04 August, 2010


Both Nelson and Napoleon visited Elba. Napoleon stayed only a few months but has left his mark although not much remains of his except the two villas. The best at Palazzina dei Mulini which is on the hillside overlooking the entrance to the harbour of Portoferraio. I found his military camp bed the most interesting item. Made from steel with ornate silver add-ons plus a canopy. The whole thing dismantled into two round leather containers which some unfortunate solder would have had to carry. The rest of the object OK but the location wonderful. The balance of the island hasn't much history as far as I could see.
We arrived at Elba from the Island Capraia and anchored in the Gulf de Campo right next to Threshold. The next day we took the local bus clockwise round the island visiting Marciana which has the best icecream on the island made by the owner of the shop right in front of your eyes. From there to Marciana Marina then back to Marina di Campo. A good days land travel.
We sailed anticlockwise to Azzurro past the old iron ore mines right on the coast and anchored in the bay. Not good holding for the wind came up and the yachts where dragging their anchors, one crossed our chain and we were dragging next to him. After some good anchor practice (four attempts) one to get out of the way of a large stink boat who picked up some chain and spent half a hour disentangling their anchor. We finally put ours down which was to hold for four days while we toured the island by bus. Right to the north of the island and to Portoferraio.
We spent a few days at Golfo del Viticcio while the calm weather lasted and swam in the warm water. Elba ha some charm being covered in trees and mountainous but not the great attraction the guide books claim and Nelson was right he would not like to see the island again (or was that Corsica?)

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