The Jewel Of The Phlegrean Islands
Ischia is located at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples and not far from the charming islands of Procida and Vivara found in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The largest of the Phlegrean islands and the third most populous in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia, Ischia is popular spot for Italian tourists, gaining international recognition in recent years. In fact, it was awarded the Best Island in the World 2022 by Travel & Leisure readers.
Here are some of our favorite things to do in Ischia :
Discover Ischia’s Volcanic Past
The natural changes which Ischia underwent over the centuries were in turn more numerous than the name changes. The history of what became famed as the “green island” is in fact constantly marked by earthquakes and eruptions.
Recent geological studies make it possible to accurately trace a chronological map of the island’s volcanic activity, which began over 130,000 years ago, and has undergone periods of rest and chaos, with profound repercussions on the morphology of the island’s shape and structure.
The examination of numerous finds confirms the presence of man in the area of the municipality of Lacco Ameno since at least the Bronze Age. Fragments of pottery from the Mycenaean age, datable to a period between the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries BC, were found in the coastal strip between Ischia Porto and Casamicciola.
Exploring Ischia’s Beaches & Bays
Where there is volcanic activity, there are thermal waters! Among the most beautiful beaches to see in Ischia there is also the Bay of Sorgeto which offers the opportunity to take a bath in a source of naturally hot thermal water that intersects with the marine one.
Despite the 234 steps to take to reach it, the beauty of the bay is always very popular with tourists so it is advisable to visit early in the morning.
Another must-see is the Chiaia beach in Forio, the largest on the island. If you are looking for fine and golden sand, you should pay a visit to the Bay of San Montano in Ischia where you will find crystal-clear emerald, green water and golden sands.
On Ischia, there are also many thermal parks worth seeing such as Poseidon, Negombo and the Gardens of Aphrodite.
For those who love garden scenery, Ischia offers visitors a peak at the Mortella Gardens, an excellent example of Mediterranean and subtropical vegetation ranked among the most beautiful in Italy.
Created in 1956 by Susana Walton, the wife of the English composer Sir William Walton, the garden features many rare plants. Some of the best features are the aloe garden, Sir William’s rock, the Nymphaeum, the Temple of the Sun, the crocodile waterfall, the Greek Theater, the Sala Thai and the Glorieta.
Visit The Aragonese Castle in Ischia
One of the most fascinating places to see in Ischia is the Aragonese Castle, a fortification that stands on a tidal island of rock located on the eastern side of the island of Ischia. It is connected by a 220m long masonry bridge to the ancient village of Celsa, known as Ischia Ponte.
The islet on which the castle was built derives from an eruption that occurred over 300,000 years ago. Geologically, it is a bubble of magma that has been consolidating during eruptive phases and is defined as a “stagnation dome”.
If you like adventure, the Castle is accessed through a 400m long tunnel dug into the rock illuminated by high skylights and the next section is a mule track that winds uphill in the open and leads up to the top of the island. Minor paths branch off from this road leading to the various buildings and gardens. If all that seems a bit treacherous, why not take the elevator that was installed in the 70s
Uncover Ischia’s Ancient Towers
Another symbolic place to see in Ischia is the Torrione del Forio, an ancient large tower used to defend incursions of the Saracens and Turks who landed along the shores to carry out raids.
Built around 1480, it is an important rock fortification with a circular plan. It had a strategic function, as being positioned higher than all the other towers distributed in the territory it had the task of sighting the enemies and implementing a defensive line first.
Next to the Torrione, there is the characteristic Chiesa del Soccorso di Forio, with the typical white-washed color of Mediterranean buildings. Overlooking the sea, the church collects countless votive offerings from Ischia sailors.
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