I have to tell you that I’ve never felt this way for a place I’ve been before. The family of my boyfriend has been going on vacation at Isola d’Elba for something like 35 years or even more. So they know it very well, and played the role of guides for me that I’ve been there only a weekend last year and 9 days this summer. If there is something I like to do while visiting a new place is getting in touch with the local community and businesses and I am still surprised on how much entrepreneurship there’s on the island.
I mean, not the classical small local shop you find everywhere, they are important too, even more than what I’m talking about. I am know referring to three specific companies I am surprised have become so big while being born on a small island, and this is the fact that inspires and fascinates me most. Because you have to imagine to create your own firm on an island, where everything is smaller, the resources are not so easily reachable and the distances are, of course, more difficult to overcome. I’ve always been inspired by entrepreneurs and those kind of stories and success, so you may understand why I like these three companies I am going to tell you.
Their watches are beautiful and wonderfully crafted. They have the island’s profile on their back and are made with lots of different materials you can find some nice basic and easily to wear made of steel and silicone and others, more luxurious, made of leather, mother-of-pearl and with diamonds indicating the hours. Their collection includes woman and man models, price starting from 190 euros, up to 900 euros or more for the more precious models. Locman.
I love Acqua dell’Elba. The story of how the company has been born is fascinating: the three owner was sailing in their boat as they reached Paolina’s cliff, where an ancient ivory statue kept the secret of an essence in its top. So they decided to recreate that feeling in their essence. They won the challenge of the market and now their shops are a turquoise and white paradise of perfumes. Their motto is Essence of an Island, and this is what they do. They capture the perfumes of the island, its flowers, its plants, its woods, ground and sea and create the essence of Isola d’Elba. Acqua dell’Elba uses only natural raw materials and artisan techniques.
Their collection includes several different fragrances (my favorite is Archipelago) but also soap, body creams, fragrances for the home and a collection of turquoise accessories for your bathroom and some travel bags. Do not leave the island without its scent. Perfumes starting from 48 euros, body creams from 24 euros, home fragrances from 39 euros. Acqua dell’Elba.
A colorful store and collection of bags and accessories that are handmade in a local artisan workshop. Designed by an architect and made on the island, Dampaì is synonymous of an original, colorful, playful product. Made in several different modern and classical materials, like leather, gum, neoprene and rubber, the collection includes various woman bag models, bracelets, necklaces, belts. Bags prices start from 50 euros, bijoux starting from 15 euros. Dampaì.
Are you a foodie? Do you want to take back home some of the typical flavors of the island? Those are some local product to satisfy your craving.
Schiaccine and Farinata or Cecina. Elba, and the whole Tuscan region, has some really good and tasty breads. Be sure to try Farinata (a salty cake made of chickpeas flour), is way too good not to! Schiaccina is a focaccia bread with some salt on top, very good if eaten with some cold cuts.
Schiaccia briaca (literally drunk schiaccia) is a dessert that owes its name to the use of wine in its dough. Made with walnuts and raisins is a typical Christmas dessert, but nowadays you can find it in every store or supermarket every time of the year.
Limoncino, olive oil, wine. Elba has a strong production of citrus fruits, olive trees and some wineries, and excels in every category. Be sure to bring back home one of these products, and you’ll bring a part of the island with you!
I hope you enjoyed these suggestions and let me know if you take back some of these local souvenirs from Elba. If you want to discover more about Elba, click here. 🙂