you, if still charged with energy, can just throw yourself into the long and amusing nights of Porto Azzurro; the village, in fact, is provided with any kind of entertainment and in the summer time many are the organized events and opportunities to make the nights more enjoyable.