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For the comune, see Ischia (comune). For the part of the human hip, see Ischium
Ischia

View of Ischia from Procida.
Elevation 789 m (2,589 ft)
Location
Location Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy
Coordinates 40°43′53″N 13°53′45″E / 40.7313°N 13.8957°E / 40.7313; 13.8957Coordinates: 40°43′53″N 13°53′45″E / 40.7313°N 13.8957°E / 40.7313; 13.8957
Geology
Type Complex volcano
Last eruption 1302 [1]
Ischia
Ischia da procida.jpg
Views of Ischia from Procida
Geography
Capri and Ischia map.png
Location Tyrrhenian Sea
Area 46.3 square kilometres (17.9 sq mi)
Highest point Mount Epomeo (789 metres (2,589 ft))
Country
Italy
Region Campania
Province Naples
Largest city Ischia (pop. 18,253)
Demographics
Population 60,335 (as of 2007)
Density 687 /km2 (1,780 /sq mi)
Maronti beach, east of the spit of St Angelo.

Ischia (Italian pronunciation: [ˈiskia]) is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples. The roughly trapezoidal island lies about 30 km from Naples and measures around 10 km east to west and 7 km north to south with a 34 kilometres (21 mi) coastline and a surface area of 46.3 square kilometres (17.9 sq mi). It is almost entirely mountainous, with the highest peak being Mount Epomeo at 788 meters.[2]. The island has a population of over 60,000 people.

Ischia Porto is the name of the main comune of the island. Other community areas include Barano d'Ischia, Casamicciola Terme, Forio, Lacco Ameno and Serrara Fontana.

The main industry is tourism, centering on thermal spas that cater mostly to European (especially German) and Asian tourists eager to enjoy the fruits of the island's natural volcanic activity, its thermal hot springs, and its volcanic mud. For many of the inhabitants on the Italian-speaking island, German and English are second languages. This is because of the large number of German- and English-speaking tourists who visit the island each year. The Ferrandino Family, who still live on Ischia, are the rightful owners of the Castello Aragonese.

Contents

Geography

The roughly trapezoidal island is formed by a complex volcano immediately SW of the Campi Flegrei area at the western side of the Bay of Naples. The eruption of the trachytic Green Tuff ignimbrite about 56,000 years ago was followed by caldera formation. The high point on the island, 789-m-high Monte Epomeo, is a volcanic horst composed of the Green Tuff ignimbrite deposit that was submerged after its eruption and then uplifted. Volcanism on the island has been significantly affected by tectonism that formed a series of horsts and grabens; at least 800 m (2,624.67 ft) of uplift has formed as a result of resurgent doming during past 33,000 years.[3] Many small monogenetic volcanoes were formed around the uplifted block. Volcanism during the Holocene produced a series of pumiceous tephras, tuff rings, lava domes, and lava flows.[4] The latest eruption of Ischia, in 1302 AD, produced a spatter cone and the Arso lava flow, which reached the NE coast.

Name

Virgil poetically referred to it as Inarime and still later as Arime.[5] Martianus Capella followed Virgil in this allusive name, which was never in common circulation: the Romans called it Aenaria, the Greeks, Πιθηκοῦσαι, Pithekoussai [6]. "Pliny derives the Greek name from the local ceramic clay deposits, not from πίθηκος, píthēkos "monkey"; he explains the Latin name as connected with Aeneas' beach-head" (Princeton Encyclopedia) The current name appears for the first time in a letter from Pope Leo III to Charlemagne in 813 (iscla from insula) though there is an argument made for a Semitic origin in I-schra, "black island".

History

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Ancient times

An acropolis site of the Monte Vico area was inhabited from the Bronze Age, as Mycenaean and Iron Age pottery finds attest. Euboean Greeks from Eretria and Chalcis arrived in the 8th century BC to establish an emporium for trade with the Etruscans of the mainland. This settlement was home not only to Greeks, but a mixed population of Greek, Etruscan and Phoenician inhabitants. Because of its fine harbor, the settlement of Pithecusae became successful through trade in iron and with mainland Italy; at its peak, Pithecusae was home to about 10,000 people.

The ceramic Euboean artifact inscribed with a reference to "Nestor's cup" was discovered in a grave on the island in 1953. Engraved upon the cup are a few lines written in the Greek alphabet. Dating from c. 730 BC, it is one of our most important testimonies to the early Greek alphabet, from which our own Latin alphabet descends via the Etruscan alphabet. The inscription also seems to be the oldest written reference to the Iliad.

In 474 BC, Hiero I of Syracuse came to the aid of the Cumaeans, who lived on the mainland opposite Ischia, against the Etruscans and defeated them on the sea. He occupied Ischia and the surrounding Parthenopean islands and left behind a garrison to build a fortress before the city of Ischia itself. This was still extant in the Middle Ages, but the original garrison fled before the eruptions of 470 BC and the island was taken over by Neapolitans. The Romans seized Ischia (and Naples) in 322 BC.

Christian era until the 16th century

In 6 AD, Augustus restored the island to Naples in exchange for Capri. Ischia suffered from the barbarian invasions, being taken first by the Heruli then by the Ostrogoths, being ultimately absorbed into the Eastern Roman Empire. The Byzantines gave the island over to Naples in 588 and by 661 it was being administered by a Count liege to the Duke of Naples. The area was devastated by the Saracens in 813 and 847; in 1004 it was occupied by Henry II of Germany; the Norman Roger II of Sicily took it in 1130 granting the island to the Norman Aldoyn de Candida created Count d’Ischia; the island was raided by the Pisans in 1135 and 1137 and subsequently fell under the Suebi and then Angevin rule. After the Sicilian Vespers in 1282, the island rebelled, recognizing Peter III of Aragon, but was retaken by the Angevins the following year. It was conquered in 1284 by the forces of Aragon and Charles II of Anjou was unable to successfully retake it until 1299.

Local view, The Fungo (mushroom)

As a consequence of the island's last eruption, the population fled to Baia where they remained for 4 years. In 1320 Robert of Anjou and his wife Sancia visited the island and were hosted by Cesare Sterlich, who had been sent by Charles II from the Holy See to govern the island in 1306 and was by this time nearly 100 years of age.

Ischia suffered greatly in the struggles between the Angevin and Durazzo dynasties. It was taken by Carlo Durazzo in 1382, retaken by Louis II of Anjou in 1385 and captured yet again by Ladislav Durazzo in 1386; it was sacked by the fleet of the Antipope John XXIII under the command of Gaspare Cossa in 1410 only to be retaken by Ladislav the following year. In 1422 Joan II gave the island to her adoptive son Alfonso V of Aragon, though, when he fell into disgrace, she retook it with the help of Genoa in 1424. In 1438 Alfonso reoccupied the castle, kicking out all the men and proclaiming it a Castilian colony, marrying to his garrison the wives and daughters of the expelled. He set about building a bridge linking the castle to the rest of the island and he carved out a large gallery, both of which are still to be seen today. In 1442, he gave the island to one of his favorites, Lucretia d'Alagno, who in turn entrusted the island's governance to her brother-in-law, Giovanni Torella. Upon the death of Alfonso in 1458, they returned the island to the Angevin side. Ferdinand I of Naples ordered Alessandro Sforza to chase Torella out of the castle and gave the island over, in 1462, to Garceraldo Requesens. In 1464, after a brief Torellan insurrection, Marino Caracciolo was set up as governor.

