When blue skies turn to grey, the travel blues officially start to kick in. Vacation time is precious, money is too, and when you lose out on both, only to watch the rainfall from your hotel room, travel hardly seems worth it. Not in Elba, italy. In fact, you may see people start to do a rain dance. Why, you ask? Because the surreally beautiful island is offering refunds if it rains.

In 1814, Napoleon was exiled from France to Elba, an island archipelago just off the shores of Tuscany. You could almost feel bad for him, but when you look up where he was sent, it becomes more of a wonder why he ever bothered to return.

This stunning island has watched people leave for more than 200 years, and in an effort to get people to stay the night, rather than catch a ferry back to the mainland, it’s offering a guarantee. If it rains for more than two hours, your night is free.

That’s right, while some Italian cities are telling tourists not to come, this one is willing to stake a free night to get you to stay.

Naturally, you’ve got questions, and want the fine print. For the month of May, if it rains for more than 2 hours from the hours of 10AM-8PM, your stay for the night is free. There’s even a comprehensive list of participating hotels.

The only question now, is why wouldn’t you? With daily ferries from the Tuscan city Piombino, it’s easy to reach, and Portoferraio is absolutely stunning when you arrive.

The beaches dotted all along the island easily rank amongst the best in Europe. A drive from Pisa to the island, including the ferry journey would take under 4 hours, and for the chance at a free trip, and guarantee of a beautiful travel destination, it seems like a great deal! 

To make the magic happen two things need to happen.  You’ll need to book into one of the hotels listed, and you’ll need rain. Assuming the weather is perfect, as Elba definitely now hopes it will be, you’ll pay whatever your rate is. But, if it does rain, your night will be free. How happy would you be if the sun shines from 10AM to 5PM, and then rains for a couple hours?

Here’s the official page. Google Translate is your friend.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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