The undiscovered island of Ischia: sights, beaches, restaurants

Ischia: sights and practical tips

Ischia is a small island: 7 by 9 km, slightly stretched from east to west. (Just in case – this is Italy, Campania region, near Naples).

In the center of the island – the mountains (more precisely – three volcanoes), along the perimeter are scattered towns and villages.

On the east coast there is Ischia Porto, which smoothly flows into Ischia Ponte, in the north – Casamicciola and Lacco Ameno, in the west – Forio (the second largest city) and Panza, in the south – Sant’Angelo and Barano. There are also smaller villages.

Where is the best place to settle in Ischia?

It all depends on the purpose of your visit. If you came to Ischia to improve your health you will surely take a hotel close to one of the thermal parks.

The largest thermal complexes are “Gardens of Poseidon”, “Negombo and Castiglione. If you prefer “Negombo”, look for a hotel in Lacco Ameno, if “Gardens of Poseidon” in Forio and “Castiglione” is between Ischia Porto and Casamicciola Terme. From Ischia Porto to “Castiglione” is 2 km, some people walk without waiting for the bus.

nombo

Pools in Negombo

The longest beaches of the island are Chitara and Maronti . Chitara is right near Forio. Part of the beach is occupied by the Poseidon Gardens thermal park. Maronti is more secluded; the nearest town to it is Barano.

There is a bay on Ischia Sorgeto, where the hot spring emerges directly into the sea. So if you do not have extra money for a thermal park, you can go to the “wild spring”. A trail leads to Sorgeto Bay from the village of Panza. Or you can take a sea cab from Sant’Angelo.

(By the way, this is a case where you can swim in the sea in winter. The temperature of the spring is 80 degrees).

If you expect to move around the island a lot, go to Naples, Sorrento and other islands – settle in Ischia Porto.

If you like solitude, take a closer look at Sant’Angelo. However, in almost every town you can find a villa, located in a secluded place, with its baths and gardens. But if you like to spend your evenings wandering through the souvenir shops, stores, listen to street musicians, in general, walk around the evening city, choose either Forio, or Ischia Porto / Ponte.

Transport in Ischia

Buses

The bus service on the island is quite convenient.

The most popular routes are the circular ones. One of them – CD (i.e. – circolare destra) makes a clockwise circle around the island, the other – CS (circolare sinistra) – counterclockwise. The first buses of these lines leave Ischia Porto at 4:20 and the last at 1 am. So, you can easily have dinner with a view of the beautiful sunset on the west coast, and then go to your hotel on the other side of the island. However, sometimes you can wait for the bus for half an hour or an hour. The bus makes a complete circle around the island in 1-20.

Among the popular routes are also line 1 (Ischia Porto – Sant’Angelo), line 2 (Ischia Porto – Gardens of Poseidon Thermal Park), line 5 (Ischia Porto – Maronti Beach).

You can see the full schedule here, under THE PUBLIC BUS SERVICE, Timetable EAVBUS.

So, in general, when choosing a hotel should not be so strongly focused on the proximity of something, say, to settle near the beach Maronti, if you can easily reach it from the same Ischia-Porto.

A single ticket (singola) for the bus costs 1.20, daily ticket (giornaliero) – 3.60, weekly ticket (settimanale) – 12.60 euros.

Ships

Ischia has three ports: Ischia Porto, Casamicciola and Forio. See here for a timetable of maritime transport.

There are about 15 trips a day to Naples or Pozzuoli, often calling at the island of Procida (also recommended to see).

From Ischia to Capri there is one flight a day: at 10-35 (from Alilauro). After Capri, the ship goes to Sorrento.

There is an evening flight to Sorrento at 17-25. (These flights run until October 31).

Tickets for the flight are sold the day the ship sails. I tried to buy a ticket for Capri a day in advance, I was asked to come in the day of departure, half an hour before boarding the ship.

There are two windows at the port ticket office. The company Caremar sells tickets on the left and Alilauro on the right. In general, southern Italy is characterized by numerous small companies on various modes of transportation.

