Lonely Planet Writer

An Italian island will refund your stay if it rains too much

Have you ever had your holiday ruined because of inclement weather? Or have rain come to wash your hopes of a beach day away? Well, there’s an Italian island that has planned for that scenario and is even going to give your money back.

Elba Island is the largest of the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. Photo by Stefano_Valeri/Shutterstock

Elba Island is the largest island found by the coast of Tuscany, and the third largest of the Italian islands after Sicily and Sardinia. And it’s also a pretty popular tourist destination, with its beautiful Mediterranean beaches and rich history— French Emperor Napoleon, for example, was exiled here before he managed to escape back to the continent.

Napoleon’s summer residence is found next to Portoferraio, the most populous city on the island. Photo by DEA/G. Cozzi/Getty Images

Of course, the weather doesn’t always help in having the best beach holiday possible, and that’s where the island’s recently-launched new initiative, Elba No Rain, comes into play. For the entire month of May, you’ll get a refund of the money you paid for your stay if there are more than two hours of rain during the day.

The initiative Elba No Rain will most likely happen during next autumn as well. Photo by DEA/G. Cozzi/Getty Images

Many hotel and hostel owners have joined the initiative (you can check which ones on the island’s official website here), and have a special condition in place that ensures you’ll get the money you paid for your night back until 31 May if it rains during the day between ten in the morning and eight in the evening. Considering that it’s been an unusual spring in Italy, with a lot more bad weather than normal, the scheme might be worth a try and work in your favour.

Many people scrap a holiday if the weather doesn’t seem to be nice, but Elba Island wants you to come and enjoy its towns and sights even with the rain. Photo by John Greim/Getty Images

There’s a catch, of course, and it’s that Elba Island has a micro-climate that’s quite different from the rest of the country and subject to quick changes— the weather forecast isn’t usually very reliable, so you might really luck out (depending on how you see it) or not. The true purpose of the scheme is ultimately to invite tourists to brave the weather and see that the island has much more to offer than just its beaches.