Optional Trip to Elba

Optional Trip to Elba

Typically, CCI will run two optional trips each year. These trips are designed for students to experience a bit more of Italy, and Europe, while enrolled with us. This year, our first optional trip was to the Island of Elba. Below is Ms. Tozzi and Dr. Cavanaugh's blog post...

We left for Elba bright and early on Friday morning. 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.

We arrived on Elba Island, tired but happy. Our hotel rooms were simple and a bit austere, but when we opened our windows in the morning, we saw the most beautiful of landscapes in front of us. 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 in the pool, sunbathing and chatting.

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 for this opportunity, as were the teachers for having travelled with such an amazing group of students. Dr. Cavanaugh and Ms. Tozzi would like to thank everyone for our great time together!