A New Paradise – The Island of Elba

We have fallen in love…with the Island of Elba.  OK,  a year ago I said I was in love with Ischia and that Ischia was paradise, and then that the Blue Grotto of Capri was my favourite.  Now those places pale to my new favourite… the Island of Elba.

I had first heard of “Elba” from our friends at the Agritourismo Poggio Asciutto as it is Massimo’s home territory.  To me, “Elba” did not sound too exciting.  Not like “Tuscany” or “Rome”.  It only seemed to be famous for a brief residency of Napoleon. For us, it turned out to be way more interesting than Napoleon’s backyard.

I think I mentioned in my earlier post that we could sit in our kitchen/living area of our apartment at the “Mini Hotel” and have a front row seat of the Mediterranean sea along with pine trees, palm trees and even cactus on the land below.  To me, the water lover, it felt like paradise.

Since we both were like the blind leading the blind on an unknown Island, we did not discover the beautiful beach of Cavoli until our last full day.  Our first reaction was… WOW! ….ok, I have used this word too much, but it is … WOW!  A long stretch of sand, granite rocks… water graduating from clear to aqua to Mediterranean blue could only be described as WOW!  I tentatively crept down to water level to test the temperature.  Oh my!… it was (almost) warm.  It was also deserted since, apparently, it is not warm to the native Islanders.

Luigi and I quickly changed into our swimming suits (before I changed my mind) and ventured in.  Amazing. The water was clear. I could see the small fish swarming around my feet and legs.  Eeew. It almost made me bolt for the beach, but I could never live that down.  To sum it up…we spent a wonderful day at Cavoli Beach on the Island of Elba, but don’t tell anyone cuz we want to keep it a secret.   Incidentally, the ancient Romans knew of the beach. That is where they got their granite columns for the Pantheon and other monuments in Rome!

Despite the “warm” swim, we did not last long in the water so, after Luigi took his required one hundred or so photos of the area, and rock scrambled around, we headed to unexplored territory. Marciana Marina. A small marina, similar to the others on the Island, but still with a unique personality of it’s own. We wandered through town and the marina which were almost deserted except for a few locals. One of the only shops in town was open and sold, guess what, gelato! What luck. It was almost better than the gelato “artisan” in Florence.

We are now on our way to southern Tuscany to truly unknown territory (with a history that goes back to the Neolithic, the fourth millenium BC, i.e. 6,000 year ago!).  We will spend four days near Pitigliano.  I think we will need to buy a few more camera memory cards 🙂

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