Elba is an island in Tuscany.
Go by ferry -- taking your car, as it a must to explore the entire island. The ships start from Piombino. Book the ferry in real time visiting this Elba Travel Guide
Bring a rental car with you on the Ferry as the island is fairly large and mass transit ( don't think I saw any???) won't get you to all the old hilltop towns or up the winding roads.
Napoleon was banished to the island and both of his homes ( summer & winter ) are available to tour. You can hike,bicycle, swim or walk around the plaza at night with the locals. Incredible beauty - many,many small towns set on hilltops. Many castles. Flowers galore and the interior is full of old, little viewed churches.
Little Mine 57036 Porto Azzurro - Via Provinciale Est Tel. & Fax: (+39) 0565.95350 Tel. (+39) 0565.920961 [email protected]
Napoleon's homes, bike, go to any one of 10 -12 beaches, drink some local wine, hike, visit as many old castles,churches as you can. Takes about 3 days to see the island and that still leaves many areas untouched. Was told several times by the locals that in the summer Elba becomes a day-tripper's nightmare with people from the mainland. Visited in late May - slightly cool at night.
Sorry or glad to say that shopping isn't what you might expect but the island is for experiencing. Some local wines.
Seafood is fresh ( it is an island) and the bread is what you were dreaming about. Get the Italian version of steak and try the bread and tomato salad.
Some local wines and water is great tasting.
Elba is a touristic Island and there are lot of accommodations available, from cheap campgrounds to luxury resorts. The Hotel Lilio offers substantial discount during the low season. For a comprehensive list of facilities, you can check the local tourist office website.
Relais delle Picchiaie is a top option for a complete and luxurious holiday near the beach. This stunning Mediterranean Hotel complex comes with views to die for, private swimming pools, its own restaurant and a great central location that allows you to reach the island's most popular places of interest quickly and easily. Bicycles are also available for those who wish to keep fit in this sun-soaked paradise.
Noticed that you can still get a bite to eat at almost time in the larger towns.