The story began more than fifty years ago when my father and my mother decided to leave for a holiday in an island together with me and my sister.
All the female members of the family would have liked to spend the planned ten days, as expected, in the Capri island, well known for its social life, instead my father insisted to go to Elba island, that, in the 1959 year, was not appreciated by the tourists because was known exclusively thanks to Napoleon who spent about nine month in this island.
Notwithstanding the majority of us desired to go to Capri , my father decided to assign the responsibility of the choice to a coin, heads or tails, ”heads for Elba island, tails for Capri island”. Tails were drawn first.
And so fate brought all of us to Elba island carried on board of an old ferry boat which used to link Piombino harbor to Cavo, the closest point of the island to the continent. The capacity of the ferry to carry cars was limited and the few cars, which could be carried, were secured with a sling, hoisted and placed on the deck as if it were a container depot. The trip was short and undoubtly not so comfortable, nothing in common with the present ferry boats. In addition the weather looked threatening.
Once we disembarked at Cavo, a small village which even nowdays is not so attractive and popular, the sites all around appeared to us discouraging deserted. We went to Porto Azzurro and there we found accommodation in a small hotel which was rather empty too.
Surely the first impact with the island could not have been more unsatisfying. There was nobody about and, furthermore, it rained during the first two days so abundantly that in the same quantity we began pouring our protests because the holiday seemed to become worse than what of my mother and we two sisters expected.
Finally those two terrible days passed and, we woke up one morning and surprisingly found that it was a clear and crystalline day. The sun was starting to warm up the weather and all around a joy made of deep colors of the sea, the sky and the vegetation. Almost encouraged we began to visit the island.
The coast appeared to be full of coves, one following another with no letting up, all delightful and different one from another. Some of them could be reached by car but many of them only by feet with not so easy descents to the sea.
We visited, being enraptured, the whole island. The road, from Marina di Campo winding along the coast, which nowdays reaches Cavoli, Fetovaia, Sant’Andrea and others, at that time ended at Seccheto. And proceeding from there by feet we reached Fetovaia and as soon as arrived on the top of the hill a fantastic bay appeared out to us: with a stretched shape, with white sand glittering thanks to small fragments of pyrite inside it, very clear and crystalline sea water through which one could easily discern the sea bed, no houses around. In the middle of the bay an old sailing wooden ship was anchored. We imagined to have discovered the bay of the treasure island as described in many adventure novels of the past.
Because of this enchanting view we all definitively fall in love with this island. Any place appeared wonderful and my parents, full of enthusiasm because they belonged to a hotel runner family since long, decided to look for purchasing a piece of land suitable for establishing a tourist complex.
Such a travel, which changed our life, began because of a coin thrown in the air.
In 1970 year a great part of Cala di Mola complex was built, in the following and recent years the complex was developed and improved up to the present consistency. My father followed up the building works as if he were taking care of the growth of a son and, after him, myself, my sister and my mother kept on taking care and improving it with the same enthusiasm and love.
Maria Paola Felicetti