Saturday, 6 September 2014

Exploring Elba Island

Elba Island is two train journeys & ferry away from Rome, and, if like me you can't call it a holiday unless a beach is involved, it's worth the five hour journey.

We stayed in Portoferraio, the island's main town. The port, town square and the beach were all within a five minute walk of our hotel, so we basically drifted between the three all week. It was heaven!




One of the nicest things about the island was that we didn't hear another English holiday maker. Not many people on Elba spoke English in fact, which made me feel so ignorant as I could barely pronounce simple pleasantries - it makes me want to pick up learning languages again!

We tried out Tripadvisor's no#1 beach recommendation in the area (Spiaggia de Sansone) and weren't blown away. To be fair, we'd gone on a cloudy day but the beach itself was nothing special in my opinion.


The restaurant on the cliff side of the beach however, was insane. The waitress didn't speak English so we sort of pointed and smiled at parts of meals we recognised. We ended up with a tuna lasagne, a king prawn ravioli and a bottle of local, dry white wine.





If you're staying in Portoferraio, go to BerBene Enoteca - it's a wine bar but it does great food too (try the anchovy bruschetta and the Ansonica white wine; a potent combination!)



Wanting to make the most of being on Elba, we hired a car for the day to explore. We ended up on the west side of the island at a place called Monte Capanne - the highest mountain in Tuscany. To get to the summit, you trundle to the top in a canary bird cage. I'm not joking. Look at this...



I'll admit that I was shitting myself pretty scared on the way up - you jog alongside the cage to get in it and it's quite shaky at times, but it's worth manning up and getting in it. The views at the top are awesome:








The journey back down was much calmer(!), and we set off in search for alcohol and a beach...


In the evenings we ate in the port, or in the town square just behind it. I couldn't fault any of the restaurants, in fact, I could've spent the whole trip sampling dishes from each place, the food was that delicious (note: I am carrying a pizza baby inside me as we speak, and really warming to the name Gelato if it's a girl)..


We sat and people watched at a place called Tender Bar, right on the port front, each night. A 'glass' (half a bottle) of prosecco will set you back all of three euros. On the last night the waitress didn't even ask us what we'd like to drink; she knew.


The sunrise on our last day:




Elba reminds me of a bigger version of Lopud Island. If you're visiting Rome or Pisa and you fancy yourself a bit of beach, big yachts and prosecco, put it on your to do list. 
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