In February 1495, with the arrival of Charles VIII, Ferdinand II landed on the island and took possession of the castle, and, after having killed the disloyal castellan Giusto di Candida with his own hands, left the island under the control of Innico d'Avalos, marquis of Pescara and Vasto, who ably defended the place from the French flotilla. With him came his sister Costanza and through them they founded the D'Avalos dynasty which would last on the island into the eighteenth century.

16th-18th centuries

Throughout the 15th century, the island suffered the incursions of pirates and Barbary privateers - in 1543 and 1544 Hayreddin Barbarossa laid waste to the island, taking 4,000 prisoners in the process. In 1548 and 1552, Ischia was beset by his successor Dragut Rais. With the increasing rarity and diminishing severity of the piratical attacks later in the century and the construction of better defenses, the islanders began to venture out of the castle and it was then that the historic centre of the town of Ischia was begun. Even so, many inhabitants still ended up slaves to the pirates, the last known being taken in 1796. During the 1647 revolution of Masaniello, there was an attempted rebellion against the feudal landowners.

From 18th century until today

With the extinction of the D'Avalos line in 1729, the island reverted to state property. In March, 1734 it was taken by the Bourbons and administered by a royal governor seated within the castle. The island participated in the short-lived Republic of Naples starting in March, 1799 but by April 3, Commodore Thomas Troubridge under the command of Lord Nelson had put down the revolt on Ischia as well as on neighboring Procida. By decree of the governor, many of the rebels were hung in a square on Procida now called Piazza dei martiri (Square of the Martyrs). Among these was Francesco Buonocore who had received the island to administer from the French Championnet in Naples. On February 13, 1806, the island was occupied by the French and on the 24th was unsuccessfully attacked by the English.

On July 28, 1883, an earthquake destroyed the villages of Casamicciola Terme and Lacco Ameno.

In 1936 Ischia had a population of 30,418.[7]

Today, Ischia is a popular tourist destination, welcoming up to 6 million visitors per year, mainly from the Italian mainland as well as Germany (approximately 5,000 Germans are resident on the island), although it has become an increasingly popular destination for the well-to-do Eastern Europeans (particularly Russia and Poland). Ischia is easily reached by ferry from Naples, with an approximate travel time of between 40 minutes and one  hour. The number of thermal spas on the islands makes it particularly popular with tourists seeking "wellness" holidays.

Ischia in literature and the arts

The British classical composer William Walton settled in Ischia in 1949 and lived on the island for the remainder of his life, dying there in 1983.

In 1948, American author Truman Capote stayed in room number 3 in the Pensione Lustro in the town of Forio on the island. He wrote an essay about his stay there, which later appeared in Local Color, published in 1950 by Random House.

Parts of the Hollywood film The Talented Mr Ripley were filmed on the island. Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen lived on the island for a short period, and is said to have finished Peer Gynt there in 1867. The Hollywood Hit The Crimson Pirate was also filmed on the island. French novelist Pascal Quignard set much of his book Villa Amalia on the island. Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor was also filmed on the island.

Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin ends in Ischia, which serves as the location of Endaddine Akass's villa in the unfinished book Tintin and Alph-Art. W.H. Auden wrote his poem "In Praise of Limestone" here.

Main sights

Castello Aragonese.

Aragonese Castle

40°43′52″N 13°57′55″E / 40.73111°N 13.96528°E / 40.73111; 13.96528

The Aragonese Castle (Castello Aragonese, Ischia Ponte) was built on a rock near the island in 474 BC, by Hiero I of Syracuse. At the same time, two towers were built to control enemy fleets' movements. The rock was then occupied by Parthenopeans (the ancient inhabitants of Naples). In 326 BC the fortress was captured by Romans, and then again by the Parthenopeans. In 1441 Alfonso V of Aragon connected the rock to the island with a stone bridge instead of the prior wood bridge, and fortified the walls in order to defend the inhabitants against the raids of pirates. Around 1700, about 2000 families lived on the islet, including a larisses Convent, the Abbey of Basilians from Greece, the Bishop and the Seminar, the Prince with a military garrison. There were also thirteen churches. In 1912, the Castle was sold to a private owner. Today the castle is the most visited monument of the island. It is accessed through a tunnel with large openings which let the light enter. Along the tunnel there is a small chapel consecrated to Saint John Joseph of the Cross (San Giovan Giuseppe della Croce), the patron saint of the island. A more comfortable access is also possible with a modern lift. After arriving outside, it is possible to visit the Church of the Immacolata and the Cathedral of Assunta. The first was built in 1737 on the location of a smaller chapel dedicated to Saint Francis, and closed after the suppression of Convents in 1806 as well as the Nunnery of Clarisses.

View From La Mortella.
Ancient Tree La Mortella.

Gardens of La Mortella

The gardens, located in Forio-San Francesco, were originally the property of English composer William Walton. Walton lived in the villa next to the gardens with his Argentinian wife Susanna. When the composer arrived on the island in 1946, he immediately called Russell Page from England to lay out the garden. Wonderful tropical and Mediterranean plants were planted and some have now reached amazing proportions. The gardens include wonderful views over the city and harbour of Forio. A museum dedicated to the life and work of William Walton now comprises part of the garden complex.

Villa La Colombaia

Villa La Colombaia is located in Lacco Ameno and Forio territories. Surrounded by a park, the villa (called "The Dovecote") was made by Luigi Patalano, a famous local socialist and journalist. It is now the seat of a cultural institution and museum dedicated to Luchino Visconti. The institution promotes cultural activities such as music, cinema, theatre, art exhibitions, work-shops, and cinema reviews. The villa and the park are open to the public.

Others

  • Sant'Angelo (Sant'Angelo, in the comune of Serrara-Fontana)
  • Maronti Beach (Barano d'Ischia)
  • Church of the Soccorso' (Forio)
  • Bay of Sorgeto - with hot thermal springs (Panza)
  • Poseidon Gardens - spa with several thermal pools (Panza)
  • Citara Beach (Panza)
  • English's Beach (Ischia)

Town twinning

Ischia has had a twin town relationship with Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, since 1984, although the relationship is presently inactive.[8][9]

Many migrants from Ischia also settled in the port town San Pedro, California and the college town of Princeton, New Jersey

Environmental Problems

On 14 June 2007, there was a breakage in one of the four high‑voltage underwater cables forming the power line maintained by Enel S.p.A — although never authorised by the competent Italian authorities — between Cuma on the Campania coast and Lake Ameno on the island of Ischia. Inside each cable there is an 18 mm‑diameter channel filled with oil under high pressure.[11]

The breakage of the Enel cable resulted in the spillage of oil into the sea and into other environmental matrices — with the consequent pollution by polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs, the use of which was banned by the Italian authorities as long ago as 1984), aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons (APHs) and linear alkyl benzenes (aromatic hydrocarbons) — in the ‘Regno di Nettuno’ a marine protected area, and the largest ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea, designated as a ‘priority habitat’ in Annex I to the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and comprising oceanic posidonia beds.

