To those who arrive from the sea, the shape of the Aragonese Castle announces that the island of Ischia is close. The massive icon of this island, one of the monuments that you absolutely must see, is connected to the mainland with a bridge that has been rebuilt several times in the past centuries, because the power of the sea destroyed it. In 474 b.C. the Greeks sheltered on this small islet to defend themselves from the enemies, but it was Alfonso D’Aragona, in 1441, to transform it in a fortress.
The little white church of Soccorso is one of the favorite photographic subjects of the tourists, who visit Ischia. Very small, but with an extraordinary charm, it rises up on a promontory perched over the sea. It is situated there, because the seamen that saw it from faraway, understood they were arriving home.
The approx. 234 steps to face to get to the bay of Sorgeto are not an obstacle, because the reward explains the acceptable effort, especially during the low season. The hot springs cross the sea water, creating natural pools of various size and temperature. You can choose among hot, tepid or cold water, as in the best thermal baths. They are for free and are opened all year round.
The most famous are the Poseidon Gardens, but also these other ones deserve a relaxing day: Afrodite, Eden and Tropical Gardens, the thermal baths of Castigione, Bagnitiello, Negombo and Cavascura. In this thermal gardens you can choose among pools with different temperatures, waterfalls, Kneipp pools, sauna and almost in every park, there’s the direct access to the private beach. You can never miss the beauty and wellness services, such as massages, mud treatment, gym, and so on. These gardens and parks are real beach resort: they offer solarium with beach loungers and umbrellas, restaurants and bars.
Here in Forio, you can choose among the most beautiful beaches of the island. Chiaia is one of the biggest and most comfortable. Then there is Cava dell’Isola, connected to the street by a long series of steps. It is quieter than Chiaia, it has clean water and it is served from three restaurant-bars. San Montano bay, in Lacco Ameno, is also one of the nicest beaches of the island. Maronti beach, where you can arrive by sea from Sant’Angelo or from the street, has a volcanic sand, which is thin and dark and also has hot springs that flow into the sea, such as the one of Cavascura.
Very nice and heart-felt are Sant’Anna – 26th of July – and San Michele – 29th of September.
Feast of Sant’Anna is the most important summer celebration on the island of Ischia. Thousands of islanders and tourists attend the feast sit on the rocks of the bridge of the Aragonese Castle or on the hundreds of boats that are parked in this marvelous glass-like sea, where the nature confuses with history and you don’t know which prevails.
Feast of San Michele Arcangelo, in Sant’Angelo, takes place every year during the week that includes September 29th (Feast of Archangels). The Feast lasts three days, and you can attend the procession in the sea. There are band concerts and fireworks that closes the feast.
The tour of the island by boat is an opportunity to admire bays, caves and natural sculptures like the ship, the elephant and the famous Maradona’s foot. It is possible to see the variety of landscape of the island. It is lower and less indented in the Northern side and higher, with a lot of deep canyons in the Southern area. The Magician’s Grotto, the Sgarrupata bay and snorkeling between Poseidonia and the bubbles of the Aragonese castle are a memory that will stay printed in your mind.
Hiking on the mountain and trekking on the Monte Epomeo, the mountain of Ischia that looks at the island from its 789 meters are another interesting characteristic of our island. You can breathe clean air and you can walk surrounded by forest of holm oaks, chestnuts and Mediterranean scrub and in the background you can see the Gulf of Naples, Capri and the Pontine islands. The breath-taking view, the tasting of the local wine together with bucatini (long pasta) with rabbit sauce are the right way to pay back the efforts you made to get to the peak. Likewise are the field trip to Piano Liguori, the wood of Falanga and the Nitrodi natural springs. Also here the view is breath-taking.