Travel

Italian island will refund your hotel room if it rains

There are a couple of catches, though

(CNN) - We've all seen it: an otherwise exceptional hotel gets a one-star Yelp or TripAdvisor rating from a grumpy guest because of bad weather.

Even though there's nothing a destination can do to guarantee perfect weather during vacation season, the Italian island of Elba -- best known for being where Napoleon was exiled toward the end of his life -- has a new program called "Elba No Rain," where guests on the island during May can get their night's hotel fee refunded if it rains.

According to Elba's official tourism site, "the overnight stay is free for days when there is rainfall for more than two hours between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m."

To qualify for the deal, guests must be staying at one of an approved list of local inns and guesthouses that are participating in the program.

"Tour operators tell us that weather forecasts of a rainy weekend can lead to a drop in bookings and attendance of over 20%," Claudio Della Lucia, tourism coordinator for the island, told CNN via email.

"The #ElbaNoRain initiative wants to be a concrete assurance to guests that, in the very rare case of a day with steady rain, they can still enjoy everything that the island has to offer without paying a euro for accommodation.

"It's a pilot project for the month of May, but considering the numerous subscriptions, we're considering to apply it also for the autumn."

May tends to be shoulder season, so it's generally cooler and less crowded than during peak summertime. Elba -- sadly, no connection to the actor Idris -- is popular with citizens of Italy, who flock there in August.

Elba is located off of the coast of Tuscany, one of Italy's most popular tourist regions, in the Ligurian Sea, just east of Corsica.

Most visitors arrive there via ferry from the coastal town of Piombino, but there's also an island airport that can take in small planes from Milan, Florence, Pisa and other Italian cities.

So, what is there to do while you enjoy that guaranteed gorgeous weather?

The island is beloved for its beaches, but it's also worth visiting the Napoleonic Residences where the emperor lived in exile and exploring the island's mining history and ancient ruins, some of which date to the Etruscan era.


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