Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Isle of Ischia: Take Two

Our first trip to Ischia in August was somewhat of a disaster (see previous Ischia post) with us taking the ferry into the wrong port, walking around aimlessly without a plan, and bearing temperatures in the high 90s with very high humidity. This time around we were determined to research a little bit more about this spectacular island and all it has to offer.
Pulling into the port.
Castello Aragonese from the ferry.
This weekend Jon surprised me with a night on Ischia for my birthday. We took an early ferry, and arrived at our amazing hotel which sits on the harbor, has it's own thermal spas and massage/beauty treatment options, and rooms with large balconies overlooking the port. After we checked in we set off on a walk down Corso Vittoria Colonna, a street which has many ceramic and limoncello shops. We ended up spending a lot of time at one ceramic shop throughout the weekend, making friends with the owner who invited us back for espresso the next morning (which we accepted) and gave us a discount on a set of plates.
Just a few of our purchases.
We ate lunch and continued to walk towards Castello Aragonese. This castle sits on a volcanic rocky inlet connected by a stone bridge about 700 feet long. The first fortress was built in 474 BC and after a long time of abandonment, the castle was rebuilt in 1441 and was connected to the main island with the stone bridge. It reached it's peak in the 16th century when it housed 1892 families with 13 churches. The castle walls enclose courtyards, gardens, churches, antique archways, and terraces with outstanding views of the sea, the harbor, and the peninsula.
View from the Terrace of the Immacolata.
Hello out there!

The Cathedral of the Assunta.
A crypt underneath the cathedral.

A garden area.
Church of the Madonna della Libera.

Within the castle walls.

After our trip to the castle we walked back to the hotel and checked out the thermal bath they have. Ischia is known for its thermal pools and health spas. The water is from the natural hot springs, is heated by volcanic action, and is said to be good for a variety of health treatments. We also took advantage of their massage services.

Taking in some sun... kind of.
Smoking a cigar
Celebrating a great birthday!
The port at night from our balcony.

We had a wonderful and relaxing time in Ischia. Next time we go we will visit more of the island and visit the towns of Forio, Sant'Angelo, Lacco Ameno, and others.

Per il mio compleanno Jon mi ha fatto una sorpresa con una notte a Ischia. Siamo arrivati a Ischia presto la mattina di sabato. Dopo siamo andati all’albergo, abbiamo camminato una strada trafficata con molti negozi. Abbiamo mangiato il pranzo e poi abbiamo continuato in direzione del Castello Aragonese. Il castello e grande e include giardini, terrazze, chiese, e archi belli. Le viste sono bellissime!
La vista dalla terrazza.
Dopo la visita al castello abbiamo camminato al nostro albergo mentre ci fermavamo ai negozi. All’albergo siamo andati alle terme. E stato molto rinfrescante. Quella notte, abbiamo cenato nel ristorante bello vicino al mare. Abbiamo mangiato calamari, tagliatelle con cozze, coniglio, e caprese per dolce. Il cibo e stato molto buono. Quando siamo tornati all’albergo ci siamo seduti fuori sulla terrazza. Era una notte bella.
Al ristorante.
Il prossimo giorno abbiamo avuto massaggi. Dopo, che abbiamo comprato piatti ceramica, una ciotola grande, e tazzone di caffe. Abbiamo parlato con il proprietario per tanto tempo. Ci ha fato un sconto e espresso perche siamo stati amichevoli e abbiamo parlato un poco italiano. Insomma, abbiamo avuto un tempo fantastico!!!


  1. Love the Italian section! I'm excited to go to Ischia. Those plates are beautiful, too!

  2. Sounds like you and Jon had a much better experience this time around on the Isle of Ischia! Your hotel sounds amazing! The views are absolutely gorgeous! (Wait a minute, every one of the hotels that you and Jon have stayed at, no matter where it was, has been amazing!!) The castle is beautiful! I can't believe that it was originally built in the year 474 BC and then rebuilt in 1441! (Now that's a long time ago!) Absolutely amazing!! Love the pic of you and Jon smoking cigars! You guys definitely had a relaxing time in Ischia!! I love your posts! Can't wait to hear about and see the pics from your next trip!! (Yes, and I love your ceramic plates too!!) And love your Italian, even though I still can't read it!)