Rio Marina is a small town on Elba Island and was, for many years, the centre of mining activities on the island. Today, it is a municipality of approx. 2000 inhabitants where the traditional atmosphere of Italian towns still prevails.
Choosing to stay in Rio Marina means immersing yourself in an authentic reality. In the summer, the population of the town increases (as it does all over the island), but holidaymakers are not the only ones who come to Rio. All the native-born persons who live elsewhere for reasons related to work or family, also come back. Linked as it is to its mining history, the history of the town will undoubtedly inspire you to visit the old Mining Park, the entrance of which is just a few steps away from the Waldensian House. The visit begins at the museum, which occupies the first floor of Palazzo Burò. In addition to a vast collection of minerals, it also offers an insight into the world of the miners through scenes reconstructed with materials found at old work sites. The visit continues on the little railway to the quarries where pyrites were once extracted and where visitors will be invited to extract their own mineral sample with a pickaxe. In Rio nell’Elba, just a few kilometres from Rio Marina, the public wash-house is worth a visit. It was once a place of socialization for the women as they did their washing, and for the miners who stopped to wash up after their workshifts. The Hermitage of St Catherine of Alessandria, a Romanesque place of meditation that was restructured in 1634, is also near Rio nell’Elba. Today, the hermitage houses a cultural foundation that occasionally organizes exhibitions. Adjacent to the hermitage complex, it is also possible to visit the botanical garden, Orto dei Semplici, and its collection of typical plants of the island. If you want to delve into night life, you can spend an evening at Capoliveri or Porto Azzurro, two towns that are just a few kilometres from Rio Marina and are famous for their lively night life and fashionable boutiques.