Ischia Porto

The queue at the Caremar window

In travel agencies on the island, you can buy tours to Capri, the Amalfi Coast.

So, the excursion to Capri is held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and costs 33 euros. The excursion to Positano-Amalfi takes place on Thursdays and Sundays and costs 40 euros.

A three-hour boat ride around the island of Ischia itself with an hour’s stopover in Sant’Angelo is offered for €18. An excursion to Procida costs 20 euros.

When we boarded the ship in Naples, preparing to sail to Ischia, everyone was given a brochure containing useful information about the island. In particular, there were schedules of sea and land transport, a description of bus routes, and a list of all the museums.

Such a brochure, I think, you can get in the tourist offices on the spot. I strongly recommend to get it.

Ischia for recovery: thermae, sea and hiking

Ischia is a health-improving island, and there are many opportunities to be cured, strengthen your health, get in shape.

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The main treasure of Ischia is thermal springs. There are 67 fumaroles, 29 underground pools and 103 thermal springs on this volcanic island.

But to consider the island only as a balneological and thermal resort is to use half of its potential.

The center of the island is mountainous. The highest point of the island is the top of the volcano Epomeo (788 m). There are two more volcanoes: Trabotti (512 m) and Monte Vezzi (395 m). There are numerous hiking trails of varying difficulty on the mountains. Routes go through the picturesque countryside, the views from above are incredible. The most accessible way to climb Mount Epomeo is described here.

View of Ischia from above

View of Forio from Above

Ischia trail

Along the mountain trail.

It seems to me optimal to structure your day in Ischia as follows: go for a mountain hike in the morning (or sightseeing), and swim in the sea and/or go to the thermal park in the afternoon. Especially since from 13 hours the price of a ticket to the thermal parks is 5 euros less (this counts as a half-day ticket).

In the evening you can take a pleasant walk, visit a concert or have dinner in a beautiful place.

Ischia is called the island of pensioners. Indeed, I’ve never seen so many elderly people gathered in one place before. But you should have seen these pensioners! Skinny, athletic, with backpacks and trekking poles! In the mornings they gather at bus stops and load into friendly crowds onto the bus, which takes them to the beginning of the next route. By golly, it was enviable at times. A very proper old age. Just perfect.

Ischia Pensioners

The group is getting ready to hike.

I have already mentioned the informational pamphlet that everyone was given when they boarded the ship in Naples. It contained, among other useful information, descriptions of the most common hiking routes with an indication of the difficulty, mileage, and approximate time of the route. If a person does not dare to go on the route himself, he can join a group with an instructor and go in company. The cost of organized mountain walking is about 20 euros.

Attractions of Ischia

In addition to the natural attractions of Ischia, such as thermal springs and mountains, there are man-made attractions on the island, namely museums, churches, villas, botanical gardens.

The main attraction of Ischia is the Castle of Aragon. Very well advised to visit it. The castle is situated opposite Ischia Ponte, in 15 minutes walk from the port of Ischia.

Aragon Castle Ischia

The castle was built on a separate rock not far from the coast and is a conglomeration of a variety of buildings. Walking around the rock with a peek into all sorts of nooks and crannies turns out to be very fascinating.

The rock is connected to the “land” by a bridge, by which this part of Ischia and received the prefix Ponte (“bridge”).

Not far from the Cathedral of Ischia there is the Museum of the Sea, housed in the Palazzo del Clock.

Museum of the Sea of Ischia

The Botanical Gardens of La Mortella are the second most important museums in Ischia. It is located between the towns of Lacco Ameno and Forio. It’s a magnificent garden that climbs up the mountain slope. Do not miss this delightful piece of the island.

La Mortella

La Mortella Garden.

In the town of Forio itself there is a small botanical garden called Ravino . Numerous species of cacti form the basis of the collection. Through the garden walk peacocks, ponies, in cages – rabbits.