See also

References

=Bibliography

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=0101-03=&volpage=erupt
  2. ^ Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
  3. ^ http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=0101-03=
  4. ^ http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=0101-03=&volpage=synsub
  5. ^ His poetical allusion was apparently to the mention in Iliad (ii.783) of Typhoeus being chained down ein Arimois
  6. ^ The plural likely indicated Procida as well.
  7. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer, p. 849
  8. ^ "A Message from the Peace Commission: Information on Cambridge's Sister Cities," February 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  9. ^ Richard Thompson. "Looking to strengthen family ties with 'sister cities'," Boston Globe, October 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  10. ^ Los Angeles#Sister citiesRetrieved 2008-12-09
  11. ^ Subject: Environmental catastrophe in Ischia

External links

Tourist Information

Others


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Ischia is the largest island in the bay of Naples and is considered by many to be the most beautiful, (though Capri is considerably more famous). The island is a 10 km from east to west and 7 km north to south. It has a coastline of 34 km and covers an area of 46.3 sq km. It has a permanent population of approximately 58,000. Up to 6 million tourists (principally from the Italian mainland and Germany) flock to the island for its volcanic thermal spas and as well for its beaches and food.

Island of Ischia - Castello Aragonese
Island of Ischia - Castello Aragonese

Cities

Several towns are located along the islands coast. The largest city in Ischia is actually (and often confusingly, for tourists) called Ischia. The town of Ischia, however, has two different centers: Ischia Porto and Ischia Ponte. Ischia Porto is the commercial center of the island and is named after the main port. Ischia Ponte ("ponte" meaning "bridge" in Italian) is named for the area surrounding and including the footbridge that was constructed to connect the Castello Aragonese with the island. Besides the town of Ischia, some of the other centers are the following: Lacco Ameno, Casamicciola, Forio, Barano, Sant'Angelo, and the jointed town of Serrara-Fontana.

Understand

Ischia — historically called Pitecusae — was has been colonized in turn by the Greeks, Syrausansa, Romans, Saracens, Turks, and Aragonese; all of whom were interested in its excellent strategic position as well as its therapeutic hot-spring waters and of course its attractive landscape. The result of all this varied history can be seen in the ruins of various outposts, towers, and "tufa" rock shelters hidden all over the island.

More recently Ischia has become a frequent backdrop for Italian and American movies such as “Vacanze ad Ischia”, “Appuntamento ad Ischia”, and "The Talented Mr.Ripley". The island has also been used as a cinematic stand-in for the Island of Capri.

Climate

The best time for the traveler to visit Ischia is from April to October, however, the weather in Ischia is always changing and visitors should expect both sunshine and rain — whatever the season. Summer, the main tourist season, combines long, hot days with lengthy evenings. Winter can be bitterly cold and wet, with short daylight hours.

Flora and fauna

Also called the "Green Island", Ischia enjoys hot and dry summers and mild winters along with a pronounced fertility which is a result of having almost an entirely volcanic soil. These factors allow Mediterranean plants to thrive all over the island an sub-tropical and tropical species to successfully occupy niches in the warmest areas.

Negombo Beach Flora - Lacco Ameno - Forio
Negombo Beach Flora - Lacco Ameno - Forio

On the Southern side of the island, the continuous exposure to direct sunlight favors tropical and desert vegetation which is mainly represented by palms, cactus' and agave plants with Mediterranean trees hiding in the shade of inlets and bends. On the Northern side of the island in the shade cast by Mount Epomeo, you'll find chestnut trees, as well as typical Mediterranean trees such as the holm oak, cypress, and cork trees as well as cultivated almond trees, vines, and olive trees.

Ischia Mud

Ischia mud originates from the geologic evolution of the island where, over the centuries, many hydrovolcanic eruptions and earthquakes changed the soil composition. The hot waters and muds, all “thermal” or “hypertermal” i.e. they are at the same time hot or very hot and very rich in minerals content. In spite of their diversity, all the muds have the same standard features: sodium, chlorine, potassium, calcium and sulphur in the form of sulphates and sulphides. Because of the variety of different chemicals found in them, different waters and mud are recommended for different treatments. The Italian Ministry of Health produces a document that has updates on which waters and muds are suitable for therapeutic treatments and illness and diseases which can be treated. According to this document, disease which can be treated are: rheumatic diseases such as arthrosis; respiratory diseases; dermatological diseases such as psoriasis, atopical dermatitis, eczema (except for exudative bladdery forms), chronic seborrhea; gynecological diseases such as pelvis tissue sclerosis; diseases of the gastroenteric apparatus such as gastroenteric or bilious dyspepsia, and intestinal disorders associated with constipation.

Cavascura and Olmitello Thermal water

While traveling around Sant’Angelo there are several footpaths that can take you up the hilltops. One of these is a footpath that goes to the thermal springs of Cavascura and Olmitello. To get there, take a taxi boat from the square of Sant’Angelo to the Fumarole beach. Here, with the beach behind you, take the footpath from the right side of the beach which is flanked by oleander trees. The first stretch is steep, with a few houses on both sides, then it levels out and there are Mediterranean bushes and a variety of plants such as figs, capers, prickly pears, etc. On the right, there is a view of the Maronti beach. Passing under a natural arch, turn right to reach the beach. Here is the entrance to Cavascura. There are all types of typical restaurants and at the back of the canyon are the antique thermal springs of Cavascura. Going back, climbing the steps through the vine yards, you will arrive at the antique establishment of Cava Olmitello, which sadly to say is in disuse. Here, as you make your way through the bushes, with only the croaking of frogs, you can imagine yourself traveling back in time when the world was a much simpler place.

Talk

While Italian is the native language on the island, most people working in the tourism industry speak at least one other language, with German and English being the most widely spoken second languages. It should also be noted that the island of Ischia also has its own dialect of Italian, which can make it difficult for visitors to understand at times.

Get in

By plane

There is no airport on the island. The closest airport is the Naples International Airport [1]. it is possible by taxi to reach two harbours (Beverello and Mergellina) of Naples in 20-30 minutes; there is also a airbus line, which connects directly with the harbour of Napoli Beverello. From these harbours, regular ferry crossings connect to Ischia.

Budget Airlines

Reaching Ischia on the cheap is possible with the following budget airlines that fly to Naples and/or Rome airports:

By car

From Rome (A1) - From Bari (A16) - From Salerno (A30). It is better to follow the road markings for the Tangenziale (bypass) (exit No. 12) and to go on towards Pozzuoli. Then go out at the Via Campana (exit No. 12) and go on towards the Harbour of Pozzuoli (ferries only), which is about four km far away. You can also reach the harbour of Naples Beverello (both ferries and hydrofoils). You don't have to turn into the Tangenziale, but to follow the road markings for the Zona Portuale (Harbour area) and, after the exit, to go on for the harbour, which is about five km far from the highway.

By train

There are no trains to Ischia. However, there are four railway stations that are close one of the harbours of Naples/Pozzuoli:

  • Naples Campi Flegrei. From this station it is easy to reach the harbor of Mergellina by taxi, bus, tram or underground. Mergellina is approximately 3 km away from the railway station.
  • Naples Mergellina. This station is more or less 200 m far from the harbor of Mergellina.
  • Naples Centrale or Naples Piazza Garibaldi. Both stations enable you to have an immediate access to Piazza Garibaldi, which is around 4 km far from the harbour of Naples Beverello and easily reachable by taxi, tram or bus.
  • Pozzuoli The Cumana railline operates from Montesanto in Naples and follows the coastline for approximately 20 km before ending in Torregaveta (Bacoli). To reach the Pozzuoli harbour you get off at the stop for Pozzuoli. The harbour is five minute walk away.

