Ischia13 things to do and see in Ischia and 3 not to do
Ischia is much more than a seaside resort. Sure the sea, spa, beaches they constitute the main tourist resource of the area, but there are really many things to do. Just think that the island was there first colony of Magna Graecia, the first outpost chosen by the Greeks in the western Mediterranean basin. This is why, together with the Aragonese Castle, the Soccorso and all the other postcards of the island, it is also important to visit the Archaeological Museum of Villa Arbusto in Lacco Ameno. Below, our suggestions on what to do (and what not to do) in Ischia.
I'll start right away with two tips on how to book your hotel and ferry through two super reliable online services:
- for the hotel in Ischia: Pronto Ischia
- for the ferry / hydrofoil: Traghettiup.com
1 The Aragonese Castle
Without doubt the most famous postcard of the island of Ischia. It is located at the bottom of the quaint village of Ischia Ponte connected to the mainland by a stone isthmus made by Alfonso V of Aragon. A convenient lift takes you to the top of the structure just below the Maschio (which cannot be visited). The view is breathtaking, as well as very beautiful are the remains of the Cathedral of the Assumption, the church of the Immaculate Conception and the cemetery of the Poor Clares. The Aragonese Castle can be visited all year round even if in summer, between theatrical visits and cultural reviews, there is much more excitement. Make a note of the appointment at the end of June with theIschia Film Festival.
2 The Chiesa del Soccorso
Together with the Aragonese Castle, the Chiesa del Soccorso is the other undisputed icon of the island of Ischia. It is found at Forio, overlooking the sea and a stone's throw from the historic center. It is a Mediterranean church, with very simple lines, without great works of art, yet the scenario in which it is inserted is truly unique in the world. It is no coincidence that several weddings are celebrated during the summer. The church is almost always open, while the museum set up in the sacristy is more rarely open. If it can be visited, I highly recommend visiting it. Inside there are numerous "ex voto”With giant vessels and canvases with shipwreck scenes, testifying to the deep devotion of Ischia's fishermen. The churchyard all around is also wonderful, with a view of the sea and the gods endless sunsets of the western side of the island.
3 Poseidon Gardens
I Poseidon Thermal Gardens they are located in Forio, at the bottom of the beautiful bay of Citara. Open from mid-April until October, they are one of the tourist excellences of the island of Ischia, ideal for spending a splendid day immersed in the lush greenery of the Punta Imperatore hill. Well twenty-two swimming pools (of which two, plus the Olympic swimming pool, also suitable for children) without forgetting direct access to the sea complete with an equipped beach. In short, the thirty or more euros of the cost of the ticket (excluding catering) are absolutely well spent. The top.
In Ischia there are not only the Poseidon Gardens. Definitely worth a visit too Negombo (from mid-April to the end of October). It is found at Lacco Ameno and in addition to being a popular spa park, it is also a location for concerts, theater show of cabaret. Every summer famous people from the entertainment world perform: songwriters, actors and well-known TV faces (the late Pino Daniele also performed here). Negombo, like the Poseidons, has a part of the beach in concession (San Montano, see photo). The cost of an umbrella with sunbed and deckchair is a little higher than the average (alternatively there is a free beach) even if the shallow water, well beyond the shore, is ideal if you travel with the whole family . Advised.
5 Nestor's Cup
At the beginning we mentioned the Archaeological Museum of Pithecusae, one of the most important ceramic museums in Campania, set up inside that Villa Arbusto which was the private residence of the knight Angelo Rizzoli senior. The most important exhibit of all is undoubtedly the Cup of Nestor, a small vase with a lateral incision that represents one of the oldest testimonies of Greek alphabetic writing, even contemporary to the Homeric texts. In the Museum, of course, there is also a room dedicated to the Milanese publisher who, with his investments, was the main architect of the tourist rebirth of the island of Ischia immediately after the Second World War. The museum is open all year round.
6 Sant'Angelo d'Ischia
Those who stop at the Aragonese Castle inevitably also visit Ischia Ponte. In Sant'Angelo, however, you have to go there on purpose. This seaside village, in fact, evokes a feeling of separateness, located as it is at the southern end of the island of Ischia, at the end of a long and winding descent. Sant'Angelo is a splendid testimony ofMediterranean architecture. The pastel colors of the houses, the marina, the small square with the boutiques and restaurants have for years been worth the well-deserved comparison to Capri. The suggestion is to also see the Madonnella, the upper part of the village from which one arrives at the Maronti beach or, if desired, on the viewpoint of Serrara Fontana (a municipality to which it administratively belongs).
7 The rabbit Ischia style
Ischian rabbit is the main dish of local gastronomy. More than the recipe, of which there are as many versions as there are grandmothers, mothers and aunts to prepare it, what really makes the difference are the raw materials used. Starting, of course, with the animal that in many cases is still fed with Herbs, legumes e pruning waste. The restaurants "Il Focolare" in Casamicciola Terme, and the "Bracconiere" in Serrara Fontana are, in my opinion, the best to taste this goodness.
8 Island tour by sea
Among the many opportunities that the island of Ischia offers from April to October, a prominent place belongs to the tour of the island by sea. Several shipping companies who make the tour that, we remember, stops in all the ports of the island. An opportunity to shoot wonderful photos and delve into the variety of coastal landscape of the island.