In the town of Lacco Ameno there are two archaeological museums. One of them (Museum of Saint Restituta) is underground, the entrance to it is near the Church of Saint Restituta (it’s the very center of the town, Piazza Santa Restituta). Unfortunately, when I was there, the underground museum was closed.

Another archaeological museum called Pitekusa is housed in Villa Arbusto (Pitekusa is an ancient Greek city on Ischia, the first ancient Greek colony in Italy, which founded the Great Greece). You have to climb up to the villa, it is “nestled” in the middle of a mountain slope. Frankly, the museum is poor and the villa is rustic. However, there is an outstanding exhibit there – the so-called Nestor’s Cup, a goblet, dating back to the 8th century B.C., with an inscription in Ancient Greek.

Nestor's Bowl

Villa Arbusto

The city of Forio is famous for its many towers and churches, among which the Pontifical Basilica of the Madonna of Loreto and the Church of Mary of the Snow Soccorso stand out.

Soccorso church

Church of Maria of the Snow Soccorso

Every night, people gather on the promontory behind the Church of Soccorso in the hope of seeing a rare optical phenomenon, the green beam. This phenomenon occurs when the sun sets over the horizon in clear weather (or rises). In my day, the horizon line was shaded by clouds. There was no green flash.

Sunset in Ischia

As for the towers of Forio, they were built in the 15th and 16th centuries to prevent pirate raids. Twelve towers have survived. The tallest of them is Torrione, round at the base of the tower, which for 3 euros can be climbed.

Opposite the Basilica of the Madonna of Loreto stands the square at the base of the Quattrocchi (“four-eyed”) tower.

forio tower

Quattrocchi Tower (Quattrocchi)

Finding towers in the narrow labyrinths of Forio can become a fascinating activity.

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On the island, and now and then you stumble upon traces of former civilizations. For example, this aqueduct in the area of Fiano is left over from Roman times.

Ischia Aqueduct

Map of Ischia with sights

Ischia: on your own or a tour?

I rented a hotel in Ischia Porto, and in this town I hardly ever heard Russian speech.

But in the thermal parks Russian speech was heard often. I met especially many compatriots in the Poseidon Gardens.

In conversations it turned out that, as a rule, they all came specifically for thermae and specifically chose hotels near Forio. The most surprising thing was that the package tour is cheaper than an independent one. So, one woman said that the tour for two weeks with breakfast and dinner cost about 50 thousand. The same option for a week – about 30 thousand.

Another thing is that I did not want to limit myself to Ischia, I wanted to live in Amalfi and Naples, so the package tour did not suit me. But if you just want thermal springs and the beach, then look at the offers of travel agencies. It’s not always cheaper to go on your own. Besides, you don’t have to take a suitcase and a bus to get from Naples airport to the port, to change the ship, and on Ischia to take a cab to the hotel – your transfer is already included. And on the island you can organize your vacation as you want. Mountain hikes, museums, city walks, excursions to Capri or Amalfi, thermae and the sea – at your discretion.

I even think it is better to take only breakfast in hotels, so you can have dinner in different places on the island. Although, of course, half-board at the hotel is cheaper than dinners in restaurants.

About the food

Finally, a few words about the food.

The main dish of the Iskitan cuisine is considered a rabbit Iskitan. The rabbit meat is stewed in a clay pot with basil and parsley, and lemon and wine are added. But I didn’t want any meat in the heat. I took mostly something seafood. On the first day I got mussels. I was expecting a pot, like in Normandy. They must have been half the Normandy portion. Normandy mussels are smaller and served with broth. The Iskitinsky mussels are big and taste fattier and softer. I liked the Normandy version with broth better; however, these were good too.

mussels

The other time I ordered anchovies. The freshest and most delicious. I had dinner at St. Angelo’s. The whole promenade is fish restaurants, there’s a lot of competition, and the food is very good.

In front of the restaurants there are freshly caught fish to choose from. Fry you any of them.

fish Ischia

Of wine I took the local white. It was wonderful. Local brands: Biancolella, Forastera, Rilla.

