Around early April, a group of my girlfriends and I were sitting around on our butts one Monday night, drinking copious amounts of wine and verbally abusing our European boyfriends (as you do) when someone had the brilliant idea of a girl’s weekend away to the island of Elba, just off the Tuscan coast . Now, since you’ve never met my group of friends, let me just tell you something about them–they are all very lovely, classy, and fabulous ladies. The problem is, we are all generally full of shit when it comes to making plans, and even worse when it comes to all of us getting time off from our ridiculously hectic schedules to follow through on said plans. However, it just so happened that all of us were very determined to GET TIME OFF, since by this point in the year all of us were all in dire need of a vacation. So with a little planning, and our powers combined…WE ARE CAPTAIN PLANET! Well, not really, but that would have been a cool start to our Elba Island getaway.
Elba is one of those hidden gems that most tourists visiting Tuscany for the first time have never even heard of. Swarms of Italians flood the beaches of Isola d’Elba each summer, taking the 12 mile ferry ride from Piombino to arrive at their various beach houses for the month, where they will slather on the oil and work on getting so bronzato (tanned) that their miserable friends stuck in Florence will be consumed with jealousy by summer’s end. Elba is actually quite a large island, the third largest after Sicily and Sardinia, making it the perfect place for taking an afternoon drive into the hills and getting lost on a private beach somewhere.
So we packed up K’s methane-powered beast of a car, kissed our boys goodbye, and made the 2 hour drive from Florence to the port of Piombino for our highly anticipated Elba vacation. Arriving mid-morning, we plugged in the GPS and headed off to our apartment rental to check in, and immediately hunt out some seafood for lunch.
Once fed and watered with the local fare, we set off in to explore our new home for the weekend. First stop, Capoliveri. Along the way, we found some very interesting local artwork that we couldn’t resist checking out. (SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t like profanities, stop reading this blog immediately and go back to your nunnery.)
It’s good to know that Italian art didn’t die along with the Renaissance.
Anyways, after we wandered around Capoliveri a bit more, we decided to head back to our cozy little apartment and get our booze on. Luckily, our apartment was conveniently located next to a) an awesome restaurant with delicious pizzas, and b) a grocery store to stock up on snacks and vino. Saturday morning we woke up ready to head to the beach, so we hopped in the car and went off in search of a spiaggia. Luckily, those were about as hard to find as a gay man at a Madonna concert, and just as pretty!
Throughout the weekend, we beach hopped, swam in the frigid water of Capo Bianco, napped on the sand, hunted for sea glass, got drunk, took inappropriate pictures involving butts and fedoras, and ate enough food to satisfy even the pushiest Italian nonna. I’d go into more detail, but I’ve sufficiently bored myself with my words so I will just post some more pictures to do my job for me. By Sunday afternoon, the rain had started to fall and so we packed up our things and shlepped ourselves back to Florence, where I discovered that my English-born boyfriend had convinced his mate that Elba Island was, in fact, an island of lesbians, making for some really strange conversations at the bar on Sunday until I figured out what was going on.