Enchanting Elba Island

If you are sailing along the west coast of Italy, you’d be hard-pressed not to run into Elba. It sticks out like a big ink blob in this popular Tuscan region of Italy. Students of European history will ask ‘Hey, isn’t that where Napoleon was exiled?’ Indeed it is! But for a couple of non-history majors, all Karen and I were looking for was a rest stop on the great water super-highway to Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre. If I had a dollar for every time someone had suggested to us – when they learned that we were going to sail around Italy – that we should visit Cinque Terre, I’d be a mighty rich man. But getting all the way north to Cinque Terre requires a bit of time and a comfortable weather window. Elba was the perfect halfway point from our start at the southern end of Corsica. With two 75 mile hops, separated by a little R&R at Elba, we’d be in the Five Lands in no time!

Yet, like so many other times this summer, the particular ports-of-call that guide books and online forums had played down turned out to be unexpectedly extraordinary. Dare I say, enchanting?!

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