Ischia lies in magnificent beauty in the Gulf of Naples, beyond Procida and across the bay from Napoli. The third most populated Italian island after Sicily and Sardinia. Ischia has volcanic origins, formed after a long series of eruptions lasted something like 150,000 years.
Larger than Capri, its distinctive lofty Mount Epomeo is a massive green tuft rising at the center; it benefits the whole island with mild climatic conditions all over the year. The average temperature is 18°C even in winter, and 35°C in August, the hottest month.
That volcanic activity endowed the island with the thermal bathsthat have been renowned since ancient times.
The Romans brought profitably out the natural thermal springs, as demonstrated by the votive tablets found near Nitrodi's spring in Barano d'Ischia, where there used to be a small temple dedicated to Apollo and the nymphs, Nitrodie (waters' protectors).
Originally called Isle of Pinthecusa, the traces of the ancient thermae publicae were destroyed; that coupled with the fall of the Roman Empire meant the curative springs were forgotten about until the Renaissance. Thanks to a geology professor, Dr Giulio Iasolino, at the University of Naples (end of XVI century), who wrote a treatise about the natural remedies of the island, the hot springs fell into favor again. The island by this time had been re-dubbed Ischia.
By the beginning of the 17th century, the reputation of thermal therapies and their curative powers became widely popular; a group of noble Neapolitan philanthropists built "Pio Monte della Misericordia" a huge free access thermal establishment in Casamicciola. Since then, many impressive resorts have been built through the centuries, making Ischia an international landmark for tourists coming to cure their diseases, along with the island's beautiful nature and sea.
In the Iliad, there is a famous phrase written on Nestore's cup (found close to Montevico Lacco Ameno) that sings the praises of the local wine. The Ancient Euboaens, that colonized the island, introduced the production of the nectar of the gods and a special technique to cultivate it. You will find vineyards everywhere in the island, planted on terraced land. You should definitely taste some of the vintages grown in the mineral-infused soil. The Biancolella is a stand-out white, while the Piedirosso is the island's excellent red.
There are several towns scattered about the island, each distinctive and charming. You will love walking through the narrow streets of this paradise and discovering the allures of each one.
Visit Villa La Colombaia and Giardini La Mortella in Forio d'Ischia, the Aragonese Castle in Ischia Ponte, Maroni beach in Barano d'Ischia, the volcanic promontory of Cretaio in Casamicciola Terme, the gorgeous Borgo Sant'Angelo in Serrara Fontana, and the splendid view of the touristic port from Lacco Armeno: you won't forget any of them!
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Explore nearby towns
The deserted island of Vivara is like something in a movie.
Casamicciola Terme lounges on the northern shore of the island of Ischia.
Barano is Ischia's second largest town and one that has kept its painstakingly planted and tended vineyards and vegetable gardens.