People and not only
People and not only
“The loveliness of the island hurts, and we felt we were being turned out of Paradise”
“Island in the Sun”, G.&K. Harte
Certainly, people inhabiting the island is a separate topic, a theme for the big tale, where many examples and real stories can be described.
In short, I like the words from the book “Island in the Sun”, written by a young English couple, who lived in Ischia for one year, the early 1930–31 year: “…the kindness, the simple-hearted generosity of its inhabitants…their availability, respect and friendship…”. These words written almost century ago remain absolutely true and for the islanders of today. I would also add – responsiveness, openness, a kind of straightforwardness.
And a unique feeling that you experience only here, staying in a small hotel-villas of the island – a clear feeling of being guest in the family, not a tourist at hotel in strange land, but sort of at home…
where everything is simple and clear, unobtrusive and easy, and necessary support is often ahead of your ask for it. Of course, only the people create such atmosphere, those who live on the island and really host and welcome you.
Such a fragment of my impressions came out, only a tiny piece of what Ischia possesses is mentioned here. But the main arteries and capillaries of the island, which attract the majority of visitors, are mostly hidden under the ground: boiling thermal springs, more than a hundred (!), dozens of smoking rocks and sands – are organized in gorgeous natural thermal parks, treatment centers and a multitude of thermal pools which almost every hotel offers.
Vast range of various curious excursions can be found here: boat trips around the Island’s rugged cliffy coast, snorkelling and exploring the underwater world; scuba diving. Of course, numerous hiking paths and routes among the very diverse areas of the Ischia’s natural treasure: over the mountains, forests, old settlements and villages, vineyards; sometimes with possibility to visit agricultures and taste their products. One can participate as well in culinary “schools” where you cook with a real native family – a unique opportunity to touch local traditions, get to know the people of those places better, immerse yourself at least a little in their lives.
I nearly forgot probably the most unique historic site in the island – Aragonese Castle (Castello Aragonese) – an ancient citadel and an iconic sight, particularly beloved by everybody coming here. It deserves as well a separate full story and visit.
The Castle-fortress with its almost 25 centuries history (!) crowns the small volcanic islet-hill, stand-alone in the sea, and connected to the main island by a narrow causeway. At one stage of history it was a home for 2000 inhabitants who defended inside its walls against the raids of pirates. Castle opens a magnificent panorama over the eastern part of the island: picturesque green mountain range with colorful settlements, long ray of the old stone causeway and a view of the most ancient town of the island, Ischia Ponto, and its peaceful little haven filled with multicoloured fishing boats.
On the other side of the castle it is clearly seen Capri and Procida islands, Bay of Naples.
Interesting, that since 1912 till now the castle has been privately owned.
To top it all, you can easily take a boat trip from Ischia to the nearby islands of Capri, Prochida, or highly beautiful Amalfi coast, with the visit of prominent Positano, Amalfi, Sorrento.
*** The image in the header is a fragment of street wall covered by many pictures of the Island drawn by local children
P.S. Below is another “iconic” place (and myself on the way to it): the former fishing village St’Angelo – now sort of a fancy place.. very picturesque itself and opening the same spectacular views all around