9 Mount Epomeo
The ascent to Monte Epomeo, a 789 meters above sea level, it is an experience that can be enjoyed all year round. From Piazza IV Novembre, in Fontana, the summit is just over an hour on foot. Waiting for you, at the top, the ancient hermitage of San Nicola, a small Augustinian convent entirely dug into the soft green tuff. The panorama seamlessly embraces the entire circumnavigation of the island, going on the clearest days up toCirceo archipelago in the lower Lazio. The recommendation, therefore, is not to forget your camera!
This small rocky cove, famous all over the world for its hot sulfur springs, is located in Panza, part of the municipality of Forio. In practice, a natural thermal park absolutely free and moreover accessible all year round (yes even in winter, you read that right!). The only drawback over two hundred stairs to do to reach the bay (alternatively, but only during the summer, there is the taxiboat service from Sant'Angelo). Precautions: pay attention to where you put your feet, and if you decide to take a bath out of season, choose a sunny day and bring a bathrobe.
11 La Mortella Gardens
Awarded in 2004 as the most beautiful garden in Italy by the Briggs & Stratton magazine, this beautiful park is located in Forio, at the beginning of the road that leads to the Zaro wood. On two levels, the park is home to thousands of Mediterranean and tropical plants. From the rare gingko, celebrated by Goethe, at the Victoria amazonica, an aquatic plant famous because its flowers change color in just one day and then plunge into the water. Managed by Foundation named after William Walton (English composer, architect, together with his wife Susana Gyl and the landscape architect Russel Page, of the design of the park), La Mortella is not just a botanical garden. Inside take place classical and chamber music concerts. The offices of the "Recite room" and the "Greek Theatre”Suggestive open space from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Forian coast.
The Garden is open to the public from Easter to the end of October (in winter by reservation only)
>> 9.00 / 19.00
>> Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
Full ticket: 12,00 € uro
Are provided special reductions and discounts
12 The surroundings
Vacation in Ischia means vacation in Gulf of Naples, so why not dedicate a day to getting to know Procida or Capri? Without forgetting Naples, the capital of Southern Italy casket of a thousand treasures to be discovered. In short, you choose, you will not regret it!
13 Book the right hotel
The island of Ischia was almost completely ignored as a tourist destination until the early 50s. Since then, for about twenty years, the island has experienced an important tourist growth. The discovery of this beautiful island, easily accessible from the mainland, has generated a boom in requests for accommodation and the consequent need to structure an accommodation capacity practically from scratch. The result was a race to build almost out of control rooms that generated a high density and variety of accommodation facilities. Today we have almost 400 who base their competition above all on prices, even at the expense of the quality of the services they are able to offer. In a nutshell, it is not easy to choose the hotel that best suits your needs and meets what is actually expected of them. Holidays are sacred, to choose your hotel in Ischia we strongly recommend that you consult the local operators of Pronto Ischia, the tourist assistance center on the island of Ischia, it is a free service. On their website www.prontoischia.it you will find all the Ischia hotel offers. Do not hesitate to call them, they will be kind and helpful in recommending the best hotel for you. Often their offers include the hydrofoil and / or port / hotel transfer.
1 Ischia cannot be visited in one day
Ischia is not an island that can be visited in one day! After Elba it is the largest of the smaller islands in Italy, as well as the most populous (over 60.000 residents). In short, it is not one of those islands with a square, a few bars, just a couple of shops and a typical restaurant. And that's not all, because in addition to being extensive, the territory is above all very varied: not surprisingly, the Ischitans, to the official administrative division (six municipalities covering an area of 46 square kilometers) flank their informal and probably more truthful division: that between "Wed and cups" the upper part of the island, e "Mer 'and I leave" the coastal towns. The advice therefore is to avoid the day trip. For a first smattering of the island, a weekend is much better. The top is a week.
2 Better not to come by car in the summer
To limit and regulate the influx of cars, from Easter to the end of September in Ischia the landing ban. Prohibition extended to all Campania residents, while those coming from outside the region can safely disembark with cars in tow. However, the advice is not to do it (except, of course, essential reasons): summer traffic, in fact, is one of the problems that have gripped the island for the longest time and the landing ban itself has proved to be more of a deterrent what else. Above all, to come by car you risk being bottled up in long queues, especially under the scorching sun. Better, if possible, to rent a scooter. The most agile and comfortable way to get around Ischia is on two wheels. You slip in wherever you want, park easily and, not a secondary detail, it gets a little cool. Otherwise, the wisest thing is to book one central hotel, or at least well served by public transport.
3 Do not delay to book the ferry (or hydrofoil) for the return
If you choose to come to Ischia in high season, or close to any holiday bridge, don't forget to book round trip boarding, even more so if you come by car. Better to do it in advance even if it will cost you a few euros of presale costs (we recommend the very updated www.traghetti-ischia.info). Alternatively, at least return as soon as you set foot on the port, or at the latest, after having placed your suitcases in the hotel, pension, bed & breakfast etc. Conversely, there is a risk of nasty surprises with the concrete possibility of losing the connection with the train or plane and all that follows (failure to return to work, inability to honor a commitment etc.). Therefore, it is advisable to be foresight and organize in time. I told you....