By boat

Alilauro Hidrofoil

08:00 (to Alilauro) (weekdays) 09:35 (to Alilauro) (except Saturdays - via Ischia) 10:30 (to Alilauro) (via Ischia) 14:35 (to Alilauro) 17:00 (To Alilauro)

Most boats arriving in Ischia stop first in Ischia Porto, and then make additional stops in Casamicciola and Forio.

  • Pozzuoli Harbour. You can also reach Ischia by taking the ferry from the main harbour in Pozzuoli (and Procida).

Tips

Taxis in Naples to the boats:

It is easy to take a taxi from the rail station or airport to the harbour. In this case take a look at the "Fix prices table" that any taxi driver must show in his car. Taxi drivers will often try to get tourists to pay more than necessary for the short ride from central station to the port, so be sure to either bargain or ask for the fixed price (prezzo fisso). For example, from the rail station Centrale to the Beverello harbour the fix total price is currently 9.50 EUR total, not per person, nothing more (though they may not allow more than four people in a taxi at a time). From airport to habour of Beverello fix total price is currently 15 Euro.

Getting off the boat in Ischia:

When taking many of the ferries from Naples to Ischia, it is important to pay close attention when disembarking. Many people make the mistake of getting off the boat, and disembark at the island of Procida instead of Ischia. It is recommended that visitors ask the people working on the boat if the boat stops at Procida. Also, be sure to pay attention to which port you get off at, even if you are at the island of Ischia.

The ferry from Pozzuoli goes direct to Ischia Porto.

As stated above, different boats make stops at several ports. It is best to know exactly which town you are aiming for. If you do not have a specific city in mind, the largest hub of activity and the largest port is called "Ischia Porto" (this port city is often called simply "Ischia", although this can be confusing as it is also the name of the island as a whole). You can find transportation to other parts of the island, tourist information, and food and shelter there, if all else fails.

Get around

By bus

The public bus service connects the various urban centres of the island through frequent journeys, most of them having their terminus in the town of Ischia Porto close to the harbour. The fare for a single journey (valid 90 minutes) is € 1.20, with tickets purchasable in advance from newsstands, bars, travel agencies and tobacconists. Tickets can also be purchased on board from the driver at the higher price of €1.50, although given the inherent overcrowding (particularly during summer months) on Ischia's buses this is not encouraged. Tickets valid for longer durations (for example one or two-day tickets) are also available. All tickets must be validated on boarding the bus. Tickets are regularly checked.

By taxi

As with many other tourist destinations, visitors should confirm the price to their destination with the taxi driver before getting into the taxi. With most taxis not running on a meter, this is the surest way to ensure that you are not overcharged.

Sightseeing Tour

There are half-day roundtrips to all six communities of Ischia with stops at the most beautiful sightseeing stops of the islands. Price is €11.00.

  • Villa La Colombaia (Forio) - The Villa, which is surrounded by a superb park, was the residence of the movie director [9] Luchino Visconti. It is now the seat of an cultural Institution dedicated to Visconti, which is involved in promoting cultural activities such as music, cinema, theatre, art exhibitions, work-shops, and cinema reviews. There is a museum dedicated to Luchino Visconti as well. The Villa and the the Park are accessible to public visits.
  • Villa La Mortella - (Forio - San Francesco) -
    La Mortella Gardens - Forio d'Ischia
    La Mortella Gardens - Forio d'Ischia
    This park is located at Forio d’Ischia and was originally the property of the English composer [10] William Walton, who lived in the Villa next door with his Argentinian wife, Susanna. The composer, arrived on the island in 1946, planting wonderful tropical and Mediterranean plants, some of which have now reached amazing proportions.
  • The Castle - Castello Aragonese (Ischia Ponte) - Is one of the most striking monuments on the island. It stands on a small island near Ischia Ponte and is reached by crossing a stone bridge. The castle is about 113 meters high and the climb can be made on an old mule track or by using a modern elevator that was installed in the seventies. The castle was built in 1441 by Alfonso D’Aragona on top of the ruins of an old fort that dated back to 474 B.C. This fortified castle was used to protect Ischia’s population from pirate attacks. One of the exhibits in the castle is dedicated to various forms of medieval torture.
  • Guevara Tower - Ischia Ponte - The tower represents as well as Castello Aragonese one of the best known symbols of the island. It is called Guevara or Michelangelo’s Tower and is located in front of the Castle, and is surrounded by a lawn and facing the Sant’Anna rocks. The tower was rebuilt over the ruins of an earlier ancient fortress: it is likely one of the defence towers built from the 15th century to protect the Castle and the coast against enemy attacks. The tower derives its name from the Dukes of Guevara who were the owners since 1800. Its second name derives from a legend that [11] Michelangelo, who was a friend of the poet [12] Vittoria Colonna, stayed in the tower when he was visiting the island. The tower is nowadays used as arts exhibition centre.
  • Il Torrione - Forio - Since at least the 9th century many towers were constructed along Ischia coastline to provide warning and to defend the island from raids by pirates. One of those tower, called “Torrione” still exists. This tower is located in Forio, near the harbour. It was built in 1480, and has two floors: the ground floor has no access from outside and was used as for storing weapons and munitions, and a rain-water tank; on the upper floor, there was accommodation for the garrison (about 10 people) led by a “torriere” that had the task of quickly sighting of any enemy ships and sounding the alarm. On the top, there was a terrace provided for four cannons. Historians notice that many similar towers were built in Forio until the 18th century, however although many of them were now used as private residences of noble families. Sixteen similar fortresses have been counted between 1480 and 1700, plus five more towers built in the district of Panza, some with a squared base and others with a circular base. Many of these towers are still standing and are mainly private residences. The “Torrione”, after it had been restored, became a municipal Museum (on the lower floor) while the upper floor was the home of the artist Giovanni Maltese from Forio and is now an art gallery hosting his pictures and sculptures collection.
  • A. Rizzoli Museum The Angelo Rizzoli Museum is located in Villa Arbusto and contains a picture gallery about Angelo Rizzoli’s stay on the island. He used to stay in Lacco Ameno where he promoted the restructuring of the ancient Santa Restituta baths and sponsored the construction of a series of large luxury hotels which in the 50's and 60's were the much loved destination for cinema stars and international jet-setters.
  • Pithecusae Museum - Lacco Ameno - The Pithecusae Archaeological Museum is located at the main building of Villa Arbusto, in Lacco Ameno. The Villa was built in 1785 by Don Carlo Acquaviva, Duke of Atri, in the same place where a farm called “dell’arbusto” (“arbusto” means “ shrub” , in this case the reference is to a particular plant growing in the garden surrounding the building) existed. Over the years the Villa had many owners, until 1952, when it was purchased by the publisher and movie producer Angelo Rizzoli who sponsored the reconstruction of the ancient thermal bath, the construction of some large hotels and the restoration of Piazza Restituta in Lacco Ameno's main piazza. Villa Arbusto also has a splendid public garden. The museum houses many archaeological exhibits dating from the Prehistory to the Roman era. On the ground floor there is also a geological section, which explains how the presence of the volcanoes affected life on the island.
  • The Soccorso's church - Forio - This church is devoted to "Santa Maria della neve" (Saint Maria of the snow), and was built on a steep promontory from which it takes its name. As with the "Torrione" tower, it is the symbol of the town of Forio and it is one of the most original architectural structures on the island. The Soccorso was founded as an Augustinian convent in about 1350 but it was suppressed in 1653, with its present form going back to 1864. The church is accessible by 20 steps of piperno, which leads to a small atrium with five crosses of pipernio. This church is world famous not only for its location but also for its singular facade, which is white and adorned by precious 700 majolicas representing saints and scenes of the Passion of Christ. The Soccorso's style is very original, it reassumes some architectures as Greek-Byzantine, Moorish and Mediterranian in harmonic shapes. The inside is very interesting because of the many types of volta. In the left chapel there is a thaumaturgical cross, a sculpture of Catalan inspiration, surely made on the 16th century. Close to this cross there are two marble medals, that were found in a medieval sarcophagus that was found in the castel of the antique cathedral of Ischia. This church retains various artifacts such as a shovel made by Cesare Calise that represents Saint Augustine, and a small basin of pipernio dated from the 9-10th century. On 05 May 2002, during his Pastoral Visit, Pope John Paul II met with many young people in a square adjacent to the church of Our Lady Help of Christians.

