Wednesday, April 14

Elba Island-Italy day 5

Thursday we woke up really early for the one hour drive to catch our ferry to Elba Island. I was really excited about seeing it because it was where Napoleon was exiled for all of 300 days. I always envisioned it as a terribly place to be exiled especially for a man used to conquering vast lands but I actually thought it was a really beautiful island.
One of the first things we did was take a walk around the defensive fortifications surrounding the port of Portoferrairo. It was a nice walk I thought although very hot again. The kids enjoyed playing in the trees as well as the small playground there.
Kids making some funny faces.
After our defensive walk, we searched for Napoleon's summer home. On the way we saw the neatest little stair roadways all over. The village had more stair alleyways than roads. I thought it would have been very difficult if you had a lot of shopping to do!
Steve and me on the dock. I thought I needed one picture of him since I hadn't post any yet!
We had lunch right on the docks. Our food was fantastic and the view was beautiful!
After lunch we headed over to the water to see if we could find any fish. We actually were able to see quite a few as well as several small jelly fishes. I was so nervous that the kids would fall in the water as they were looking for fish, that we made them lie on their stomachs! I think the kids could have stayed there all day if we let them:)
After lunch, we went in search of Napoleon's palace. The above picture is his old bathtub at his summer home. Besides having great views, his houses were rather small and simple. Compared to the grandeur of Fontainbleu it must have been a real sacrifice to have stayed there.
This is his summer palace. It was very disappointing. Both of his homes were not kept up. It seems that when Napoleon left, so did all of his gardeners and maids. The homes were in pretty bad shape-walls crumbling, overgrown gardens, dirty. It was a shame that the Italian government hasn't done a better job of preserving them.
Despite the houses, my kids found something to play with. They loved these large palm leaves and had a great time with them. In fact, I had quite a trial getting Timmy to release the leaves so that we could catch the ferry. I really did like the island and thought it was beautiful. If we had had blue skies I'm sure that the water would have just sparkled. It would be fun to go back and dive there in warmer weather. Despite being disappointed with Napoleon's homes, I still enjoyed the island. It was a nice relaxing day!


Abby said...

Is the Italian government good at keeping up a lot of anything? I hadn't heard they were. Plus, Napoleon was a foreigner, so they probably don't care as much. Shame.

Janie said...

G.R.E.A.T. pictures!!