Oh, Elba. The Tuscan Island. Napolean’s land of exile. And the third stop on our Italian adventure.We went into Elba without many preconceived notions: it is lesser known than other parts of Tuscany. But this quaint, small island village quickly stole our hearts.
What was most exciting for us (especially Margaux, the history buff), was the history of the town. Though the island passed through the hands of many different rulers (French, Italian, North African, British), it is known as Napoleon’s island of exile.
Emperor Napoleon was exiled to Elba after his forced abdication, and he arrived in Portoferraio in 1814. He was allowed to keep a personal guard of 600 men, which seems lush for a a ruler in exile…
He was essentially sovereign of Elba, although the nearby sea was patrolled by the French and British navies. During the months that Napoleon stayed on the island, he carried out a series of economic and social reforms to improve the quality of life.
His beautiful villas are a testament to how difficult it must have been to be stranded on this island, and were super fun to tour. He stayed on Elba for three months shy of a year days, then escaped back to France!
In more recent times, in WWII there were many secret tunnels the resistance fighters used in Elba. This island has always been a key location in wartimes via its proximity to both Italy and France. It was so cool to learn about both sides of this island’s history.
We mulled over all of this history with a glass of rose on the boat later in the day. Nothing like wine, friends, and a storied spot to enjoy them in.
Portofino was one of our favorite towns on the entire trip. And certainly our best lunch at Chuflay Bar. Margaux had a Cioppino with the freshest clams and mussels that was to die for.
At that lunch, we shared a magnum of Italian wine that was made up the hill by a female winemaker, and not distributed anywhere. These are the moments we live for: discovering a wine made with love and local devotion, over the simplest, freshest food.
That night we had dinner at Il Spendino. We started with a glass of champagne on the balcony overlooking the ocean. Dinner in front of such natural splendor was a treat indeed. I ordered a bottle from the Campania region craving something salty to pair with seafood. Our sommelier pointed me in a similar direction by suggesting a 2015 Marisa Cuomo Fiorduva Casta D’Amalfi. I am so glad he did. This may be a highlight wine moment from the trip. In regards to Italy at least.
Now that we are back stateside, we are reliving these memories through our selected case of wine from our travels. Let us know if you would like to join the sensory journey with us and we would be happy to reserve a case.
Cin Cin from Your Pocket Somms! – ARGAUX