Thermal Springs

Ischias thermal springs have been renowned since ancient times and have been tested by many Italian and foreign scientists, for their therapeutic features. Not only are the thermal waters used in baths and thermal gardens, but they can found in small springs on some beaches and streams of spouting that feature hot water gushing into the sea as well as steam spouts (fumaroles) with gases gushing from cracks in the soil. Fumaroles can also be observed on the slopes of the Mount Epomeo, particularly on cold days, or are located into small caves, called “stoves”, and idiomatically “sudatori” or “sudaturi” (from the Italian verb meaning “to perspire”) which are used as a kind of sauna in baths and thermal gardens. Springs and spouting steam can be considered as the manifest sign of Ischia's volcanic origins and of the still persisting volcanic activity. The particular features of the subsoil, due to its structure and chemical composition affect the minerals content and the degree of dilution by sea and rain water. According to many scientists, the location and features of the springs are affected by the combination of the above mentioned factors. The most ancient springs are those of Casamicciola, consacrated to the god Apollo, those of Lacco Ameno consacrated to Hercules, those of Citara in Forio consacrated to Venus Citarea, and those of Barano consacrated to Nitrodi Nymps.

Soccorso Church, Forio
Soccorso Church, Forio

As described above, there is a tiny white-washed church located in a truly spectacular position: in the square on the Punta del Soccorso in Forio, that looks out onto the crystal clear sea - a typically Mediterranean site of astounding beauty.

Citara Beach
Citara Beach
  • Chiaia - Forio: the perfect beach for children;
  • Cava dell'Isola: Forio, the most important beach for young people;
  • Citara - Forio: This beach is at the foot of Epomeo, and is one of the most popular on the island. The crystal-clear water that laps the beach mixes with the thermal water spas in several points, allowing you to bathe in the sea and reap the benefit of thermal water at the same time. However, much of this beach is prviately owned and the public areas are small and often overcrowded. In this bay there is also the Poseidon Thermal Garden;
  • Bay of Saint Montano: Lacco Ameno. Is a bay where the thermal park Negombo is located. This unusual beach, located between Mount Vico and Mount Zaro, is unique compared to the island’s other beaches. The clear sea water is very hot and the water is extremely shallow;
  • Cartaromana: Ischia Ponte. This beach is located between Castello Aragonese and the Sant’Anna cliffs. The beach also offers one of the best views of the island. Cartaromana is well-known for its natural hot thermal water springs that spill out onto the shore, allowing tourists to swim in the sea even during the winter;
  • Marina dei Maronti: Barano -
    Maronti Beach, Barano
    Maronti Beach, Barano
    At 3 km, this beach is the largest on Ischia and can be reached by taking a charming panoramic road that starts in Barano and descends towards the sea, or by foot via the picturesque port of Sant'Angelo. Another great way to reach the beach is to take a water taxi (€3 euro approx) from Sant’Angelo. The beach at Maronti is full of thermal springs, natural spas and fumaroles;
  • Spiaggia degli Inglesi: Lovely small beach located in Ischia, suitable for enjoying a peaceful rest, far away from crowds;
  • Cava grado: small cove located near Sant’Angelo; hydrovolcanic activity occurs in outpourings of hot water which can be used for relaxing baths. To get here, there is a steeply sloping foot-path starting at Succhivio;
  • Bagnitiello: series of sandy beaches along the sea front road, equipped with car parks and bathing establishments;
  • Sorgeto: Sorgeto is a shingle small bay, west of Sant’Angelo, lying at the foot of cliffs covered by agave plants. Here thermal waters gush from springs into the sea. On the hill behind, is an important archaeological site, known as Punta Chiarito, which was where the first Greek colonist planted vines and a hut village.; and
  • Fumarole Beach This beach is supposed to be the island's finest. It's long, wide, clean and not too crowded; it's also of a dark colour, since it's of volcanic origin. It can be reached in 30 minutes by taking a footpath from Sant'Angelo, or in a couple of minutes by boat-taxi. There are some fumaroles here, and locals often go there and cook dinner in the sand. The beach is also a popular hangout at night.

Events

One of the many things that make Ischia such a great place to visit is the variety of events from musical events and festivals to the handicrafts markets in the historical center and sports events. In spring and summer, the various villages organize several events: many of them religious festivals, which are an important part of the island’s tradition and cultural identity. Here follow the events calendar of the Estate Ischitana 2006:

  • Festa della NdrezzataApril: Easter Monday - The Festa della Ndrezzata is held in the village of Buonopane, near Barano every Easter Monday. The Ndrezzata is a typical island dance. It is a kind of rhythmic, violent and picturesque fight where the dancers are dressed in traditional island costumes and fight each other with wooden swords;
  • International Festival of Classic Music - May - October Forio: The first edition of the festival International of "Classic" music: a series of concerts that were held in the churches and the basilicas of Forio;
  • Foreign Film FestivalJune: A cinema festival with premieres and retrospective themes dedicated to European films, especially Italian. Ischia, for example, has used as a location of Italian films from the 1950s onwards. These include the films Vacanze a Ischia with Vittorio De Sica, the colossal Cleopatra with Richard Burton and Liz Taylor and the more recent film The Talented Mr Ripley with Matt Damon and Jude Law;
  • Vinischia - July: An event that is entirely dedicated to food and wine and Campania regional crafts. It has been organized each summer since 1999 at Torre Guevara at Ischia Ponte. Shows, concerts and dances are organized around the exhibitions and the food and wine tasting;
  • Festa di Sant’Anna – 26 July; The Festa di Sant’Anna in Ischia Porto is held each year in the borough of Ischia. On that occasion, there is a sea parade of figurative boats from the island’s various boroughs and also from Procida, under the Castello Aragonese. The parade ends with a prize-giving ceremony and fireworks. The festival is watched by an enthusiastic public;
  • Settembre sul SagaratoAugust and September; This is a festival held every year since 1988 in the village of Piazzale Battistessa, opposite the Church of San Pietro. The festival lasts for two weeks and is filled with painting exhibitions, parades of traditional costumes, wine tasting, fagiolate (bean stew tasting), concerts and shows; and
  • Ischia White Night (La notte Bianca a Forio d' Ischia) 24 December; Museums, churches, shops and restaurant stay open while the Ischia Notte Bianca stages music, dance and theater events.

