It was tempting not to share any entry on our holidays in Tuscany as I find that it requires a lot of time as well as extreme patience to write a holiday entry given the number of pictures I usually take and the subsequent selection process this entails. And when an entry takes too long to finish … the inclination to share soon starts to disappear almost as quickly as it came!
Of course, I could also learn not to take too many photos during our trips … which would then make it easier for me to select the photos that I want to share on this blog. But since I have NOT learnt to do so, I will therefore continue to have to spend time writing my travelogue lah … as was the case with this account of our holiday in Tuscany. Oh well … as the hubby has told me a couple of times … nobody is forcing me to write and share photos of our trip! hehehe … 😀
And since I had not shared anything more than an outline of the Italian trip that we did last summer with the hubby’s family … so I had made a promise to myself that I would try and write something on the holiday we had in Tuscany this summer. So here is the first entry on our trip to the region of Tuscany, Italy.
Island of Elba (or Isola d’Elba in Italian) … where we ended spending more than two-thirds of our nine days holiday in northern/central Italy. The daddy-man had initially wanted to go back to his favourite seaside resort of Monterosso Al Mare in Cinque Terre … but he proposed a change of itinerary when we got close to Cinque Terre.
I did not know of the existence of this island … until the daddy-man mentioned that he would like to go there. As he was keen to visit the island … and as I had already been to Cinque Terre last year … I was, therefore, more than happy to go along with the change in plan! 🙂
The ferry ride from Piombino to Portoferraio reminded the hubby and I of the ferry rides that we did when we went to Gozo and to Sicily during our holiday in Malta in 2011. And then we took the ferries with the daddy-man, too, as we did this time round … because the mum had decided not to follow us on that trip, too. It is interesting to see how certain things get repeated … almost like a déjà-vu! hehehe …
After having disembarked from the ferry in Portoferraio and found a place to park the car, we proceeded to look for the tourist office … so that we could inquire about hotel accommodation.
We were recommended a few hotels … and after looking at the pictures in the brochures, we decided to check out the hotels at an area called San Marina del Campo. Unfortunately, when we reached the area … we could not find the hotels that were recommended to us … and the ones which we had asked were either a little too expensive to suit us … or had no vacancy.
Fortunately for us, however, … a friendly receptionist at one of the hotels we had called at, who must have taken pity on us seeing our disappointment at having been told that her hotel was fully occupied too, told us that she had a friend (in fact, her boyfriend) who might be able to put us up in a 2-bedroom apartment situated near the beach in an area called Cavoli, which she said was about a 10-minute drive from there. As it was getting late, we thought that we had no choice but to go and see the place. So she helped to call and make the arrangement for us.
The place (Cavoli) was not as near to San Marina del Campo as she had told us …
… but … with a view like this (the picture was taken from a private road leading to the beach house from the main road) …, well, we were more than happy to stay here than at San Marina del Campo! 😀 Even more so when we found out that the 2-bedrooms apartment was actually located in a beach house that had a private beach of its own! Oh wow …
The house with the red roof was where our apartment was located and the small beach on the left belonged to the owner of the beach house. We only used that beach once as the daddy-man preferred to be at the public beach on the right.
So this was where we stayed on the island of Elba. Our hosts stayed on the upper floor while we stayed on the lower floor.
The bottom left picture shows the daddy-man talking to our host and owner of this beach house on the upper terrace. The view from that terrace was beautiful and I was very lucky to have been able to go up there twice.
A shot taken in the evening from one of the terraces on the lower floor that has an unobstructed view of the sea …
… and at sunset.
As it had rained the night before, on our second last day on the island … we thus got to see a rainbow above the bay at Cavoli as we were about to go out for a little sightseeing drive.
It really is a beautiful place … Cavoli. So it was not surprising that the daddy-man and the hubby decided to extend our stay on the island — and at this beach house — from just a mere few days to one full week … as they liked the place so much!
I liked the place and the island, too … and so I did not mind extending our stay in Elba, as it would mean that there would be more time for us to explore the island. There are certainly several attractions that one could visit on the island … including the house where Napoléon Bonaparte had stayed while he was in exile on the island.
Unfortunately, we ended up spending most of our time on the beach and in the sea … more than I would have liked. And I came home looking very tanned (even though I hid under the parasol for most of the time) … much to my dismay because I hate becoming tanned! 😦
Nonetheless, we managed to get the father to do some sightseeing on the morning after we had arrived on the island and, again, on the second last morning before we would leave the island of Elba.
A beautiful view from a village called Marciana.
The hubby got the daddy-man to stop here, at Marciana (the original settlement built on the safety of the hills), for a few minutes (when we were driving around looking for a nice place to have lunch) … so that we could snap some photos of the beautiful landscape.
We then made our way to the seaside offshoot of Marciana, called Marciana Marina.
We went for another sightseeing drive around the island one day before we left the island. The daddy-man drove eastwards towards a small resort area called Porto Azzurro.
It was a good thing that we did not stay in San Marina del Campo as we had had initially intended to … but had instead rented an apartment at the beautiful bay at Cavoli.
This is because I found Porto Azzurro to be so much nicer than San Marina del Campo, despite it being a much smaller resort … and so I think that I would have been dismayed if we had ended up staying in San Marina del Campo when we could have stayed here!
We spent more than an hour in Porto Azzurro, having a quick drink, doing a bit of shopping … and we also took a walk to the other side of the small harbour …
… to check out the views from there. It was lovely … and at the end of a small path which we had decided to follow, I could see some remnants of an old fortress (Longone Fortress).
And then, on our way back from Porto Azzurro, we got the daddy-man to stop at this lookout point so that we could take some photos of the beautiful landscape from there.
We noticed a narrow path nearby and decided to follow it. It led us to the edge of the cliff, which afforded us another view of the island’s beautiful coastline.
We were not the only ones who had decided to check out the views from this point as there were already several cars parked in the area when we arrived.
There are, in fact, many lookout points on this island which would have made for a lovely photo stop. It would have been nice to be able to stop at these points as well as in several other places so that one can better enjoy the lovely sea view as well as the beautiful landscape of the island. Unfortunately, as the daddy-man was the one who was doing the driving, we could not expect him to do so for us all the time lah!
And for this reason, I could definitely understand why we could see many visitors to the island, especially from Austria and Germany (according to our host) … who chose to cycle around the island. Although going up and down the hilly terrain might pose quite a big challenge to me … I have to agree with the hubby that it would have been nice to be able to cycle around the island. Maybe … we could do so on our next visit to the island … if ever or whenever that might be lah! hehehe … 😀
Soon … it was time to leave the island. Although it had been lovely spending time relaxing on the beach and learning to swim (not very successfully, unfortunately! :)) at beautiful Cavoli, … I must say, however, that I was quite eager for us to start making our way to Florence …. which was where the hubby and I had initially planned to go.
While waiting for the car to be ushered into the waiting ferry … I decided to get out to take a few snapshots of the harbour area in Portoferraio. And I was too engrossed with taking photos that I nearly got left behind! 🙂
And then … it was time to say arrivederci Isole d’Elba! Hopefully … there will be a next time! 🙂
Related entries on the Tuscany region in Italy:
- Outline of our holidays in Tuscany 7-15 September 2013 (hubby’s account)
- Isola d’Elba … our stay in Cavoli …
- Our Italian escapade… in beautiful Tuscany…
- Our Italian escapade… the sights and sounds of Siena…