Italy is one of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating destinations welcoming millions of tourists each year. We have all opened our Instagram feeds and at one point or another seen a stunning photo of Italy pop up and greet us. But am I the only one that feels we see the same places over and over again? Not necessarily that it’s a bad thing, Italy’s most visited cities have a lot to offer, and I am desperate to head back to these places as soon as possible. However, Italy is so much more than Venice, Tuscany, Rome and Milan. It’s more than just stunning lakes and views of Positano, and there are more islands than just Sicily and Sardinia!
Elba is an island I have known for many years, not because I had seen it in a magazine or in my friend’s holiday snaps, but because my grandparents visited many years ago and they still tell me how much they loved it.
2017 was finally the year I could visit the tiny island I had heard so much about and I couldn’t wait!
From the moment our ship sailed into the harbour I fell inlove wit the undulating hills, the Tuscan style village sprawled along the coast, and the turquoise tones of the Mediterranean Sea. Portoferraio, where I ship had sailed to, is too small to accommodate large cruise ships, so the Azura docked her anchor and we took a tender to the shore.
It was hot, VERY hot. This is something I really struggled with , but this part of Europe was in the midst of a record breaking heatwave, and I was travelling in the hottest month of the year. I didn’t know whether to turn left or right as I made it to the shore so instead we went straight on and up. It turns our we chose a good route, quieter because it was uphill, but as we reached the walls of the old town, the views were breathtaking!
The streets were quiet, the buildings traditional, we could hear the church bells ringing out as we passed people’s homes with their washing hanging out of every window. After walking back into the old town through the ever narrowing streets basked in sunlight, we found the waterfront. Fringed by small hotels, al fresco dining and quiet bars, the harbour was sprinkled with beautifully modest yachts. This really was the place to sit back and start people watching.
Unfortunately the heat beat me and I had to head back to the ship, I am just not used to walking around in 40 degree temperatures (yes I am a wuss). I guess the heat could be the biggest barrier to me going home immediately, selling all my belongings and buying a one way ticket to the island, but surely I would get used to it? I could always head to Iceland for the summer months…