WELCOME TO ISCHIA : A WONDERFUL ITALIAN HOLIDAY ISLAND !
Covering a surface of 47 square kms, Ischia is the largest Partenopean island. Its majestic Mount Epomeo measuring 787 metres, oversees the whole island.
Ischia is divided into six municipalities : Ischia , Casamicciola Terme, Lacco Ameno, Forio , Serrara Fontana and Barano and has a thermal wealth unequalled in Europe.
Research and studies published by calabrian Doctor Giulio Jasolino in the 16th century, regarding the composition and effects if Ischian thermal waters, are still valid today and were only perfected by modern medicine.
These waters are alkaline, containing sulphur, iodine, chlorine, iron, potassium and micro elements of other active substances.
Depending on their composition they are suitable for treating numerous pathologies such as rheumatism, arthrosis, neuralgia, arthritis, fractures, muscular pains, female complaints, diseases of the respiratory apparatus, skin infections etc.
The numerous and varied methods of application are impressive - mineral or thermal baths, showers, ozone therapy, mud bath , turkish baths, aerosols, douches, anderwater massages , beauty and wellness treatments available in many hotels or thermal establishments. A pleasant climate and the extraordinary vegetation of the island, complement the advantages gained from thermal treatments.
Ischia Porto - Ponte
The visitor arriving at Ischia, disembarks in a port of exceptional beauty. Once a vulcanic lake, it was opened to the sea by King Ferdinand II of Bourbon, who in 1854 ordered to excavate a channel, which connected the lake to the sea, giving the area the name Ischia Porto.
The splendour of bygone times is reflected in the Villa Reale - Royal Palace – which can be glimpsed amidst verdant vegetation. Fed by under soil springs the building is currently a military thermal establishment. On the Right Bank of the Port, opposite the Royal Palace, restaurants, tavernas and night clubs have substituted the fishermen’s homes , transforming the Right Bank into an important rendezvous for the international jet set.
Following the promenade Corso Vittoria Colonna, passing exclusive hotels and public gardens, one arrives at the old town of Ischia Ponte – once called the ‘Borgo di Celsa’. The Romans founded their metal smelting city, Aenaria, in this area around the 1st century BC. Gerone of Syracusa in the 5th century AD , built a garrison – fortress on the large mass of a rock facing the village.
Later Alfonso of Aragona , King of Naples , in the 15th century, took up residence and converted it into a Castle, constructed a bridge to connect it to the main island and named it the Aragonese Castle. In the Middle Age it became a safe refuge against pirates attacks. Vittoria Colonna, the Renaissance poetess, took the castle to its greatest moments of splendour, turning it into a religious and cultural centre. Among her illustrious guests there were intellectuals and artists including Bembo, Annibal Caro and Ludovico Ariosto. This majestic castle dominates the bay of Cartaromana , with its small beach well known for its hot sea springs.
With its Abundance of thermal springs, particularly rich in active substances, situated both on the coast and inland, Casamicciola Terme was, until the end of the 19th century, a well known spa. The original thermal establishments were situated here. Many famous personalities visited Casamicciola Terme including Giuseppe Garibaldi, who came to cure a war wound in 1864. It is presumed that Casamicciola Terme was inhabited in both the Bronze and Iron Ages. Some noblemen from Cuma, in the 6th century BC, banished from power by the tyrant Aristodemo, established a settlement on Monte Cretaio, an extremely good vantage point. According to a legend, the prophetess Sibyl Cumana (one of the 10 prophetesses of the ancient world) visited the exiles in the grottoes of Castiglione – today a picturesque thermal complex. Casamicciola Terme has a commercial port and a well equipped tourist marina which is frequented by yachts and sail boats. The inland wooded area, lush with pine & chestnut trees is perfect for long walks or horse riding.
|Terme Manzi Hotel & SPA *****||Villa Savoia *****|
|Hotel Elma Park ****||Hotel Poggio Aragosta ****|
L a c c o A m e n o
On Monte Vico in Lacco Ameno (the smallest town on the island), in the 8th century BC, Greek colonizers founded the city of Pithaecusa. There still remain unearth evidences of the most ancient settlement on the island, the first Magna Grecian colony. This city soon became a strong commercial power thanks to metal workings and pottery production. Many archaeological finds from Pithecusa may be viewed in the two local museums. One beneath the church of Santa Restituta and the other in Villa Arbusto (18th century). This latter, houses the famous Cup of Nestore – the oldest inscribed Greek cup ever found in the Mediterranean. Towards the end of the 1950s Lacco Ameno became an international tourist resort, thanks to Angelo Rizzoli an enterprising Italian publisher who constructed an exclusive hotel close to the site of an antique thermal establishment the Regina Isabella. On the outskirts of the town centre is the splendid bay of San Montano. According to Greek legend Aenea’s boat beached here while centuries later, on the same spot, the mortal remains of Santa Restituta, Patron Saint of Lacco Ameno, were washed ashore. Lacco Ameno’s symbol is the ‘Fungo’, a mushroom shaped mass of tufaceous rock expelled from the peak of Mount Epomeo, and eroded into its present shape by the elements.
|Albergo della Regina Isabella ***** de luxe||Grand Hotel San Montano *****|
|Grand Hotel Terme di Augusto *****||Albergo La Reginella Terme ****|
|Hotel Grazia Terme ****|
F o r i o
Forio is located on the west side of the island, in a very sunny and panoramic position.
Starting in 812 AD and continuing for several centuries, the town was plagued by pirate attacks. For defence purposes, the inhabitants built an intricate system of watch towers positioned on every promontory. At the first sign of danger, one tower would give the alarm with the others following suit until the whole island was advised and its inhabitants could take shelter on the mountain. The most important tower was the ‘Torrione’ which today is used as an exhibition hall. One of the most beautiful beaches of the island is in Forio: Citara, rich in thermal hot springs. It name derives from a temple dedicated to the god Venus Citarea. In the 1960’s a renowned thermal park was built on the site of this temple. This thermal complex, Poseidon Garden, taking advantage of the abundance of thermal waters in the area, has numerous pools, gardens and a private beach.
Particularly worthy of mentions is the fascinating bay of Sorgeto with its submerged sea springs. The Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Soccorso – the symbol of Forio – stands majestically on an outcrop above the sea. It was built in the 18th century on a pre-existing 16th century structure. A mixture of Greek, Byzantine and Arabesque architectural elements have produced the simple lines of this church. Weather permitting, the islands of Ventotene & Ponza and the coastline towards Circeo, can be seen from the churchyard.
S a n t ' A n g e l o
The isle of Sant’ Angelo which rises in a brilliant blue sea hollow, is a resort well known for health treatments or just relaxing. It lends its name to the pretty fishermen’s village opposite, whose clusters of tiny houses incline towards the sea. In its captivating harbour, small craft sailors find well equipped moorings; however the real charm of the village rests in the tranquillity of its thermal parks and the silence of its windings lanes The fascinating elegant boutiques and charming quayside restaurants, which re-create the enchanting atmosphere of olden days.
|Park Hotel Miramare ****+||Hotel La Palma & Fortino ****|
|Casa del Sole *** Dep. P.H.Miramare||Casa del Sole *** Dep. P.H.Miramare|
|Hotel Conte ***||Hotel Loreley ***|