Ischia is famous for its sweets. What we did not want in this heat was sweets. They looked very attractive, but we didn’t want them at all.

desserts

Volcanic soils are known for their fertility and abundance. Plus the Mediterranean climate and excellent ecology. Fruits, berries, vegetables are delicious here. Very pleased with the local tomatoes.

Souvenirs

The main souvenir in Ischia is pottery.

The island is flooded with stores selling ceramics. Each such store is a mini-museum, demonstrating the exuberant imagination of local potters and artists. Ceramics decorate the streets, benches, staircases, and city fountains.

souvenirs from Ischia

Also as a souvenir you can buy the local thermal cosmetics and mud.

Well, and, of course, take home the local wine and limoncello from the local lemons.

Weather on Ischia in late May

Weather was sunny, air temperature was 25-27, water temperature was about 20-22. Bathing in the sea was not a lot, but for me, the water was suitable for swimming. (However, I am not an indicator, I was swimming in the beginning of May in Alanya, and in February in Kemer).

Many people go to Ischia in May, because the main bathing season has not yet started, and on Ischia instead of the sea you can swim in the pools with thermal water.

Still, of course, the best period – is September, when the sun and softer, and the sea is warm.

At this end of my story about the island. In the following articles I will tell in detail about the thermal parks, and the main attractions of Ischia.

The Island of Ischia

Ischia is the largest and one of the most beautiful islands in the Neopolitan Gulf, located seven kilometers from the Italian mainland. Its territory is administratively part of the province of Naples and the region of Campania. The area of the island is 46.3 km². The shores of Ischia are washed by the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is part of the Mediterranean Sea. For the abundance of lush greenery – pine forests, woods and gardens – Ischia is often called the “Emerald Isle”.

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Video: Ischia Island

Highlights

Ischia is of volcanic origin. There are three extinct volcanoes on the island: Epomeo (789 m) and Trabotti (521 m) in the center, and Monte Vezzi (395 m) in the southeast. Tourists have nothing to worry about: the last eruption on Ischia was back in 1301.

Holidays here have become popular, thanks to the unique thermal parks. It is believed that on the island of Ischia concentrated the largest in Europe number of thermal pools. This is a true gift of nature – the local mud and mineral water have healing properties and are able to relieve fatigue and stress, increase immunity and rejuvenate the skin. Ischia has become a true symbol of beauty and youth in Italy.

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Map of Ischia

The first settlers set foot on the land of Ischia about 4 thousand years BC. Today more than 6 million travelers visit the island every year. During the high tourist season not only foreigners come here: Ischia hosts a large number of Italians who want to spend their vacations or weekends with their children and friends. Island resorts are especially crowded during the hottest months of the year – July and August.

Such an influx of tourists is quite understandable. Ischia offers everything a traveler could want: beautiful beaches, clear sea, pine forests, groves of olive and lemon trees, vineyards, winding mountain trails, as well as many archaeological monuments and ancient temples. It is also worth adding healthy Mediterranean climate and delicious local cuisine. In addition, the island of Ischia is famous as a place for family tourism: it is not too noisy and created a comfortable environment for children.

Beach on Ischia Church of Soccorso during the summer sunset

Island Thermae

Istitán’s thermal parks have long been a favorite destination for visitors to the island. These parks are specially equipped and landscaped areas with several thermal water pools. Throughout the day the water in them is constantly being cleaned. And when the parks are closed to visitors in the evening, the thermal pools are completely cleared.

There are a total of six parks on the island of Ischia: Poseidon’s Gardens, Eden, Castiglione, Tropical, Apollo and Aphrodite and Negombo. Almost all of them are located by the sea in wind-protected bays and are adjacent to excellent beaches. Such parks have become real recovery and relaxation centers of island resorts. Along with therapeutic procedures tourists have an opportunity to avail of professional cosmetological services and massage sessions.

