Every part of the world is famous for something special: particular dishes, culture, traditions, clothes and, of course, atmosphere. As for me, Elba is after my heart, nevertheless climate there is very wet, there is some dependence on continental Italy and tourists prices. But now I’ll tell you about some things that impressed me so much during my voyage.
7 interesting facts about Elba:
1) Odour of perfume — Acqua dell'Elba or in our language — ‘water from Elba’. It’s made of special kind of grass that grows on the island and has incredible fresh summer aroma. For fans of freshness and lightness this is real finding. It is sold in every perfumery on the island, but you can also find it in the central shops of Italian cities. In assortment there are soup on the basis of this grass, also you can find shower gel and creams. More information:
2) Typical sweets of Elba – is heavy cake-pie from nuts, dried fruits (sundried wild berries) and lace. As for a hot island it is a little bit strange to have like a dissert such kind of sweets, it should seem, the hotter climate we have – the lighter food is, but not in this case. Pie, to tell the truth, is very delicious and nutrient, somehow it recognized me our Ukrainian frosted biscuits but with nuts inside. You can buy it in every supermarket in island or order in confectionary. If somebody is interested, here is the recipe of it:
3) Napoleon and his connection with the island. Great French imperator stayed on island only for 300 days, but for a full due he remained as the symbol of this piece of heaven on the earth. In transportation, he was elected as sovereign of Elba, and in practice he became as the main person there. As the matter of fact, everybody liked him. Very often he received volunteers to discuss different problems. After so much time passed he is still one of the front persons of Elba, that you can also find buying souvenirs that is so famous between the tourists.
4) Flag of Elba. I think I must wright the separate article about flag of Elba. After arrival on the island Napoleon having the army of 600 people, decides to create flag of warcrafts of the island. For creation was used red and white width of Tuscany flag, on it’s lashing was placed flag of Elba, which had the basis of Tuscany coat of arms of Cosmas the First period, silver with red diagonal band with three golden bees. The first time the flag was run up at imperator’s arrival 4 May, 1814 in Portoferraio. But French imperator didn’t have the idea to stay for a long time on the island, and in the end of February left it on brigantine.1 March, 1815 “Inconstant” appeared near the D’Antibes cape. Bonaparte went on the bridge with tree-colour badge on his hat. Elba’s flag was haul down and on the gall of brig and on other crafts accompanied him tricolored flag sailed up again.
5) Cacti fruits. How strange it can look from the first sight, but cacti are edible and with a great taste! Very delicious and useful. Cacti became mature in December. To the view as abnormal prickly burdock, that you can see along the road or near villas. The island teems with this kind of plant! It can be of several colors, yellow and violet. To the taste I can hardly explain with which product it has similar eating qualities, but at the same time it is meaty and juicy.
*Here is the example of jam of cacti:
Polish and cut fruits of cacti into small pieces, then pass them through the sieve. For 1 kg of fruits – 700 g of sugar and squeezed lemon juice of one big lemon. Then cover prepared fruits with the sugar, add lemon juice and boil for half an hour. Our jam of cacti is ready – whelm liquid into jars and close. Super tasty jam of cacti is ready! So exotic.
6) Napoleon’s death-mask. I think everybody knows about death-mask of Napoleone, and furthermore not one copy of it. As it is known the first one repose in NY in private collection (in 1973 it mysteriously disappeared from London museum, and than in 2004 was found on public sales in NY. It’s copy repose in Paris museum of arms, and considered to be the original for a long long time).
The second one – repose in Dadianas palace, in Georgian town Zugdidi (the relic got to museum collection from Murat descendants, who owned the palace for some time. The mask is made of gypsum by Francesco Antommarchi imperators doctor. Later after 12 years of death it was poured in bronze).
The third one – repose on Elba island in ancient church Misericordia (to tell the truth I personally visited this place, but the mask was transported to the small local museum in close vicinity, unfortunately it was closed).
7) Villa San Martino. 5 kl near the central town of Elba (Portoferraio), there is out-of-country villa of Napoleon. Unfortunately he didn’t live there. At the moment there is a nice museum and Anatolij Demidoffs’ galleria, who was the husband of great imperators’ niece. Museum is quite decent and Napoleons apartments are not so pompous.