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The Island of Ischia

Ischia
Ischia

Especially loved by Germans today, the iskand of Ischia covers an area of 46.33 square kilometers and it is the eighth largest Italian island and the largest in the Bay of Naples. Neighbouring islands are Capri, Procida and Vivara. Known as the Emerald Isle, it is a health resort and a tourist center, celebrated for its warm mineral springs and for its scenery. Deducing from the archaeological remains, Ischia has been inhabited since the prehistoric age. It is sure that the island has been the first Greek colony in the South Italy founded by settlers coming from Eubea in 800 B.C., that named it "Pithekusa" or "Pithekusai". They settled near today's Monte Vico and called that place with the name of the crockery that they made and that was the first economical resource of the island. In the archeoligical museum of Lacco Ameno, we can find the most beautiful remains. The island is divided into 6 municipalities, each one with its own administration: Ischia, Casamicciola Terme, Lacco Ameno, Forio, Barano and Serrara Fontana. Each one has its own distinct character, governed by such factors as altitude, economy, species of tourism, etc. The variation from town to town, district to district, means that there is something to suit all tastes. Ischia Port is undoubtedly the hub of night life and day-tripper activity, but it is a mistake not to move further afield, as all areas are within comfortable travelling distance. The resident population of the whole island is 50,000.

Away from the towns, people still work the land as if they’d never seen a tourist, itself an improbable proposition.

Orientation and Information

Ferries dock at Ischia Porto, the main tourist centre. It is about a half-hour walk from the pier to Ischia Ponte, an attractive older centre that culminates in the islet bearing the castle. The ruins of the Castello d’Ischia, an Aragonese castle complex on a small islet that includes a XIV century cathedral and several smaller churches, make for an interesting visit while in Ischia Ponte. Monte Epomeo (788 metres) is the island’s highest mountain and can be reached on foot from Panza and Serrara Fontana. It offers superb views of the Bay of Naples. Among the better beaches is the Lido dei Maronti, south of Barano.

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