This weekend me and four girlfriends headed to one of the seven jewels of the Tuscan Archipelago, Elba Island. We all represent the stereotype of the overworked, underpaid expat so discovering a slice of paradise not far from Florence was just what the wine-doctor ordered. I didn’t know much about Elba before going but I jumped at the chance for an affordable girls trip and really just wanted to relax on the beach with my beloved kindle.
I can honestly say that I did not expect Elba as beautiful as it was, I was blown away by the intense nature, beautiful beaches and colorful small towns. We were in heaven as soon as we arrived and wasted no time in dropping our things at the apartment and set off immediately to explore the town of Capoliveri.
Capoliveri is a gem of a town high up in elevation and fully encompasses the feel of a lazy beach town that happens to have stunning panoramic views of the Island. Walking around consists of poking your head down tiny streets that open to incredible views, vines wrapped around buildings, cool street art and friendly people. Dinner was the next things on our minds so we headed to the restaurant near our apartment and what was on the menu? Seafood of course, and nothing is better than spaghetti alla vongole veraci , spaghetti with clams. Simple, full of flavor and is a perfect example of why Italian food really is the best in the world.
While still in the midst of a seafood and fizzy white wine heaven, we explored our little apartment hotel located near Marina di Campo. May is typically a lot less expensive than the touristy summer months when the price doubles. We happened to get lucky that it only really rained on Sunday and thus spent Saturday beach hopping and listening to 90’s tunes via actual real CD’s; sometimes it fun to visit other decades technology.
We spent the morning hanging out at one of many pretty beaches while some of us collected pretty stones and porcelain to use (you can thank Pinterest for that) for crafts or decoration. While doing so we also happened to catch a glimpse of quite an array of colorful speedos and thongs. I got this great shot below which perfectly represents the complete “bunga bunga” Italian stereotype. An attractive young girl in the company of three old men in colorful bathing suits, mamma mia!
After enjoying the view (literally) we decided to find the famous Capo Bianco white beach near the port where we originally arrived. We ended up getting a little sidetracked by a cute outdoor market and the strong temptation of a Bloody Mary and a chat with a cute waiter.
Luckily for us, the waiter wasn’t just easy on the eyes but also helpful, he gave us directions to Capo Bianco and I am so thankful he did because it’s possibly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and our friend with the car was snaking some pretty scary streets backwards with a stick shift. Covered in white rocks, huge cliffs, and possibly the most gorgeous clear blue waters I have ever laid my eyes upon, was the famous place. Move over Mexico, Elba just may have you beat ;).
Honestly we couldn’t get enough of having this beach practically to ourselves, some of us decided to go for a swim. Even 6 feet deep you could see straight to the bottom. On Sunday, our last day, we ended up with not so great weather so we decided to have one last really good pranzo and check out Napolean’s Villa. Lunch was in a pretty town near the port and we each got gnocchi with crab…and of course I had to have dessert.
Elba is probably most famous due to being the place where Napoleon was exiled after his defeat at Waterloo (not a bad place to be banished I have to say). He was given the title of Emperor of Elba in 1814 and was accompanied by a full staff in a large villa but apparently this wasn’t enough for old Napoleon. He stuck to his roots and ended up escaping the island in 1815 and after being caught yet again, was sent to an even more remote island in the Atlantic, Saint Helena.
After leaving Elba, I was already plotting my next trip back, perhaps in September when the weather is still warm but the crowds have thinned, all I know is, this is a place worth visiting over and over again.
My only dream is to be one day forcibly exiled there myself… pretty please?