Most of the island hotels have their own thermal springs, so even in the cold season tourists coming to Ischia enjoy the warm healing water in equipped thermal pools. Water in them is saturated with salts of sodium, sulfur, calcium, chlorine and potassium. Some of the springs on the island are rhodon springs, which means they have a high level of natural radioactivity. The temperature of the springs varies from +20 ºС to +90 ºС.

Climate

The island of Ischia is located in the Mediterranean zone, characterized by a mild climate. Most travelers can be seen at local resorts from late April to mid-October. However, the hot rhodon springs mixing on the coast with seawater allow visitors to take comfortable baths at any time of the year.

Ischia in February

In May, when the bathing season begins, the water in the sea warms up to +17. +19 ºC. By the end of the month the sea is even more comfortable (+20 ºC). The islands reach the end of the bathing season, reaching a sea temperature of +22 ºC. Ischia during the summer months is very hot and the temperatures can reach up to +40 ºC, with an average of +25 ºC in June, +28 ºC in July and +29 ºC in August. In each of the summer months will fall on 5-7 rainy days.

The Italian island also enjoys quite warm winters, rarely dropping below +7ºC. The winter months on Ischia are more like the beginning of autumn in central Russia. December is considered the rainiest month of the year – about half of the month it rains over the island.

Evening Forio Ischia

Beaches

Ischia is just created for comfortable beach rest and windsurfing! All the coast of this island is covered with small bays with beautiful sand and pebble beaches, and between them there are picturesque rocky promontories. In the coastal waters you can watch the movements of several species of dolphins, sperm whales and common whales. In recent years, the number of cetaceans throughout the Mediterranean has declined sharply, but near the island of Ischia dolphins are common guests. That is why the coastal area of the island is planned to be included in the marine reserve.

The biggest beach of Ischia is Marina dei Maronti, which means “quiet beach” in Greek. It is located in the municipality of Barano. The beach is very beautiful and is considered one of the most popular Italian beaches for tourists. Marina dei Maronti stretches in a long arc of sand for 3 km and is protected by green hills on the shore. In addition to the excellent sand, it is famous for its healing mud and thermal springs, some of which have been known since the days of the ancient Romans.

Maronti Beach, Ischia

The beach of Marina dei Maronti was popular with pirates. Due to the nature of the seabed, they could approach with their ships directly to the shore. According to surviving legends, pirates hid their looted treasures in the surrounding hills.

You can get to the Marina dei Maronti from the port of San Angelo by sea cab or by land on buses number 5, 10, and 11. It is also convenient to reach the beach by car along the road leading to Testaccio. In this case, travelers can use the guarded parking near the beach.

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Another beach, popular with visitors to Ischia, is located at the foot of Mount Epomeo, near Punta Imperatore and is called Citara Beach. It is famous for its exceptionally clear waters and the proximity of the thermal springs of the “Gardens of Poseidon”.

Citarra Beach Poseidon’s Gardens Thermal Springs

Not far from the suburb of Ischia Ponte there is a 300 meters long beach called Cartaromana. It is very popular with holidaymakers, thanks to the hot springs that go right into the sea. Near this beach it is interesting to take unusual baths and do scuba diving.

Resort infrastructure

Ischia has a rich tourist life. There are many hotels, tourist attractions, night discos and clubs, taverns, restaurants, pizzerias, souvenir shops and small stores built on the island. And all this is surrounded by beautiful beaches, as well as lush groves and gardens.

Administratively, the island is divided into districts: Serrara, Ischia, Forio, Barano, Lacco-Ameno and Casamicciola. Forio is the largest city of Ischia. It is home to the popular Poseidon Gardens thermal park. The coastline in this part of the island is heavily cut by small coves, so here you can find a lot of comfortable beaches for a secluded vacation.

Forio resort on the island of Ischia

The seaside town of Serrara is very beautiful and is near the small fishermen’s village of Sant’Angelo. Painted in different shades of pink small houses, modern comfortable hotels, narrow streets, temples, restaurants and small boutiques attract many travelers to this part of Ischia. Especially since there are two thermal parks near the town.

