Last weekend a group of CCI students travelled to the biggest island off the coast of Tuscany, Elba. I would like to thank Mr. Ciufo, Mr. Knapp, and Ms. Tozzi for organizing and leading the trip. This is their story:
On Friday morning, after a warm cappuccino and a fragrant croissant, we were on the road excited for the adventure we were going to have.
To break up the very long drive we stopped at the Mill Falls of Saturnia (Tuscany). The place was truly magical. It was discovered by the Etruscans nearly three thousand years ago, and has been in continual use since. Their ancient legend says that the God Saturn, upset at the aggressive and war-like behaviour of humans, called for a thunderbolt to strike the Earth. The heat of the lighting bolt created a spring of warm and clean thermal water: the Mill Falls. His intention was to create a place so beautiful that it would have the power to make every person who bathed there happier and wiser. And, to be honest, after few hours spent in those warm waters, we felt truly reconnected with nature and with each other.
Feeling rejuvenated, we jumped back on the bus and reached the Port of Piombino to board the ferry.
Finally we arrived on Elba Island, tired but happy.
Our hotel rooms were simple and a bit austere, but when in the morning we opened the windows, and saw in front of us the most beautiful of landscapes. We were surrounded by a little pine tree forest overlooking a bay with clear water and a tiny fishing port. The smell of pinecones, the clear blue of the sea, and the green of the hills reminded us that we came to a Mediterranean paradise.
So, we quickly ran to the beach and spent the rest of the morning swimming, riding paddleboats, sunbathing and chatting; all the while enjoying the last beach day of the season.
In the afternoon we visited Capanne Mountain, and with a funicular we reached the highest point on Elba. The ride was exciting, and the view from the top surprising. We overlooked the entire Island. We recognized the silhouette of Montecristo Island and, further in the blue sea, the sinuous profile of the mainland. We were literally walking in the air. After the mountain we bussed down to the small beach town of Marina di Campo where we enjoyed some time to peruse the boutiques and sit down to an elegant dinner.
The next day we drove to the biggest town on Elba, Portoferraio. There we visited the residence that Napoleon Bonaparte chose for his exile. He lived on the island from 1814 to 1815 and his “prison” still preserves some original furniture: his bed camp, his sister Paolina's bedroom and ball gown, the studio with his desk and books, and a beautiful terrace overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Not bad for house arrest...
After a few hours of exploration in the port area of Portoferraio, we were ready to board the ferry and drive back home.
We arrived in Lanciano on Sunday night, tired but enriched. The students seemed very grateful to their families for this great opportunity, so were the teachers for having travelled with such an amazing group of students. Mr. Ciufo, Mr. Knapp and Ms. Tozzi would like to thank everyone for our great time together!