Ischia

This is an excerpt from the book “Naples, Capri, Ischia and Pompeii‘ by Enrico Massetti.

Ischia from Sole del Castello Aragonese Trail – Photo © De Maio Agostino
Ischia from Sole del Castello Aragonese Trail – Photo © De Maio Agostino

Covering an area of 46.33 square kilometers Ischia is the eighth largest Italian island and the largest in the Bay of Naples. Neighboring islands are Capri, Procida and Vivara.

Ischia lies on the northern latitude of 40-44 degrees and 13-55 degrees longitude eastern in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The island is divided into 6 boroughs each with its own administration, Ischia, Casamicciola Terme, Lacco Ameno, Forio, Barano and Serrara Fontana. The resident population of the whole island is 50,000.

Baia di San Montano (Lacco Ameno) – Photo © De Maio Agostino
Baia di San Montano (Lacco Ameno) – Photo © De Maio Agostino

A volcanic island predominantly hilly, it still bears the scars of volcanic activity. The last volcanic eruption was in 1301. The Lava flowed down the mountain side from Fiaiano to Ischia Ponte destroying everything in its wake and more recently the devastating earthquake of 1883 in Casamicciola which claimed many lives.

The circumference is approximately 35 km (18 miles) and its geographical position allows for a mild climate, which attracts hundreds of visitors annually. The tourist season starts at the beginning of March until the end of November.

The thermal waters of Ischia have really become the gold mine of the island. Angelo Rizzoli(Cavaliere del Lavoro 1888-1970) launched Ischia onto the international tourist circuit in the 1950′s and 60′s by building luxury hotels with spas included creating the slogan “Ischia the island of eternal youth”.

Ischia Punta S. Angelo – Photo © De Maio Agostino
Ischia Punta S. Angelo – Photo © De Maio Agostino

Therapy for rheumatism, arthritis, obesity, gynecological conditions and the nervous system are available on the island. The hotel structures have recently developed a tourism of health and beauty with health, and beauty centers which have created much interest in the American market.

It is only on Ischia that one can find thermal gardens with pools at different temperatures, from 28 to 40 degrees centigrade, close to the sea and allowing one to have various treatments.

Ischia Termae – Photo © Natasha von Geldern
Ischia Termae – Photo © Natasha von Geldern

The largest thermal complexes are in Casamicciola – “Castiglione”, Lacco Ameno – “Negombo”, Forio “Poseidon”, Sant’Angelo – “Tropical” & “Aphrodite” and Ischia Porto “Eden”. These complexes open early April and close end October and are visited by an international clientele of all age groups.

The island appears to be divided in two by a line of longitude, which starts at Forio and ends at Ischia Ponte. The northern section, including the zone to the west of Forio is characterized by two elements green hills and whitewashed houses clustered together inland.

Where to stay in Ischia

Hotels, condo hotels, B&Bs and apartments: search and make reservations here.