Island Trips by Boat

An trip around the island of Ischia by boat allows you to see the coast-line that otherwise is not visible. Boat tours leave from Forio, Ischia, Sant'Angelo, Lacco Ameno and Casamicciola. If leaving from the port of Sant’Angelo, sailing westwards you can see the Elephants Grotto then in front of you there is a deep inlet which is low and sandy in one part and in others high and rocky which continue until you reach Punto Chiarito, passing the beaches of Cava Ruffano, Cava Grado and the Green Grotto. At Punto Chiarito there is the Bay of Sorgeto with its hot water and muds. Then the coast-line becomes very high, deeply articulated, with rockfaces, precipices, recesses and promontories of: Capo Negro, Punta Pilaro, and Chianare Spadaia with its rocks like the Boat Rock, until you reach Capo Imperatore with its lighthouse. At first the coast-line is high and steep, then it drops and there is the long and winding beach of Citara. Then it rises softly towards Punta Soccorso and Forio. Passing the coast-line is low and sandy opening onto the beach of San Francesco, which laps the offshoots of Monte Caruso. Here the coast-line is high bare rockfaced, jutting out, then curving inwards before arriving at Punta Caruso and Punta Cornacchia. Between Punta Cornacchia and the offshoots of Monte Vico, with its point of the same name, there is the delightful Beach of San Montano, and Lacco Ameno. Lacco Ameno is noted for its characteristic rock of tufo, shaped like a mushroom. Along the coast there are the houses of Casamicciola Terme. A little farther along there is Punta Scrofa with the English beach, then the bay of Ischia Porto. Past Punto Molino formed from the lava flow of the Arso, there is the Pescatori beach, from here you can admire the island with its castle and the Aragonese bridge. After the bridge there is an inlet for the Cartaromana beach. In the middle of the sea the rocks of Sant’Anna emerge, and going southwards is Punta Pisciazza. The section of the coast that concludes the southern side of the island is high, rocky and marked by the promontory jutting out of Punta Lume, Punta Parate and Punta San Pancrazio. On this side of the island there is the Mago grotto and other grottos. From Punta San Pancrazio the coast-line continues for a few kilometers until Capo Grosso: This stretch of coast-line is commonly known as The Scarrupata. After another small stretch of coast-line there is the beach of Maronti, where the small island of Sant’Angelo can be seen, which was the starting point of the round trip of the island.

A Trip to Monte Epomeo

Arriving at Fontana by foot or by riding a mule you can reach the peak, which is about 800 metres above sea level. Monte Epomeo is an enormous rock of tufa, in which rooms of an ex hermit and a church which is dedicated to San Nicola (recently restored) have been carved into its sides. During the day the view is marvellous, you can see the whole island of Ischia, Capri and the bay of Naples. At night you can see the town of Forio in a candid light, like an oriental city with the stars slowly fading into the sea, and dawn slowly breaking with its famous green ray.

Nightlife

Many of Ischia's best dance clubs are in Forio and Ischia Porto

  • Valentino DiscoClub [13]

Buy

In every village there are streets where you can go exciting shopping for craftsman ships, agricultural local products. The Boutiques, that sell the Famous brand clothes, mark the shopping route:

  • In Ischia you can go to Via Roma, Corso Vittoria Colonna, or to Borgo di Ischia Ponte, a very nice place full of artisans, shops, restaurants and jewelers;
  • In Casamicciola, the main streets for shopping are the Seafront and the adjoining Marina Square;
  • In Lacco Ameno the seafront (nowadays called Corso Rizzolihas) been very famous since the fifties. It starts at Piazza Santa Restituta where the locals like to gather;
  • In Forio, thanks to the large size of the town, there are a lot of possibilities for shopping. Included here are the main streets:
  • In Serrara Fontana, do not miss Sant’Angelo, the coastal area of the town, for shopping and social life;
  • In Barano which is also the commercial centre, is the square that faces the wonderful beach of Maronti.
Handicraft Ceramic
Handicraft Ceramic

Ceramics making and decorating is an ancient art. This tradition has been handed down through the centuries, developing new techniques and producing a wide variety of different objects. Ceramics include objects dedicated to two main categories: objects for domestic use, such as dishes, pots, small decorative sculptures, and objects for the building industry such as tiles for paving, roofing tiles, pipes, bath tubs and so on. Terracotta is made of common clay and contains many iron impurities. Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians used to dry products of this kind in the sun. If it is baked in an oven, it will become dark red, assuming the particular colour known as terra-cotta - varying in intensity as in relation to its chemical composition. It is suitable to be covered by transparent glazes which seal the pot and make it bright and smooth. Usually it will then be painted and decorated in many different ways. On the Island the main example of ceramics production is represented by the old workshop Mennella in Casamicciola or Taki in Forio: the workshop as well as a large exhibition of products are accessible to visitors. All around there are small pottery workshops.

Eating

It is not possible to know if it is because of that mountain that climbs towards the sky giving the idea of an island-not-island, or because of the misture of land and sea that Ischia has kept that primitive and wild feeling that now meets modernity . For all this reasons this island is a priceless place, especially for the taste. It is an land island. Staring from the rabbit, always cooked in terracotta baking-pan with a clove of garlic, wine, little tomatoes, lard and local spices: poor ingredients for an old and very savoury dish.

Indivisible from the Ischitanian rabbit is this very savoury main course that is served with the very simple but very rich rabbit sauce. In latest years the pit rabbit became like a totem for the island. The rabbit is bred after the old manner. It lives its natural state: wild, in woods and mountains, and grows up (as for many centuries) in pits and only feeds with wild grass.

Snails are picked along the dry walls (parracine) and in woods. They are cooked in the traditional way with wild grass, especially in the internal par of the island.

An appetizer or main course (if served with mozzarella cheese), Ischitanian Caponata directly originates from the typical insalata cafona (peasant salad). The peasant used to eat it for lunch, in the countryside, during the working time. Nowadays there are many recipes, the oldest one combines little tomatoes, onion, stale bread or freselle, salad and wild grass.

Fish in Ischia does not disappoint. There are many ways to buy it fresh, directly in fish-shops or at the paranza(trawler) when fishermen come back from the sea. Typical of the island are macaroni with sea food, linguine with sea-urchins and different species of local fish served in many ways: marinated, cooked in the oven, with spaghetti. The paranza fry is very famous: a lot of fried little fish of different species depending on what fishermen found. Usually they bring basses white breams, giltheads, little tuna, crayfish, calamari, squids and langoustes that enrich the menu of restaurants and agritourisms.

Some passionately fond, produce honey made from bees wax, citrus fruits or flowers. The local honey has a consistency and a taste very different from the others.

There is a town between Barano and Serrara Fontana called buonopane (good bread). Here they have been making bread for centuries. Cooked only in wood ovens it is kneaded with the crisc’to a natural yeast of acid mother paste. The bread is still kneaded by hand, and its smell in the morning is stirring. All over the island. All over the island there are ovens making bread.

The rural culture is confirmed by the cultivation of many kinds of vegetables, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, courgettes, artichokes and garden rockets.

The legume are very good: lentils, chicklings, beans (they have curious and unusual varieties called pipers –purple red colored- and fascists - with black nuances).

The volcanic soil favours the growth of tomatoes. They are picked up in clusters and twisted to create the typical pendolikept in dry and fresh place.

Of course you'll also find all of the regional specialties (such as the origianl Mozzarella cheese) from Campania served on the island.

