Isole d’Elba

23 Oct
2009

Today is Friday and after work and moving furniture around at Villa Vallone where they’re going to be commencing restorative work on Monday, we left for Isole d’Elba from Piombino to spend the weekend at the resort where Giorgio’s father, Piermario, manages the winery Tenute di Ripalte. We were a group of seven: Giorgio, Francesca, Camila, Greta, Helena, Francesca and myself.

We missed the 9pm boat by only a few minutes so grabbed a caffe’ and bought the tickets for the 10pm boat. On arrival an hour later at Portoferraio we took off with the ute and grabbed the green Fiat panda left in the carpark that belongs to Piermario and drove off into the buio (darkness), passing most of the time along dirt roads that curved their way dangerously along the coast’s cliff edge. We arrived at the hotel before midnight and found our gorgeous rooms awaiting us: Greta and I crashed together on the matrimonial bed and slept in as the hotel is closed in this less busier period.

The itinerary for the following day was to check out the winery which is in the process of being built and is humungous and amazing. There’s like only 15 small tanks in it at the moment but clearly they have some spanners in the works for accommodating the amount of space they’re creating the winery for!
We all hopped onto the hotels 12-seater bus and drove along the southern coast of the island eventually reaching Campo nell’Elba. Its a coastal town but due to the fresh wind there weren’t that many people around and the chance of swimming was clearly rejected.

Afterwards, traversing along the countryside we made our way to Marciana where the girls found a marmelata shop that made weird but delicious combinations like Pear and Ciocolato, plum and rhum spreads! Onwards from here we made our way past more towns stopping at Villa San Martino – the residence of Napolean on this Elba Island. There wasn’t much to see there, just killing time before we were heading back to Capoliveri for dinner. Here Giorgio and I grabbed an aperativo whilst the other ladies checked out the rest of the main street. We eventually made our way down an old cobbled street to a restaurant that seats less than 20 people called Lo Sgarbo. Luca, the winemaker of Tenute di Ripalte was eating with us and once he joined the gang we ordered away! I chose well and for antipasto had fresh tuna with a light soy sauce on a bed of salad, eaten with an 08 Greco di Tufo white wine from Campania. Poi, for primo I got the tagliatelle white sauce pasta with black tartufo shavings on top. Bloody hell my nose was going crazy, the smell in that restaurant was unbelievable! For dolce, Greta and I went halvies and shared the chocolate and chilli cake, and castagnaccio – a thin cake made from Castagna flour, then you put pinenuts and rosemary on top…weird but delicious.
Back at the ranch we all climbed into bed after a long day of sightseeing and just as I was about to knock off to dreamland the door burst open and two people jumped into the bed between Greta and I! I heard the voice of one and realised it was my boss Giorgio and started laughing then called out for his daughter Camila as I thought it’d be her, but it was Francesca! We had a giggle then they jumped off, Giorgio in his undies…a very funny sight indeed!
We all took the extra hour that the loss of daylight savings gave us and slept in! After I awoke I prepared pancake batter for like the first time in my life thanks to the recipe mum sent me and whipped up a banana concoction too that worked a treat on top of some nutella spread.
Today we checked out all the villa’s as part of the Costa dei Gabbiani resort then drove along the more isolated part of the southern coast to a part where there were some private boats anchored in the bright blue sea with perfect rocky shores.
We stopped by one in particular and I wadded my feet in the water. The weather today could not have been more perfect. Really warm, not windy. Just right…Kellogs just right. If I had my bathers with me I would have swam for sure! After a cruisy day of sightseeing again we caught the 3pm boat just in time again back to Piombino. It’d been a good weekend away and great to see a part of Italy that is normally reserved for Italian’s on holiday or Germans.

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