Casamicciola Terme lounges on the northern shore of the island of Ischia. With about 8000 inhabitants, the town enjoys a lively isle atmosphere that expands greatly in the summer.
Originally named "Casa Nizzola" (Nizzola's home) , the city's coat of arms portrays the old lady NIzzola with her feet immersed in the town's famous hot springs, with are said to cure any ailment. It symbolizes the thermal waters that made Cassamicciola, and Ischia in general, famous. In ancient times, the locals used to bake clay pots and other pottery on the natural heat emitted from the rocks. The same heat was exploited for cooking and other housework. At the lovely restaurant "Il Castiglione" archeologists found some traces of an ancient village dating back to the Iron Age. The island hosts the osservatorio geofisico, with one of the earliest earthquake measurement devices.
While Casamicciola Terme is a port town and the main settlement is along the waterfront, you’ll also be stunned by some natural marvels, like the extinct volcano, Vulcano Rotaro, and the height of Mt. Epomeo that rises to 780 meters above sea level. There are chestnut and pine woods beyond the town, as well. Trails and roads lead to villages in the hills, where you can enjoy some time in nature away from the crowds.
Just below the hill of Castiglione, the gorgeous turquoise sea is embellished by the Grotto of Sibilla. Legend holds that Sibilla Cumana was a prophetess who foresaw the future. She used to live in Cuma, an old village on the mainland near Naples. When the king Aristodemo ascended the throne of Cuma, Sibilla was constantly beckoned and bothered from the king himself. One day Sibilla, in order to demonstrate her power and how much she held the king in contempt, called her Vestals to lie on the sea over a huge mantle. She suddenly got on the mantle and, under the astonished eyes of the king and his courtiers, departed towards Ischia and took up her residence into the Grotto of Castiglione, later called "Grotto of Sibilla".
Casamicciola was home to the most popular thermal spas in all of Campania. This historic spa was established in 1610 and was popular with Neapolitan nobles, and even Garibaldi came to rest in the curative waters. Later, the king expanded it in order to allow anybody to enjoy the amazing benefits of those natural thermal springs. Taking advantages of the free board, lodging and cures, every poor person of the island had the possibility to enjoy Casamicciola for 2 entire weeks per year. The resort was originally based in the area of Piazza dei Bagni and benefited the natural spring of Gurgitiello but, after the disastrous earthquake of 1883, it was rebuilt on the seashore.
Today, Casamicciola is home to a couple of immense thermal parks, that are part garden and part thermal spas, with various pools and tubs, along with a menu of treatment options, such as facials, massages, and more. The most noted are Castiglione and O'Vagnitiello. Castiglione is a complex with ten separate pools of various temperatures that are said to help cure arthritis and other muscle aches, along with mud wraps and hydrotherapy. Its unique feature is the panoramic funicular that transports guests from the entrance to the pool area. O'Vignitiello is a tropical garden with four pools amidst the plants and sea views. Another noted spa is the five-star upscale Manzi Resort, a high level luxury hotel and spa complex done up with Moorish flair.
In Casamicciola you can browse the shops and stop in at Bar Calise for a coffee, pastry, drink or snack. The well-noted restaurant U'Guarracino is in Casamicciola, at the Castiglione Thermal Park. It is one of Ischia's most famous restaurants, and definitely worth a meal here!
The beach at the Marina is a soft sandy stretch that is easily accessible, right in town.
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