This weekend, almost all of us decided to venture out to the island of Elba, and it was possibly one of the best weekends of my life. The trip began with a two and a half hour bus ride to Piombino, an hour long ferry ride to Elba, and then a thrity minute bus ride to the hostel, Camping Lacona (highly recommend staying there). The first day we explored Lacona beach, and spent a significant amount of time floating in the Mediterranean Sea. The second day was even better than the first. Eight of us went kayaking and snorkeling. We rented the equipment for half a day from Camping Lacona, and the total cost for both activities was around six Euros per person! Such an amazing deal. We spent the afternoon paddling around the turquoise water, and then found a spot near a cliff to beach the kayaks. We then spent about an hour diving into the water, seeing who could swim the deepest, and attempting to find Dory. Once we were thoroughly exhausted from pretending to be mermaids, we docked at another beach that featured a cafe and gelateria. At the end of the day, we were all tired, covered with sand and salt, and extremely happy. The weekend diet consisted solely of cappuccinos, croissants, fresh fruit from a local frutteria, pizza, pasta, and a whole lot of gelato.
This was also my first time ever staying in a hostel, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! It would be safe to classify this week as "glamping," or glamour camping. My tent consisted of five girls with bunk beds. We brought our own sheets and towels, and the hostel provided beds, electricity, showers, lock boxes for rent, and a kitchen. The only slightly negative part were the coed, open bathrooms. It felt a bit like we were staying in a hippie comune, but it was all part of the experience. The staff was super friendly, and so were the other residents of the hostel. And it was only 25 Euros per person for two nights!
Even though Cinque Terre was the coastal town that I was the most excited to see, I am tempted to say that I enjoyed Elba better. Both places are extremely similar, and yet so different. Cinque Terre is heavily populated with tourists, and the mountains are covered with breathtaking towns and villas. Elba is the exact opposite. It is popular with Italian citizens, but not so much with American tourists for whatever reason. The mountains are also practically void of all signs of human activity, which exhances the island's natural beauty. Overall, I would highly recommend visiting both Cinque Terre and Elba. Both places are gorgeous, friendly, and filled with incredible food. What's not to like?
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<p>I am a current junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Italian at Sewanee: The University of the South. I am a proud member of Kappa Delta sorority, and am a coxswain for Sewanee's crew team. In my free time, I enjoy kayaking, reading, going for runs, and playing with my dogs.</p>