The first time I saw the island of Elba was from above: I was on a plane flying south from Milan. We flew over the stretch of sea between the mainland and the island, and I admired its distinctive shape with three points – the longest stretching westwards, looking towards Corsica...
We’re still travelling around Italy’s islands, or at least those from my memories, where I’ve spent long holidays or even just a couple of days. I’d love to bring to life for you the Mediterranean ambience of our archipelagos, which in my opinion are some of the most beautiful in the world... And I know that many people share my view.
I’m digging quite deep in my memory this time around: that summer on the island of Elba, I might not even have been twenty years old.
We were a little group of three friends who loved the sea but also – at that age – nightlife too (of course). Evenings started while we were still on the beach and continued with drinks, and then heading to a nightclub – more to meet new people than to dance.
And maybe to charm a few girls by making up imaginary stories to impress them – that was one of my specialities, since you know I’m a sucker for a good story...
I remember one time, in particular, with three girls from Livorno. We spent the whole night chatting while waiting for the first ferry at dawn – it was our new friends’ last day on the island, perhaps the shortest example of friendship in the history of summer friendships. 😂
I mentioned stories just now – I remember I was giving it all that, claiming a plot line that I’d seen in a TV show as my own... well, we were just kids, you can let me off.
My favourite part of the island was the northern coast. I remember white pebbles and a transparent, crystal-clear sea at Capobianco Beach near Portoferraio. And memorable sunsets behind the cliffs of the Capobianco promontory – the sun really plunges into the sea here.
That summer might have been the first time I realised how much I loved that cathartic, contemplative moment when the sun disappears below the horizon. A slow farewell to the day as it ends, a chance for a little existential appraisal.
I also remember stuffing myself with boiled octopus bought straight from the carts parked up along the narrow streets of Portoferraio: perhaps the earliest example of street food, at least for me.
If you’re on holiday – like (almost) all of us Italians – I hope you have a great time. Okay, even if you’ve stayed at home!
Hugs! Ciao ❤️