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Ischia

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Ischia is the biggest island in the bay of Naples. And is considered by those in the know to be the most beautiful, (though Capri is considerably more famous). Italians flock to the island for its volcanically-driven thermal spas and as well as its beaches and food.

Island of Ischia - Castello Aragonese
File:Cartina ischia big.jpg
Island of Ischia Map


Cities

Other destinations

Understand

Ischia — historically called Pitecusae — was colonized in turn by 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 back-and-forth 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 sometimes been used as a cinematic stand-in for the Island of Capri.

Climate

Ischia's climate is at its most comfortable for the traveller from April to October, however the weather in Ischia is always changeable and visitors should expect both sunshine and rain — whatever the season. Summer, the main season, combines long daylight hours with lengthy evenings. Winter can be bitterly cold, with short daylight hours.

Flora and fauna

Also called the "Green Island" by locals, Ischia has a hot and dry summer and mild winters along with a pronounced fertility which is a result of having almost 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

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-like and agave plants with 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 that many hydrovolcanic eruptions and earthquakes changed the features of the soil. On the hills and up to the Epomeo top, there are some openings into the soil, covered by spontaneous vegetation and rocky deposits: thy are deep and narrow gorges sloping down toward the sea. As it concerns waters and muds, they are 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, as it can be seen from the description below, all the muds have some standard features: Sodium, Chlorine, Potassium and Calcium content, Sulphur in the form of sulphates and sulphides content. According to the presence of some of these substances, different waters and mud are recommended for different treatments. There is also a document edited by the Italian Ministry of Health concerning the updates on waters and muds suitable for therapeutic treatments and illness and diseases which can be treated. According to this list, disease which can be treated by spring waters and muds are: rheumatical deseases such as arthrosis; respiratory deseases; dermatological deseases such as psoriasis, atopical dermatitis, eczema (except for exudative bladdery forms), chronic seborrhea; gynecological diseases such as pelvis tissue sclerosis; deseases of the gastroenteric apparatus such as gastroenteric or bilious dyspepsia, intestinal desorders associated with constipation.

Cavascura and Olmitello Thermal water

On an excursion around Sant’Angelo you can penetrate on to the footpaths that take you onto the hilltops. One of these is a footpath that goes to the thermal springs of Cavascura and Olmitello. Leaving the square of Sant’Angelo you can reach the Fumarole beach by taxi boat. Here, leave the beach behind you and on your right walk on a footpath 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 every type of plant life, 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 Cava Olmitello. Here making way through the bushes that take you back to when the world was a simple place, calm with only the croaking of frogs, you reach the antique establishment of Olmitello, sadly to say in disuse.

Talk

While Italian is the native language on the island, most people working in the tourism industry speak at least one other language.

Get in

By plane

There isn't an airport on the island. From the airport of Naples International Airport it is possible to reach by taxi 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.

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 4 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 5 km far from the highway.

By train

There are no direct trains to Ischia. There are four available railway stations to reach one of the harbours of Naples:

  • Naples Campi Flegrei. From this station it is easy to reach the harbour 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 harbour 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.


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)

Tips

It is comfortable to take a taxi in order to reach the harbour from the rail station or airport, in this case take a look at the "Fix prices table" that any taxi driver must show in his car i.e. from the rail station Centrale to the Beverello harbour the fix total price is now 9.50 EUR, not per person, nothing more, or from airport to habour of Beverello fix total price is 15 Euro

Get around

By bus

The quite good 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, but is also possible to purchase tickets with a longer validity at cheap prices. These tickets can be bought at very numerous shops (notably newsstands, bars, travel agencies and tobacconist's).

Sightsseing Tour

Half day roundtrip to all 6 communities of Ischia with stops at the most beautiful sightseeing stops of the islands. price Euro 11.

