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An Italian Roadtrip26 July 2020

The Barròco Guide for a Weekend in Ischia

Less famous than Capri, Ischia has no reason to envy the “Blue Island”. Located in the Gulf of Naples, this volcanic island encloses a wealth of natural and archeological treasures.

Less famous than Capri, Ischia has nothing to envy to the “Blue Island”. Located in the Gulf of Naples, this volcanic island encloses a wealth of natural and archeological treasures, including amazing beaches, thermal parks, gardens, and historical sights. Planning a weekend getaway to the “Green Island”? We’ve selected a series of stops not to be missed in Ischia.

DAY 1

Ischia is the largest of the three islands off the coast of Naples, (the other two are Capri and Procida). The isle is divided into six districts (Ischia Porto, Casamicciola Terme, Lacco Ameno, Forio, Serrara Fontana and Barano), all filled with a lot of hidden gems to discover. We suggest you start your journey with a visit to the Bay of Sorgeto, where you can enjoy natural hot springs. By climbing down 234 steps, towards a tiny beach in a picturesque cove, you will be able to swim in a variety of pools with slightly different water temperatures: you can choose boiling water, warm or cold as in the best spas. This is a result of the island’s underground volcanic activity.

In the afternoon we recommend a trip to Forio for a relaxing walk through the “Giardini La Mortella”, a stunning garden where you can admire a major collection of exotic, rare plants, such as papyrus, lotuses and tropical water lilies. This enchanted place was developed by 1956 by Susana Walton, the Argentinian wife of the British composer Sir William Walton. Awash with fascinating plants, flowers, wildlife and colorful birds, this lush tropical paradise attracts every year thousand of tourists. It is open from 1 April to 31 October on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 9.00 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Are you searching for a place to admire a breathtaking view and a spectacular sunset? Plan a visit to the Aragonese Castle, in Ischia Porto. Considered one of the main symbols of the isle, this fortress rises on an islet formed following a volcanic eruption. It was built in 474 BC the Greeks, but was Alfonso of Aragon, in 1441, to turn it into a fortified citadel. The Castle is open all year, every day from 9am to sunset.

There’s no better way to end your first day on the island than having dinner in a local restaurant. We suggest you Dani Maison, not too far from the Castle. In a magical garden, which includes an eclectic collection of art and an outdoor bar, you can taste one of the delicious dishes prepared by the starred chef Nino Di costanzo. Every recipe reveals the philosophy of its creator, which consists of passion, experimentation, and, above all respect for the raw ingredients of Campania.

DAY 2

For the second day of our stay in Ischia, we recommend a visit to one of the many thermal parks on the island. Among all of them, we have chosen Negombo Spa: here you can enjoy 14 pools, (some marine, thermal and therapeutical), a thermal area with Turkish bath, outdoor pool and modern aestetical-healthy treatments. Furthermore, you can eat in one of the restaurants of the structure, do shopping, or admire from the beautiful panoramic gardens the Mediterranean sea with all its glimmering colors. The Park is open from June 19 to October 11.

After your natural spa session, you may want to take a glance at the historical and artistic gems of the island. In this case, “The Church of Soccorso” could be a perfect choice. Located on a promontory overlooking the sea, this ancient convent has byzantine architecture style, Moorish and Mediterranean architecture in a fascinating fusion of different but harmonious shapes. The church’s interior is small but interesting with beautiful arches and vaulted ceilings. When you get there, be sure to have with you your camera: at dusk, the white stucco of the building becomes gradually red by the sunset reflected on the ocean. This breathtaking scene surely deserves a pic.

For your last dinner on the island, we suggest you reach Lacco Ameno, where you’ll find “Indaco”. Opened in 2009 within the hotel “Regina Isabella”, this restaurant has won several accolades, and since 2013 has been awarded a Michelin Star. Overlooking a small bay, this magic place allows guests to sit either in the dining-room or outside on the wide jetty. As for the cuisine, it is predominantly seafood: the dishes prepared by the chef Pasquale Calamaro includes the freshest farm-to-table products of the island as well as the hotel’s private garden.

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