Spring in Elba: FREE night’s stay if it rains!

We just heard of an interesting project that hotels & B&Bs on the island of Elba have cooked up to invite more visitors this May.

The #ElbaNoRain project offers visitors the night’s stay free of charge if during the day it rains for more than 2 hours between the hours of 10am and 8pm.

This, of course, if you are staying at one of accommodations participating in the project which took the risk of rain averaging rainfall on the island over the last 3 years. Several have in fact taken on the risk of the weather to guarantee visitors they will have sun and a great time, no matter the weather!

How was the project born? Well it seems that a survey conducted by Visit Elba, the island’s tourism office, that over 72% of Italians consider weather forecasts to be dependable and will plan their vacation based on the forecast. Yet forecasts in spring for Elba are known for being difficult considering the particular formation of the island. For this reason, the hospitality sector has decided to bet on nice weather with a special bonus: any guest that ends up experiencing rain for over 2 hours during the day during their stay will be reimbursed for that night’s stay.

You can see the list of accommodations that participate in the project on www.visitelba.info/elbanorain/

If you can’t find the perfect hotel or other lodging on the list of participating places, try contacting the place you’re interested in directly. Our favorite hotel, Hotel Ilio in Sant’Andrea del Campo, is not on the list but they chose to offer a special deal called “no problem” valid up until June 7 and from mid-September to their seasonal closure date that allows you to cancel up to 2 days before your arrival. That way, if you choose to not go because of the weather forecast, you can back out without penalties.

Why bet on the weather?

Well it seems that weather forecasts have not been dependable at all over the period 2016-2018. In weather forecasts for spring in that period that predicted rain, 36% of the time they were wrong. Claudio Della Lucia, Coordinator for Associated Tourism on the island of Elba, in collaboration with Meteo Expert, indicates that guests were able to enjoy the beaches and sun despite the wet forecasts.

Meteorologists are the first to say that forecasts cannot be depended on 100%, especially if you’re looking over 3-5 days ahead and this is what we all look at as we plan our vacations.

So a “bad” or wet forecast for the early part of the season on Elba can be really negative for tourism and anyone who works in the hospitality sector. Thus the idea of #ElbaNoRain was born. The hospitality sector reports low bookings and cancellations close to forecasts of bad weather coming up. Of course, a light spattering of rain in spring is quite common almost anywhere, and light rain over the night will not ruin anyone’s vacation. The project, De Lucia specifies, is a way to reassure visitors that in the rare case that persistent rain during the day keeps guests inside enjoying other aspects other than the beach, guests can enjoy having the added bonus of a night’s worth. It is a pilot program and if all goes well, it might be replicated in the fall.

What to do if it does rain?

You can spend time indoors, of course. There is the Museum of the Sea in Capoliveri, as well as the fortress of Volterraio and museums dedicated to Napoleon in Portoferraio and nearby. At Marciana Marina you can visit the Archeological museum, the church of St. Catherine and the Pisan fortress, as well as the chapel of San Liborio and the Parish church of San Lorenzo. Nearby, the small village of Poggio is a delightful stop.

If you love minerals, Elba is a rich land! There are over 200 types of minerals on the island and over 20 underground. Several mines across the island are open to the public, from the Ginevro magnetite mine to the granite caves in San Piero. You can visit the mineral museum at the Elba Mineral Park or the gem museum in San Piero or go on a guided visit to the caves in Bacino, Valle Giove and Capoliveri. #ElbaUnderground is an experience the entire family can enjoy on those days when the sun is not shining and perfect when it rains.

If you enjoy fine cuisine and wines, there are many estates across the island producing DOC and DOCG wines to keep your taste buds working. Visit our section on Elba and the official site to the island www.visitelba.info for more info on what to do in Elba.

For now, the guests might be winning…. this May has so far been wetter than usual. Did you already have a vacation planned for this May in Elba or do you want to take on the bet? Maybe you can get a free vacation if it continues to rain!

About Lourdes Flores

An American living in Florence for over 10 years, Lourdes continues to explore and discover new places in Tuscany with the eyes of a tourist but with the experience of living in Italy. She shares her experiences on this blog and website, particularly offering lots of travel planning help on the Forum!