Isola d'Ischia

Known as the green island since ancient times, perhaps due to the presence of green tuff but also because of the abundance of vegetation, Ischia is the largest island of the Phlegraean archipelago, in Campania, which includes Procida and Vivara. Impressive and located a short distance from the city of Naples, Ischia is a whole swarm of emotions and activities, a mix of ancient and modern, savage and intellectual, natural and eccentric. To have an idea of its size, just think that it counts almost 63k inhabitants, thus being the third-largest Italian island after Sicily and Sardinia, out of a total of about 47 sq. km.

Of volcanic origin, like all the Phlegraean area surrounding it, the island of Ischia is nothing but a collapsed submarine volcano, the peak of which today is the striking Mount Epomeo. This particular feature has meant that Ischia has always been an island where the thermal waters have always abounded since the time of the first settlers in VIII century. At first during Greek period, then during the Roman era, and later during the Renaissance period, the beneficial properties of Ischia’s thermal waters were considered miraculous for human well-being, and in 1600 many spas started popping up near the natural hot springs.

The island of Ischia has always hosted celebrities, like Giuseppe Garibaldi, Camillo Benso Count of Cavour,  Arturo Toscanini, Luchino Visconti, Ingrid Bergman or Angelo Rizzoli, who gave way to tourism to the “green island”. Even today, Ischia is a popular destination for visitors from around the world, politicians and intellectuals, VIPs and celebrities from the international jet set each year flock to the streets of the small and charming villages of the island, continuing to appreciate the beauties of the island.

Food

Specializing in Mediterranean cuisine, with traditions which are completely independent from those of the city of Naples, the island of Ischia, in addition to different variants of bread (like the famous “Zingara”), pasta and pizza, offers mountain-style dishes as the Ischia rabbit, produced from the particular farming technique used to grow the Ischia rabbit, who lives into the holes in the ground.

Being an island with advanced maritime traditions, Ischia offers also delicious seafood including squid, bluefish from the Tyrrhenian Sea, octopus, redfish and "fravagli" (mullet’s small fishes).

Among the specialties of Ischia, you cannot ignore the lemon, used in numerous recipes, and the orange, but also local and typical Mediterranean spices and herbs.

Typical of Ischia are many spirits, from the classic limoncello to the bitter herbal and indigenous products, such as liqueurs of apple, licorice, melon and arugula.

A separate discussion should be done about the famous local wines: here the wine growing dates back thousands of years. On Nestor's cup, found in Lacco Ameno, a sentence praising the good local wine could be read. The cultivation technique recalls the Greek tradition and is different from the one used in Central Italy and in the inland areas of Campania. There are many crops on the island of Ischia which extend from the coasts to the mountain slopes.

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Thermae

Famous since ever for its spontaneous thermal springs, today Ischia is one of the largest spas in Europe. The island is home to many equipped centers, where you can enjoy mud baths, steam and natural alkaline waters. Used in ancient times as a remedy for many diseases, the thermal waters of Ischia can be used in endless ways: mineral baths or spas, ozone therapy, showers , mud baths, inhalations. Also, as an island with Mediterranean vegetation and climate, Ischia is the perfect place to relax and get in shape.

In 1538, the earthquake between Pozzuoli and Baia generated a hill then called Monte Nuovo, thereby upsetting the thermal basin, and the island of Ischia became a famous spa destination, which included people from any social class. At the beginning of 1600 the thermal center Pio Monte della Misericordia was founded in Casamicciola, where sick people were housed and cared for with the waters from Gurgitello,  Fornello and Fontana sources, Lacco Ameno muds, fumaroles  and vapors like those in Testaccio.

At the beginning of 1800 thermal baths in Casamicciola were visited by nobles from all over Europe, in 1864 even Giuseppe Garibaldi came here to be cured. Since 1900 hotel facilities and several spas have undergone several changes and have been adapted also to aesthetic therapies needs, and were adorned with lush gardens. Since the Sixties, then, thanks to the publisher and film producer Angelo Rizzoli, who extended the Regina Isabella thermal center and built a luxurious hotel, the island of Ischia has become one of the favorite destinations for spa tourism in Europe.

Ischia Blu Resort has an agreement upon with the nearby Terme of Ischia, which you can easily reach by walking or by a free shuttle bus.

Ischia's thermal parks not to be missed are: Poseidon Gardens, Negombo, Castiglione, O' Vagnitiello, Aphrodite - Apollon, Tropical, Nitrodi.

The island of Ischia has many natural sources and among them you should not miss Nitrodi, Olmitello and the fumaroles and springs in the bay of Sorgeto.

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Beaches

Ischia worth a visit all year round but gives its best during the warmest months, when you can fully enjoy its sea and its famous beaches.

A stone's throw from the center of Ischia Porto is Lido d’Ischia, with small beaches alternating with cliffs and pine forests. In the town of Ischia you can find the beach of Carta Romana, about 300 meters long, with thermal waters and not far from the Aragonese Castle. Or you can also choose to relax on the “Spiaggia degli Inglesi” (transl. the beach of the English), a pretty and secluded cove.

In Casamicciola you can find small sandy beaches just steps away from the panoramic road, with parking areas and beach facilities.

The Maronti beach, in Barano d'Ischia, is the largest of the island, with car parks, beaches and facilities for water sports. You can reach it through a scenic route or through a sea taxi service from the port of S.Angelo. The beach features hills, ravines and creeks (cave), where once used to be the ancient baths of Cava Scura, and by fumaroles which make hot a long stretch of sand.

The bay of San Montano is a pretty cove located in the village of Lacco Ameno, it features fine sand, free parking areas, beach facilities and amenities for water sports. Nearby there is Negombo Hydrothermal Park, with pools of sea and thermal water, a beauty salon and a lovely garden for a perfect remise en forme.

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