• 2016.02.12
  • The Best of Elba Island – Tuscany’s Largest Island and the Third in Italy Following the Islands of Sicily and Sardinia!
Elba Island is the largest island of Tuscany and the third largest in Italy following Sicily and Sardinia. Located in the province of Livorno, the island takes 1 hour by ferry or 30 minutes by a hydrofoil boat from Piombino. Elba has a population of roughly 30,000 people, and many come visit the ocean in the summer. Elba is also said to be one of the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago that was a pearl from Venus’ necklace, which she dropped and formed into the islands. The island is also known as the place to where the French Emperor Napoleon was exiled, and the palindrome “Able was I ere I saw Elba,” to which he is later attributed to is well known.

In the city of Florence where I live, promotion activities for traditional local cuisine, food ingredients and wine of Elba Island are going to be held for about a period of 2 months past mid-March.

It is an attempt to introduce Elba Island cuisine, in which chefs from 8 of Florence’s best restaurants collaborate to host dinners on separate nights. These events were planned as a promotional project of Elba Island with Florence’s restaurants and shops.

Before the activities begin, a preview was held to introduce the cuisine of Elba and the restaurant chefs supporting this event for the press and journalists. Let me describe some of the local cuisines of Elba Island that were presented.

Sburrita di baccala (cod pickled in salt, then soaked in water to remove salt and simmered)

Sburrita di zerri (simmered local bluefish called zerri)

Stoccafisso alla riese (dried cod soaked in water and cooked) and lots of other local cuisines using mainly seafood

Such cuisines can turn into these beautiful dishes when prepared by the chefs.

Numerous dishes prepared by each of the chefs with ingredients from Elba based on the local cuisine recipes

Prepared by different chefs, all the dishes differ not only in appearance but also in taste, making this a very interesting event for experiencing the many forms of Elba’s local cuisine.

In general, Italians have a strong sense of pride in their home and tradition. My work takes me to various regions in Italy, and when I converse with locals, they always proudly talk about the wonderful food or beauty of the region and all the special features of their hometown where they grew up in. In Italy where people maintain such strong sense of pride in their hometowns, each region offers varying local cuisines.

This Elba Island project aims to inherit and preserve such traditions. Not only does Elba Island have beautiful oceans and sceneries but they also offer an abundance of delicious local cuisines and a thriving wine industry. Although not many people visit Elba despite it being the largest island of Italy next to Sicily and Sardinia, the island is full of fascinations. Why not visit the amazing island of Elba?


  • Mirai Tsuda
  • JobAIS sommelier (Italy’s national qualification for sommeliers),Wine Journalist

Since acquiring the qualification as a sommelier, I have been visiting some 200 wineries each year. My goal is to share the fascinations of Italy to the people of Japan by holding wine seminars as well as writing about wine and Italian cuisine.

View a list of Mirai Tsuda's

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