The Foresiana Library

Created by Napoleon donation of his own library, the Foresiana Library has been improved over the centuries with the high value volumes of the humanist Mario Foresi.

The Foresiana Library gathers Napoleon’s private library (about 2000 volumes) that was donated by the Emperor to Portoferraio at the end of his stay in the island: pieces of history, literature, military arts, geography, legislation and Greek and Latin classics coming from the Fointainebleau castle.

It was soon opened to the public on 1815 but it lost several volumes after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.

From the Italian Unification, the Portoferraio Municipality together with the Ministry of Public Education have worked together in order to increase the Library by enhancing the number of volumes: all intellectuals men and citizens were asked to donate their pieces. The humanist Mario Foresi gave 14000 volumes of great importance enhancing the collection quite a lot.

At the Foresiana Library, you can examine in depth the Island and its people, thanks to the area devoted to Elba and Tuscan Archipelago and by consulting the ancient newspapers.


How to get there

Starting from Piazza Cavour, run along the Town Hall and go up to “Salita Napoleone”. The steep road on the left side leads to the large square of the De Laugier Cultural Center.

Opening times

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 9 AM to 12 PM

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 3 PM to 6 PM


Free admission





Salita Napoleone