The largest of the islands in the Gulf of Naples, Ischia rises out of the blue Tyrrhenian Sea like a rugged yet peaceful giant. Visitors come here looking to indulge in luxurious resorts, pristine beaches, natural thermal spas and mud baths, as well as amazing Italian food; and Ischia does not fail to deliver.
Coveted by various civilisations throughout history, Ischia bears the ruins and buildings of its former rulers like proud historical marks and cultural adornments. Arriving at the island by ferry from Naples, you’ll notice the Castle Aragonese, which towers over the cobalt sea and is only connected to the rest of the island by a narrow paved walkway. With over 1,500 years to its name, it has been used both as a fortification against invaders and pirates, and a convent, which sums up the different waves of history that have swept over the island for centuries. Today, Ischia is a place that offers full relaxation and perfect getaways, offering stunning beaches, clear waters for swimming and various water sports, as well as the opportunity to explore charming little villages and captivating nature further inland. The island is home to numerous thermal springs and mud spas. From the coastal town of Sant’ Angelo, you can trek up the steps of the hillside overlooking the bay, to find the ancient Roman baths of Cavascura. Hollowed out by the rock, visitors can enjoy therapeutic treatments here, as well as saunas, mud baths and showers, which are all said to have a soothing effect on various ailments.
Discover unspoilt beaches and frolic in the waters of Citara and San Montano Bay, where you can also try snorkelling and diving to explore the sealife that thrive beneath the surface. After a long day of activities and bathing (be it in the sun, mud or a dip in the sea), it’s time to enjoy the local cuisine. Start with plenty of antipasti accompanied by the local aperitif limoncello or the rucolino, which is a liquor made from rocket. Like the other islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, freshly-caught seafood is the crown of the local cuisine, and at Ischia you can tuck into everything from white fish to shrimps and octopus salad, which should be complemented with a cold glass of some of the local white wine that the island has been producing for at least a dozen centuries.
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