An arm of the sea crossed by great men. First by Cosimo I, in the Renaissance. Cosmopoli was born from its expansionist aims, the impregnable jewel with fortresses designed by the best architects along the lines of the myth of Utopia by Thomas Moore. Since then a lot of water has passed under the bridge.

And yesterday Eike Schmidt, the director of the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, made an inspection of a few hours with a light and promising luggage. The 'diffuse museum ', in addition to touching Montecatini, Livorno, the Medici Villa of Careggi, Rapolano, Siena, it seems to have also reached Portoferraio. The jump also took it Eugenio Giani, president of the Tuscany Region, who knows history.

And let's face it, even if in a post-pandemic era the stretch of sea that separates us from the coast is a tourist attraction, an extra help does not hurt. Let us remember that a few days ago, on February 27, 1815, Napoleon was walking along it to leave.


Cultural and political synergies work on post-pandemic revitalization and the promotion of cultural tourism. Unity is strength. In this case it can be said. It was the collaboration between different political subjects that led Schmidt and Giani to the Strong Falcone di Portoferraio, which will host a temporary exhibition dedicated to the bicentenary of Napoleon's death, which took place on May 5, 1821; there is talk of a group of nineteenth-century paintings kept in the Uffizi deposits.

“This is the first step, then we'll think about something more structural,” says Schmidt. Eugenio Giani relaunches: “We will make a regional law on the project of the Uffizi spread in Tuscany, after all, Minister Franceschini is also thinking of something similar at national level”.

For the Municipality of Portoferraio it is "a great opportunity, the first step for the enhancement of our cultural heritage", says the councilor for Culture Nadia Mazzei. The trait d'union Marco Landi, Elban regional councilor, did it. In this way, the circle of a fruitful transversal collaboration has been closed.

And so Portoferraio saw the stretch of sea that separates it from the continent shorten. As far as I'm concerned it was a great emotion. Because I have been a tour guide of Florence since 2007, 14 years spent among the masterpieces. The Uffizi was my second home. Then last May, due to a pandemic, I moved to Elba trying to reinvent myself in some way and suffering greatly from the lack of art that dialogues with the soul. Everything I would have expected unless the Uffizi would come here. Right at Forte Falcone, which I can almost touch from the window of my house.

Art will save us, we like to think so.

Cover photo: Communication consultancy Images and Words. Event organization