Most people wouldn’t recommend visiting a volcano, let alone a volcanic island, but those people just aren’t as adventurous as you. You are a daring traveler who is looking for excitement and the unknown. That is why you are the perfect type of traveler for Ischia, Italy. Here is everything you can do during your visit.
1. The Volcano and The Thermal Pools
Of course, I am going to start with the volcano. It’s probably one of the main reasons this article caught your attention. Ischia’s volcano is, unfortunately, or fortunately for those who reside on the island, dormant. However, that volcano is still producing heat as the island is known for its various hot springs. You’ll be able to relax in the 100-degree water, safe in the knowledge that no unexpected eruptions will occur.
2. The Food
You’re on an island, so of course, it’s going to have amazing seafood options. You can also enjoy a local favorite known as Coniglio all Ischitana. The dish is an island rabbit cooked in a terra-cotta pan with herbs and spices. Aside from the delicious cuisine, the thriving local population helps to keep prices down. You’ll be able to enjoy an authentic Ischian meal without blowing your travel budget.
3. Castello Aragonese
Located on a small islet off Ischia, this castle fortress is a sight to behold. The complex was started in 400 B.C. by Gerone I before eventually falling into the hands of King Alfonso of Aragon in the 1400s when the entire structure was complete. Visitors can access the castle by a singular bridge connected to Ischia’s coastline. You will then have full access to the castle’s interior and gardens.
4. The Beaches
Ischia is not a crowded tourist spot, so you will have plenty of room to relax on the sandy shores. The island’s beaches are also less rocky than those found on the mainland. You won’t have to worry about hurting your feet as you make your way to the water. As an added bonus, the island is popular among filmmakers and celebrities. You may be lucky enough to see one of your favorites during your stay.
5. Chiesa del Soccorso
This 14th-century church is one of the island’s most well-known landmarks. From the clifftop, the all-white exterior can be spotted miles off the island, once being the first sign of home most sailors would see. Inside, visitors will find a 15th-century crucifix that, according to legend, was found at sea during a storm. It was stored in the church for safekeeping until the storm had passed. When it came time to remove the crucifix the door kept disappearing until it was decided the crucifix should stay. It has remained ever since.
6. The Wine
Italy has some amazing wines, including the island specialty, Ischia Bianco. According to historians, the Greeks first brought winemaking to the island. Later, when the Romans conquered the island they named it Enaria, meaning Land of Wine. In addition to Ischia Bianco, there are five other local wines visitors can sample.
7. The Shops
As mentioned, Ischia has a substantial permanent population. The locals have built up a wonderful array of shops in each of the coastal towns giving visitors a variety of souvenir options. You’ll be able to find handcrafted ceramics and luxurious local beauty products to take home with you.
8. Giardini la Mortella
This beautiful hillside garden was started in the 1950s and has since been on many of Italy’s most beautiful garden lists. The garden is broken up into the two parts, the Valle, or lower, garden, and the hilltop garden. The property covers about 5 acres and has over 300 species of native Mediterranean plants as well as some exotic selections. Visitors will be able to view local Mediterranean plants and as well as some exotic selections. The garden is also home to a mediation area and a Greek-style outdoor theater where classical music concerts are held.
9. The Natural Beauty
Overall this island is stunning. Even if there was nothing to do there, I would still say you need to visit. Frankly, every part of Italy is gorgeous, but Ischia is a hidden gem that needs to be shared with the world.
- Chiesa del Soccorso [Info Ischia]
- Reasons to Visit Ischia [Forbes]
- Castello Aragonese [Lonely Planet]
- Giardini la Mortella [Visit Ischia]
- Wines of Ischia [Ischia Review]
- Feature Picture [NeedPix]