  • Ristorante Alberto [14], Via C. Colombo, 8 Ischia. The list of celebrities that have dined at the Ristorante Alberto includes names like Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Moss and Natasha Stefanenko. The restaurant's walls are simply huge windows, which emphasizes its location - directly on the beach. From indoors, the restaurant seems to be floating. Since 1950, the Ristorante Alberto has served the finest quality of seafood dishes, concentrating on flavour, freshness and appearance.
  • Ristorante La Casereccia, Via Baiola, 193, Borbonica, 80075 Forio, Ischia Forio, [15]. Located at the foot of Mount Epomeo and with a sea view from above, this hidden gem is a true family restaurant. Each night Mamma Tina cooks up the best in Ischitan and Southern Italian. Standout menu items include the Grilled Swordfish, Stewed Rabbit, and Gnocchi Sorrentina. One of the cons of the family also bakes delicious pizzas using the freshest ingredients. Most ingredients, in fact, come from the family's own gardens. Wine and limoncello are homemade and delicious. Attire is casual, families and groups are welcome, and prices are reasonable. The family also runs a hotel and hostel.
  • Ristorante Giardini Eden, Via Nuova Cartaromana 68 Ischia. The lure of the sea-side location and garden setting is nothing compared to the draw of the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen at the Ristorante Giardini Eden. Choices include fresh pasta and seafood, and delicately spiced risotto. Expect everything to look as good as it tastes.
  • Ristorante Umberto a Mare, Via Soccorso, 2 Forio. This tiny restaurant has only ten tables. Its popularity stems from its view of the sea and the menu consisting of the local fishermen's daily catch.
  • Ristorante Mamma Mia, Via S. Angelo 48 Serrara, Sant'Angelo. This family-owned establishment has been a local favourite for years. The atmosphere is warm and lively, and Mamma ensures only the highest quality of ingredients go into her cooking. The restaurant is located in the sea-side community of Sant' Angelo.
  • Bar Ristorante Il Fortino Via Fortino, 37 Forio, Forio. The terrace of this fine restaurant opens up onto the sea for a lovely view during the day and at night. Some of their specialties include bruschetta and their filling salad Il Fortino.

Drink

On the Island of Ischia, the viticulture has millenarian origins. The cultivation technique is like the Greek traditional one. In fact, it is different from that one used in the middle of Italy and in the rest of the Campania province. From the coasts to the steep mountain slopes is where the vine is cultivated on proper terraced fields. Here is a list of the most famous and diffused kinds of grapes, all cultivated in the island from about 300 years ago: White Grapes - Biancolella, Forastera, and Arilla S. Lunardo; Red Grapes – Guarnaccia and Pedirosso o Pere e Palummo.

  • Limoncello After a traditional meal mainly based on fish, it is very common in the Campania region to drink limoncello, usually after coffee. Limoncello is a traditional spirit distilled from lemon rinds, typical of Naples, Caserta and Ischia. It is a natural product, usually home-made from rinds of local lemons which are characterised by their large size and thick peel. Limoncello is made by steeping lemon rids in alcohol and by adding water and sugar. It is usually served chilled as an appetizer or digestif. It is also mixed with champagne and white wine to prepare cocktails. How to make Limoncello Ingredients: 2kg of lemons, 1 l alcohol, 2 l water, 1 kg sugar. Put lemon peelings alcohol for 21 days in a dark place. Then boil sugar and water. When cooled add to lemon-alcohol, mix, filter peelings and fill into bottles..and the Limoncello is ready!
  • Ischia Bianco Doc The soul of Ischia soul is not the sea, but farming and wine growing, once in fact an area of 3,000 hectares (now 800), was devoted to this main activity. Thanks to its commerce in wine, Casa d'Ambra was founded, with its premises at the port, making history in wine on the island and in southern Italy. DOC Ischia is among the oldest in Italy : it goes back in fact to the mid 1870s and covers the whole island. The vine heritage is quite varied and includes grapes such as Biancolella, Forastera, Grape Rilla, San Lunardo, Coglionara and Falanghina.The tendency has always been for table wines to accompany either seafood or land-produce dishes. The result is a particularly elegant wine, due mostly to the volcanic terrain and dry microclimate with good thermal conditions.
  • RingHostel - (Forio) Via Gaetano Morgera n. 72 - Ph. +39 081 987546, or +39 333 698 5665, Fax. +39 081 987942 [16] - RingHostel is not just a hostel, it's an experience! We are located in an old monastery, where it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The hostel is 5 minutes by foot from both the buzzing town center of Forio, and also the closest beach. The hostel has free internet for all guests, as well as wireless capabilities for laptops. The common room has a big screen TV with lots of DVDs to rent, comfy couches, common kitchen, instruments to play, and a book exchange. Above it all, there is a comfortable terrace for watching sunsets and making friends. The hostel has one big dorm room, and then smaller rooms that can be single-sex, as well as doubles.
  • Case Vacanza Monti - [17] Located in Lacco Ameno, these six apartments are really cheap and friendly-managed. Their owner, Antonietta, is a very nice person and always trying to help. The rents are good and there is a quite near beach (less than 10m), La Spiaggia Del Fungo.
  • Pietradonica, Via San Vito 1, Forio d'Ischia, +39 3460870005. Old Farm-House of 1700, offers double rooms faced a garden of spices, citrus plantations and banana-trees. The rooms, are furnished with bathrooms, bed-linen, bar fridge, coffee pot and tea-pot, heating and ventilation, colonial furnishing of the nineteenth-century. A common kitchen is located in the garden pavilion.
  • Villa Spadara, Via Calosirto 66, Forio d'Ischia, +39081989584 [18]. In the nature of a lush limoneto, in the hills of Forio d'Ischia, stands Villa Spadara, an old farmhouse now receiving his guest in a family ambient, with great flower around. Here is a wonderful terrace looking the great sunshine on Forio, here is a relaxing swimming pool with thermal water, here is a great cuisine with local and fresh product, cooked with love following old family tradition. All the rooms are with bathroom and balcony, there is a bar and a lot of green space where walk, relax and live the nature of this incredible island.
  • Pensione Mena about 1km East of Forio, near Campo Sportivo. We spent 4 nights there. Lovely room (53) overlooking the sea. Cost 35 euros pp B&B (10 EUR extra for half-board). Very welcoming. Small swimming pool. All other guests were Italian. Not much English or German spoken. Very helpful Romanian waitress.
  • Ischia Hotel [19] - all the hotel in one site.
  • Hotel Ischia Reservations [20] - Casamicciola Terme - Ph. +39 081 995323, Fax. +39 081 995323. 60 hotels on the island of Ischia among 1 to 5 star.
  • Hotel Ischia [21] - Via Federico Variopinto 4 - Ischia porto - Ph. +39 081 3331197, Fax. +39 081 19722230. We have many hotel near the beach and at the center
  • Hotel Annabelle [22] - Via Federico Variopinto 6 - Ischia porto - Ph. +39 081 991890, Fax. +39 081 991890. In the hearth of the city, is far only 300 meter for the beach. Is very nice little hotel for family, week end, tour of work. The restaurant is very good and the room are so big.
  • Hotel Ape Regina [23] - Via Cretaio 129 - Casamicciola Terme - Ph. +39 081 994813, Fax. +39 081 995323. In a amazing position the Hotel Ape Regina is situated under Monte Rotaro, where visitors can enjoy great walks to discover the nature of the woods. Moreover the hotel offers a breathtaking view on the sea side and the opened marine landscape which will allow you to glimpse over the Italian mainland coast.
  • Hotel Resort Punto Azzurro Ischia – Via Belvedere, 12, Forio d'Ischia - Cap: 80075, Ischia, Italy. [24]. Telephone +39 081 908898 • Fax +39 081 908474. The Resort Punto Azzurro is a three star hotel of Ischia. This island is known all over the world for its springs, thermal parks and spa centres. The rooms are divided in singles and doubles, the rates change according to the season and can be booked half or full board. Other services include the restaurant, swimming pool and the free transfer to the port, the Citara beach and the thermal park of Poseidon.
  • Hotel Paradiso Terme [25] Hotel Paradiso Terme Resort and SPA is an exclusive residence, where the friendliness and hospitality will turn your stay in an unforgettable experience made of sea, sun, nature and a romantic atmosphere.
  • Hotel Poggio del Sole - (Forio) Via Baiola 193 - Ph. +39 081 987756, Fax. +39 081 987942 [26] - Hotel Poggio del Sole (Hotel of the Sunny Hill) is a cosy, charming, family-owned and operated hotel at the foot of Mount Epomeo on the beautiful Italian Island of Ischia. The hotel is perfectly positioned for quiet and peaceful afternoons spent gazing at the panorama of lush greenery, dramatic cliffs and sparkling blue waters and is walking distance from both the center of Forio and the sea. Views of the Mediterranean sea, pool, solarium, internal parking.
  • Hotel Parco Cartaromana - Via Nuova Cartaromana - Ph. +39 081 993600, Fax. +39 081 984011 [27] - The Parco Cartaromana Hotel is in a truly marvelous location and the view from the hotel is one of the most captivating in all of Ischia: the hotel balconies overlook the Aragonese Castle and the magnificent Bay of Cartaromana. Green hills surround the area, a haven of peace and silence. There are also a health spa, three swimming pools and two tennis courts available for its guests. Prices from 42€
  • Hotel San Giorgio Terme - Via Maronti, 42 - Ph. +39 081 990098, Fax. +39 081 906515[28] - The Hotel San Giorgio Terme is located directly at Maronti Beach, just 700 feet from the sea. The hotel is totally renovated and the rooms are nicely furnished with hand-painted terracotta. The modern lounge-bar, the restaurant and the thermal-pool overlook the Maronti Bay. The hotel dispose also of a in-house SPA, private beach and parking lot. Bus stop close to the Hotel and very good connections for the island's towns.
  • Hotel Poggio del Sole - (Forio) Via Baiola 193 - Ph. +39 081 987756, Fax. +39 081 987942 [29] - Hotel Poggio del Sole (Hotel of the Sunny Hill) is a cosy, charming, family-owned and operated hotel at the foot of Mount Epomeo on the beautiful Italian Island of Ischia. It is a mid-range hotel that also offers the option of bed and breakfast. In fact, the hotel can also offer bed-and-breakfast-and-dinner! Meals are filling and fabulous at the family's restaurant of the same name (see restaurants listing above). The hotel is perfectly positioned for quiet and peaceful afternoons spent gazing at the panorama of lush greenery, dramatic cliffs and sparkling blue waters and is walking distance from both the center of Forio and the sea. Rooms have views of the Mediterranean sea, pool, solarium, internal parking.
  • Hotel Europa [30] - Via Antonio Sogliuzzo, 25 - Ischia Ponte - Ph. +39 081 991427, Fax. +39 081 984246 - info@hoteleuropaischia.it. Family-run hotel (from the 1956) in located in historical Ischia Ponte, only 200 metres from the beach and 500 metres from the Aragonese castle.