See

Villas, Parks and Museums

  • Villa La Colombaia (Forio) - The Villa, surrounded by a superb park, was the residence of the movie director Luchino Visconti. It is now the seat of the cultural Institution dedicated to Visconti, which is involved in cultural activities promotion such as music, cinema, theatre, art exhibitions, work-shops, cinema reviews. There is a museum dedicated to Luchino Visconti will. The Villa and the the Park are accessible to public visits.
  • Villa La Mortella - (Forio - San Francesco) -
    La Mortella Gardens - Forio d'Ischia
    This park is located at Forio d’Ischia and was originally the property of the English composer William Walton, who lived in the Villa next door with his wife. 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. The castle can be reached over a stone bridge. The small island 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.
  • Guevara Tower - Ischia Ponte - The tower represents as well as the Castle one of the best known symbols of the island. It is called Guevara or Michelangelo’s Tower and is rising in front of the Castle, surrounded by a lawn and facing Sant’Anna rocks. The tower has been rebuilt on the ruins of an ancient fortress: it is likely one of the defence towers built from the XV century to protect the Castle islet ant the coast against enemies’raids. The tower derives its name from the Dukes of Guevara who were the ownwers since the beginning of 1800. Its second name derives from a groundless legend which tells that the world famous artist Michelangelo, who was a friend of the poet Vittoria Colonna, stayed in the tower when he was visiting the island. The tower is nowadays used as arts exhibition centre.
  • Il Torrione - Forio - Many towers have been built in the past along Ischia coastline to get better sight of the sea around the island . Since the IX century, they used to be built in order to defend the island against raids of pirates. One of those tower, called “Torrione” still now existing, is located in Forio, nearby the harbour. It was built in 1480, has two floors: the ground floor had not access from outside and was used as weapons and munitions storage, there was also a rain-water tank; on the upper floor there was the Garisson’s accommodation (about 10 people) led by a “torriere” that had the task of promptly taking sight of any enemy ship and sounding the alarm. On the top, there was a terrace provided with four cannons. Historians notice that many similar towers were built in Forio until the XVIII century, although many of them were used as private residence of noble families. 16 similar fotresses have been counted in all between 1480 and 1700, plus five more towers built in the district of Panza, some with a squarred base and others with a circular base. Many of these towers can be observed still now and are mainly private houses. The “Torrione”, after it had been restored, became a municipal Museum, on the lower floor, while the upper floor was the house 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 collects a picture gallery about Angelo Rizzoli’s stay on the island of Ischia. He was 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 big luxury hotels which became since then the much loved destination for cinema stars and international jet-set in 50ies and 60ies.
  • 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 was once 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). 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 big hotels and the restoration of Piazza Restituta in the town centre of Lacco Ameno. Villa Arbusto is not only the seat of the Pithecusae Museum, but has a splendid garden, open to the public. In the Museum there are many archaeological findings dating back from the Prehistory to the Romans Age. On the ground floor there is the a Geological section , which shows how the presence of the volcano affected life on the island.
  • The Soccorso's church - Forio - It is devoted to "Santa Maria della neve" (Saint Maria of the snow), and it was built on a steeply promontory that take its name. As the "Torrione" it is the symbol of the town of Forio and it is one of the most original architecture structues of the Island of Ischia. The Soccorso was founded as an augustinian convent on about 1350 but it was suppressed on 1653, anyway its actual form go up since the 1864. The churh is accessible by 20 steps of piperno, then there is a little atrium with 5 crosses of pipernio too. This church is world famous not only for its position but specially for its singular facade, white and adorned by precious '700's 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 becouse of the many types of volta. In the left chapel there is a thaumaturgical cross, a sculpture of catalan inspiration, surely made on the sec. XVI. Closed to this cross there are 2 marble medals, they was found in a medieval sarcophagus that was placed in the castel of the antique cathedral of Ischia. This church retains various arts as a shovel made by Cesare Calise that represents Saint Augustine, and a small basin of pipernio dated sec. IX-X. The 5 may 2002 Pope John Paul II during Pastoral Visit Meet with youth in a square adjacent to the church of Our Lady Help of Christians.

Thermal Springs

Ischia springs are known since remote times and are many importants to therapeutic features by many Italian and foreign scientists, starting from 1300. Hot and boiling waters are used in baths and thermal gardens; there are as well small springs on some beaches and streams of spouting hot water gushing into the sea as well as steam spouts with gases gushing from cracks in the soil (fumaroles). Fumaroles can be observed on the slopes of the Epomeo, particularly in 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 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 infiltration of sea and rain water. According to many scientists’ opinion 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.

===Churches===
Soccorso Church, Forio

There is a tiny white-washed church is 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.

Do

Beaches

  • Chiaia - Forio, the perfect beach for children;
  • Cava dell'Isola - Forio, the most important beach for young people;
  • Citara - Forio -
    File:CitaraBeachForio.jpg
    Citara Beach - Forio d'Ischia
    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. In this bay there is Poseidon Thermal Garden.
  • Bay of Saint Montano - Lacco Ameno, a bay where is the thermal park of the Negombo. This unusual beach, closed in between Mount Vico and Mount Zaro, has unique characteristics 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 the 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 on the shore, allowing tourists to swim in the sea in winter too;
  • Marina dei Maronti – Barano -
    Maronti Beach, Barano
    The beach at Maronti is 3 km long and can be reached by taking a charming panoramic road that starts in Barano and descends towards the sea. Another great way to reach the beach is to use a water taxi from the picturesque port of Sant’Angelo. The beach at Maronti is the largest on the island; it 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 in the surrounndings of Sant’Angelo; hydrovolcanic activity occurs in hot water outpourings used for relaxing baths; to get here, there is a steeply sloping foot-path starting from Succhivio
  • Bagnitiello: series of sandy beaches along the sea front road, equipped with car park and bathing establishments.
  • Sorgeto - Panza, Forio - Sorgeto is a shingle small bay, lying to the foot of cliffs covered by agave plants, to the West of Sant’Angelo. Thermal water gushes into the sea. On the hill behind, is located an important archaeological site, known as Punta Chiarito which was where the first Greek colonist settled vines an a hut village.
  • Fumarole Beach - Sant'Angelo - 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 by footpath in 30 minutes from Sant'Angelo, or in a couple of minutes by boat-taxi. The beach is also a populat hangout at night: there are some fumaroles there, and locals often go there and cook dinner in the sand.

