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If you’ve not heard of Elba it’s probably cause the other two larger Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia have stolen the majority of glory. If you studied history or are reasonably well read you’d know Elba was the exiled home, for a short period of time, for Napoleon.

I can’t speak highly enough of Elba having been there twice now for a vacation two years running, sure it is not such a long stretch to get there from Milan, but it holds much more than convenience.

Without doubt mountainous Elba has the most crystal clears waters I have ever seen, the beaches are delightful (if a little expensive for sun beds or lettini) and the food, providing you know how to eat Italian of course, thus be able to find a suitable place, is Tuscan, which is delicious.

Getting to Elba for me, coming from Milan, is a case of hooking up with a ferry from Piombino, though there is an airport on the island. I’m not sure of the destinations although having said that Elba has become a package holiday paradise in recent years with flocks of germans arriving in their droves during august, best time I would say is early July, yeah take the kids out of school early, go on!

Elba is said to have some of the best wines in Tuscany, and the romans in fact named Elba “the island of good wines”, and with that being said I just ask for a ltr of the house red or house white, it never disappoints and comes in a jug, as all house wines do in Italy, again this depends if you can pick the good places to eat.

For eating I never look for some splendid looking place in town but rather choose an old beaten up place full of locals, and being conversant in Italian I ask the people where they eat, often the locals will have a cousin working in a tasty place nearby.

Due to control from various colonies ranging from French Spanish Turkish to name just a few, Elba maintains a rich cultural melting pot, though very much Italian, but relentlessly beach oriented which is exactly why I visit the place.

Elba is a top spot for staying in your swimming trunks for the duration, in the height of summer only mad dogs and Englishman would go out in the midday sun away from the sea which is warmer than a heated swimming pool! (yup no kidding)

Let me know if you ever get there.