Guests can soak in the thermal pool, complete with hydromassage jets, or in the new spa "cave" and indulge enjoy the sea view from the solarium before trying a typical Neopolitan dinner like risotto alla pescatora and frittura di gamberi e calamari, accompanied by an extensive selection of local wines. In the morning there is a breakfast buffet with home sweets and jam. A range of pampering treatments and massages are available in the beauty salon. Multilingual staff are on hand to arrange organised excursions to Pompeii, Napoli and the Amalfi Coast.

  • Hotel Parco Smeraldo Terme - (Maronti beach) Via Maronti n. 42 - Ph. +39 081 990127, Fax. +39 081 905022 [31] - The Hotel Parco Smeraldo Terme is right on Ischia’s popular Maronti Beach, in a lush subtropical garden with direct access to the private beach. The hotel is only 100 m from the bus stop to Ischia Porto, the island’s largest village. it features 65 bedrooms, bar-lounge, restaurant, lift, spa, thermal water pool, hairdresser, private beach, tennis court and parking lot. The 33° C thermal water pool, with four powerful water jets, overlooks the sea.The brand-new Corallium Wellness Zone, with direct access to the beach, features 2 indoor thermal-pools with several massage-jets, gayser massage and thermal-water fall, kneipp-path and two emotional showers with aromatherapy.
  • Ischia Spa Hotel (Ischia Spa Hotel), Via Mezzatorre, 23 - 80075 - Forio D´Ischia (Na). Luxury hotel with Spa, wellness center and panoramic terraces in Ischia." Room rates from €160.  edit
  • Rotonda Sul Mare Apartments - (Forio) Via Aiemita 29 - Ph. +39 081 987546, Fax. +39 081 987942 [32] - The Rotonda Sul Mare offers private apartments with full kitchen and bathroom in a location directly on the beach. The Rotonda is located is just a few minutes walk from the center of Forio, one of the main towns on Ischia island. Rotonda provides free internet access, free kayak and canoe rental, and terraces for your enjoyment. Laundry facilities are on-site, and parking is available. During the summer there's a beautiful patio deck over the water, where you can spend your day in the sun, and walk down the steps directly into clear water on a private beach to cool off.
  • Villa Marialuisa, Via Vecchia 15, Forio d'Ischia (100m from the port), +39 33 9291 4073, [33]. Apartments to rent in the heart of the historical centre of Forio, surrounded by a lush Mediterranean Garden with lemon, orange, mandarin, palm trees and an English garden. The Villa offers recently-restructured independent Holiday homes of various sizes (for 2-6 people) with a garden and all comforts. The main beaches of Ischia are within walking distance, but you can also take a bus or minibus.
  • Casa S,Vito - Forio d'Ischia (100m from the sea)- +39 081 997066 - Apartments (San Vito) offers independent holiday homes of various sizes for 2-5 people.

Stay safe

Ischia is generally a safe destination, even for women travelling alone. The local Police are also generally friendly if not always helpful. There are four main police forces in Italy: the Carabinieri [34] (black uniform) belong to the Ministry of Defence and perform a number of different duties; the Polizia di Stato [35] (blue tunics and grey pants) are part of the Ministry of Interior and perform general police duties such patrolling the highways; Polizia Municipale (city police) responsible for parking tickets, directing traffic, etc; and Guardia di Finanza [36] (grey uniforms) do customs work, but also check vehicles to make sure owners have paid proper car taxes. If you are robbed, try to find a police station and report it. This is essential to establishing a secure travel insurance claim.

Emergencies

In an emergency, call 113 (police) or 118 (medical first aid). Carry the address of your embassy or consulate.

Get out

From the ports of Forio and Ischia there are daily trips to the following destinations:

During the summer months excursions to the cities of Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi, as well as the island of Ventotene are also offered.

This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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