Serrara Village of Sant’Angelo on the island of Ischia Casamicciola Cove after sunset

The most popular thermal resort is considered the small and quiet town of Casamicciola, where the park with thermal pools “Castiglione” was created. It is located near the crater of the long extinct volcano Rotaro. Casamicciola is divided into the “upper” part, where most of the hotels are concentrated, and the “lower” or harbor, considered an excellent place for recreational promenades.

The smallest island town, Lakko Ameno, is the place to go for the Negombo Park, set on the picturesque shoreline beach in the Gulf of San Montano. One of the attractions of the village is the tuff rock “Fungo” (“mushroom”), which has become a recognized tourist symbol of Ischia. Its image can be seen in all travel guides on the island.

Attractions of Ischia

One of the main attractions is considered to be the Castle of Aragon located on an island of volcanic lava, 220 meters from the south-east of the island. Alfonso V of Aragon built this picturesque fortress on the rocky cliffs in the middle of the XV century. But it did not appear on nothing. Historians know that the medieval castle was preceded by earlier constructions, the first of which appeared on the island in 474 B.C. The Aragonese castle served as a place of refuge for the inhabitants of Ischia during the attacks of sea pirates.

Aragon Castle on the Island of Ischia

The old town of Forio is no less beloved by visitors to the island. It is said to be one of the most fascinating places in Ischia. The narrow streets and winding alleys are still reminiscent of the pages of medieval history. Forio’s calling card is the snow-white church of Our Lady of Help, which rises high above the sea. It is so laconic and beautiful that many people rightly consider this church one of the most beautiful in Italy. In the architecture of the Christian temple, built in the 18th century, one can see the traditions of Moorish and Greek-Byzantine architecture. And from the church square there is a panorama of the city streets and an excellent view of the sea coast.

Forio resort on the island of Ischia

In the historic center of Forio there are 12 ancient fortress towers, once serving as watchtowers. They were built and fortified from the IX up to the XVIII century, and were armed with cannon to repel the attacks of the enemy from the sea.

Church of the Virgin Mary the Helper in Forio Torrione

The most famous of the towers, the Torrione round tower, was built in the eighties of the fifteenth century. It rises above the port on a high tufa ledge. From this tower it was convenient to keep an eye on a large part of the sea coast. If Turkish pirates’ ships approached the island it was in time to alert the military garrison of Forio. Today there is a museum inside this tower, with temporary exhibitions on the lower floor and an exhibition of works by the painter Giovanni Maltese on the upper floor.

This is not the only museum in Forio. The Villa “La Colombaia”, which belonged to the famous director Luchino Visconti, has been home to a museum named after him for more than 10 years. Here you can see rare photos of the filming of his famous films and personal life, as well as a collection of stage costumes, in which the most famous characters of Visconti’s films were filmed.

In Lacco-Ameno, at Villa Arbusto, it is interesting to visit the Archaeological Museum. Its collections are highly valued by specialists, as it is one of the few museums in the world that displays samples of ceramics from the Neolithic to the Roman Empire. The real jewel of the museum is the ancient cup of Nestorius with inscribed Greek writings.

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In Ischia-Ponte there is a curious sea museum, inside the Palace of the Clock (XVIII century). In the collection of the Maritime Museum one can see old compasses, navigation devices and depth gauges, which were previously used by Italian sailors and fishermen.

Island Festivals

Ischia is famous as a place of noisy and colorful holidays and festivals. There are about 70 churches and places of worship on the relatively small island, a testament to the fervent religiosity of Ischitans. Island towns and fishing villages host year-round compulsory celebrations in honor of patron saints, harvests, religious demonstrations, and rituals.

Easter celebrations on Ischia

In spring, on Easter Day, thousands of Ischians gather for the Easter Angel procession. In mid-June, the annual festival of fireworks takes place in Lacco-Ameno, and the sky is lit up with bright, colorful fireworks.