Events

One of the many things that make Ischia such a place to visit is the variety of events on offer throughout the country every month of the year as musical events and festivals, to the handicrafts markets in the historical center and sports events. In spring and summer, the various villages on Ischia organize several events: most of them are linked to 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 dance from the island. 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 will be in the churches and the basilicas of Forio.
  • ForeignFilmFestivalJune - A cinema festival with premieres and retrospective themes dedicated to films located in Europe, especially Italy. Ischia, for example, was one of the locations for films made in Italy from the 1950s onwards. Some of the films made here are Vacanze a Ischia with Vittorio De Sica, the colossal Cleopatra with Richard Burton and Liz Taylor and the more recent film The Talent of 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 on July 26th 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 - A village festival has been organized every year since 1988 in Ischia, that is held in 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.
  • 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.

Trip of Island by Boat

An around trip of the island of Ischia by boat permits to see the coast-line that otherwise is not visibile. Boat Tour living 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 in parts low and sandy 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, there are rockfaces, precipices, recesses and promontories: Capo Negro, Punta Pilaro, Chianare Spadaia with its rocks like the Boat Rock, until you reach Capo Imperatore where there is the 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 or San Francesco, which laps the offshoots of Monte Caruso. Here the coast-line is high bare rockfaced, jutting out, 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, Lacco Ameno. Lacco Ameno is noted for its characteristical 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 here is 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 promontori jutting out of Punta Lume, Punta Parate and Punta San Pancrazio. On this side of the coast there is the Mago grotto and other grottos. From Punta San Pancrazio the coast-line continues high 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

Arrived to Fontana following 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 excavated into it. During the day the view is marvellous, from its peak 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.

Drink

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

Buy

In every built up area of the island 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 has been very famous since the fifties, nowadays called Corso Rizzoli, that comes out at Piazza Santa Restituta, the place where the inhabitants meet each other.

In Forio, thanks to the expanse of the town territory, there are a lot of possibilities for shopping. Here we only mention the very long main street that crosses the whole city territory.

In Serrara Fontana, do not miss Sant’Angelo, the sea area of the town, for hopping and social life.

In Barano the center of commercial life is the square that faces the wonderful beach of Maronti.

Handicrafts

Handicraft Ceramic

Ceramics making and decorating is a ancient art. This tradition has been handed on during centuries, developing new techniques and producing objects of different use. 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 presents many iron impurities. Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians used to dry in the sun this kind of products. If it is baked in oven, it will become dark red, assuming the particular colour known as terra-cotta, varying in intensity as the consequence of its chemical composition. It is suitable to be covered by glassy glazes which make it bright, smooth and not porous. It is usually painted and decorated in 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.

Eat

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 betray. There are many ways to buy it fresh, directly in fish-shops or at the paranza(trawler) when fishermen come back from the sea after the beating. 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 consistence 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.

Restaurants and winebar

  • Ristorante Alberto 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. Address: Via C. Colombo, 8 Ischia NA Italy
  • Ristorante Giardini Eden - 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. Address: Via Nuova Cartaromana 68 Ischia
  • Ristorante Umberto a Mare - Forio Tiny restaurant have ten tables. Its popularity stems from its view of the sea and the menu consisting of the local fishermen's daily catch. Address: Via Soccorso, 2 Forio NA Italy
  • Ristorante Mamma Mia - 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 locaterd in the sea-side community of Sant' Angelo. Address: Via S. Angelo 48 Serrara NA Italy 80070.
  • Bar Ristorante Il Fortino - 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. Address: Via Fortino, 37 Forio NA Italy

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 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 the typical lemon, big in size and with a thick peel which grows in the area. It is made by steeping lemon rids in alcohol and by adding water and sugar. It must be served chilly as appetizer or digestive. It is also used 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.

Sleep

Budget

  • Ring hostel - Forio d'Ischia (historical center)- +39 081 987546 [1] - Cheap private rooms for 1 to 4 people with or without an ensuite bathroom as well as dorm rooms for 4, 6, and 8 people with or without ensuite bathrooms as well. Huge common area with a fully equiped kitchen, TVSat, Internet access, dvd player and a bar.

Holiday Houses

  • Villa Marialuisa, Via Vecchia 15, Forio d'Ischia (100m from the port), +39 33 9291 4073, [2]. 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.

Bed and Breakfast

  • 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, with double bed, are furnished of bathrooms, bed-linen, bar fridge, coffee pot and tea-pot, heating and ventilation, colonial furnishing of the nineteenth-century. It is possible kitchen in common in the pavillon of the garden.

Stay safe

Ischia is generally a safe place, even for women travelling alone. Police are also generally friendly if not always helpful. Carabinieri (black uniform) are military police, and Polizia (blue and grey uniform) are civilians, but they both do essentially the same thing and are equally good, or bad. Guardia di Finanza (the grey uniformed ones) do customs work. 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 Forio’s Port there are daily trips to the following destinations.

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