La Vita e’ [davvero] Bella on Elba Island

Our friends from Salt Lake City, Sharisse and Garett came to visit us for a week!  After some summer grilling, limoncello drinking, acetaia (balsamic vinegar factory) touring, Ferrari driving, pizza eating, and site-seeing around Firenze and Bologna, we set off for the Island of Elba.  Elba, which is located just about 6 miles off the coast of Tuscany in the Mediterranean Sea, is a real tropical paradise.  The 3rd largest island in Italy (after Sicilia and Sardegna), Elba has both mountains and water.  Really is there a better combination? The island is most famous for being the place of Napoleon’s exile in 1814.  After signing the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Napoleon’s reign as emperor ended and he was sent to Elba, where he remained for 300 days.  He, of course, made one last stand shortly thereafter (Waterloo) where he was ultimately defeated.

The ferry port in Portoferraio

We took the ferry to and from Portoferraio, the main port on the north side of Elba Island.  Luckily, the ferry takes cars as well, so we were able to see a lot of the island while we were there. We had 3 days of incredible weather, great food, and a really good time with close friends.  Overall, the weekend was pretty perfect.

Our ferry – the Moby Baby – It’s kind of like a C5, eh?

Ferry ride

Garett and Sharisse

View of Portoferraio – arrival and departure point on Elba

Us on the ferry

This guy followed us for a good 45 min on the ferry

Close up

We arrived at our resort for the weekend, the Hotel del Golfo (which we highly recommend!) and the view and the grounds were spectacular.

Overlooking the bay of Procchio (where we stayed)

View of our resort from above

Taking a walk around the hotel grounds

Elba was beautiful – reminded us of Hawaii

The view from our hotel balcony

The hotel pool (cold, but nice)

I don’t know what this is, but it’s gorgeous!

On Saturday, we made plans to go kayaking on the Mediterranean, but after driving the short distance to Marciana Marina (just west of Procchio, where we stayed), we found out there weren’t any more kayaks.  We patiently waited for about 30 minutes to no avail and decided to head back.  I was slightly disappointed, but Sharisse and I decided to bum it on the beach, while the guys went for a scooter tour of the island. Here are some shots from Bobby and Garett’s scooter excursion:

A village in the mountainous (central) region of Elba

Safety first!

Lonely ship

Another bay from their scooter tour

View of Elba

My favorite pano that Bobby took on his tour

And a couple from our beach lounging:

Bumming it

Not a bad view from the beach

The last night, we drove over to Portoferraio to have dinner by the bay.  We arrived right at sunset and got to see the largest sailboat any of us have ever seen!

Bay of Portoferraio

Bay of Portoferraio

The only group photo we took :/

We estimated this sailboat to be about 80 feet. It was the largest we’ve ever seen!