Dodecanese Islands – Part 2

After sailing from the port of Rhodes and stopping in Symi and the Turkish coast, we spent the rest of the week on four smaller islands – Nisyros, Tilos, Chalki, and Alimia.  Nisyros, known for its volcanic crater, is over over 150,000 years old.  The crater “valley” was pretty impressive, spanning almost two miles wide.  The largest of the craters is called Stefanos and activity is still visible today with its steaming pots and bubbling waters.  Tilos is known for its little port town of Livadia, with a large rocky beach and charming seaside restaurants.  Chalki had perhaps the best village (bearing the same name), where the colorful buildings seem to disappear directly into the water, sort of like the houses and hotels in Venice. It is a popular tourist port in the Dodecanese Islands and we saw everything from small fishing boats to large, multimillion dollar yachts.  Our last, but certainly not least, stop on our seven day sailing trip was the uninhabited island of Alimia.  Alimia, which means “one more” in Greek (it is considered an additional island to Chalki), was the site of a German/Italian WWII post, but is now a peaceful bay where boaters stop to swim on the way back to Rhodes.  We stayed the night in the bay and grilled out on our homemade campfire.

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La Vita e’ [davvero] Bella on Elba Island

View of Portoferraio - arrival and departure point on Elba

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.

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