The biggest and most crowded festival is St. Anne’s Day, celebrated on July 26. During this grand festival, Ischia hosts processions, theatrical performances, and boats decorated with flowers are launched into the sea.

In late September and early October, many tourists come to Ischia especially to participate in the large-scale “Wine Festival”, where you can taste young wine. This fun festival is always accompanied by dancing and performances of street musicians.

On Christmas Eve, nativity scenes appear all over the island of Ischia. Figurines depicting biblical characters are prepared very carefully and many are real works of art. Big and small crèches are made in the courtyards of houses, in public institutions and in town squares.

Vineyards on the island of Ischia

Features of Ischitan cuisine

Island cuisine is very similar to Neopolitan cuisine, but retains its own characteristics. In almost all restaurants here you can try deliciously cooked rabbit Ischitan-style. This dish is considered a traditional meal of the locals during Sunday dinners. Rabbits are bred on the island itself under natural conditions.

Bread on Ischia is very fragrant, because here they prefer to bake it according to the old tradition – in wood ovens. Italian cuisine is unthinkable without pasta, and on the island they like to use for it a special sauce, for which they grow small round tomatoes – “piennoli”, which have a pleasant sour-sweet taste.

Calzone pizza Spaghetti with seafood Lunch Chili peppers Bakery

Ischia, like the entire Neopolitan region, makes excellent pizza. And local fishermen supply restaurants with mussels, squid, grouper, sea urchins, king mackerel, tuna and octopus. While vacationing in Ischia, it is worth trying the potatoes and eggs baked in the hot sands near the fumaroles and wrapped in foil, as well as the delicious chicken in a cube – “pollo al cartoccio”.

Dish “pollo al cartoccio”

The pride of the island is the exquisite sweets, most of which can only be tasted on Ischia. They are rum baba with Ischitan lemon liqueur, roccoco, mostaccioli, chiacchiera and pastiera. In the streets in the island towns they sell delicious crispy pastries – taralli, which are small, woven from strips of dough, in which they add almonds and peppers.

There are so many restaurants, pizzerias, bars and cafes built on the coast of the Italian island that it is almost impossible to determine which institution is better. The common feature of all places to eat on Ischia is excellent cuisine, open terraces with magnificent views of the Neopolitan Bay and a true cult of coffee. This is not surprising, since this part of Italy preserves the oldest methods of coffee roasting in Europe. Connoisseurs of the fragrant drink will be pleasantly surprised by its excellent quality.

No less enjoyable is Ischia and connoisseurs of fine wines. The culture of Hellenic winemaking was brought to the island in 700 BC by the inhabitants of the Greek island of Evia. Even today in Ischia the rare varieties of grapes are cultivated, from which the famous brands of wine are made: Biancolella, Ischia Bianco, Forastera d’Ischia, Per’e Palummo and Ischia Rosso. One bottle of this fragrant drink is enough to turn a dinner at a seaside restaurant into an exquisite meal!

Café with a great view of Perex in the harbour

What to bring back from the island

The choice of souvenirs has never been a problem for travelers visiting Ischia. The islanders are known throughout Italy for their excellent craftsmanship in coral jewelry, woodwork and wrought iron. On the island you can buy excellent bright ceramics and majolica. The store at the old ceramic factory Manella, where you can buy exquisite tableware and jewelry, is particularly popular and reasonably priced. In addition, many tourists try to take away from the island local delicacies – liqueurs “limoncello” and “ruccolino”, specially packaged rum bars and bottles of excellent Ischitan wine.

On the island of Ischia is developed production of natural cosmetics, so as souvenirs travelers take with them fragrant soaps, rejuvenating masks and nourishing creams, in the manufacture of which are used fragrant island herbs and healing mud from thermal springs.

How to reach

From Naples and Pozzuoli there are ferries and fast boats to Ischia. The ferries cover a distance of 40 km in one hour. The ferries from Capri and Procida also sail to Ischia. The main island ports are located in Ischia Porto, Forio and Casamicciole. Private ships are usually moored in Sant’Angelo and Lacco-Ameno.

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