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VISIT ISCHIA

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Ischia

Ischia

There are many types of island: small, large, rocky or sandy; deserted or crowded. Ischia is the island we dream of when thinking about carefree, sunny holidays. Who has never dreamed during dull winter days of going to a far-off island? An island like Ischia: with large beaches, orange-groves, lemon-trees, vineyards and friendly, happy, simple people. For many, Ischia is also the island of hope – hope that their health will benefit from the effects of its many, famous spas. The coast extends for 35 km. and it is extremely charming, especially in the cooler months, to make a car tour of the island. Along the way one will come across many avenues giving brief panoramic views. The coast is divided into thirty beaches, with different characteristics: the sandy beach is the most common and often contains hot undersea springs. The island’s entire surface area is 46 km., and its population of around 37.000 people belong to six Communes: the island is named after the largest Commune, Ischia, which has 12.000 inhabitants. Ischia’s highest point is Mount Epomeo (790 m.), in ancient times a very active volcano, inactive since 1302.

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The Aragonese Castle

The Aragonese Castle

Barely in sight from the port of Ischia, apart from Mount Epomeo, the Castle is an immediate tourist attraction. Immense, built on an islet connected to the island by a narrow bridge, this is the most important monument in the island. In the medieval period, when pirates and brigands devastated the peaceful Ischia, the Castle formed a refuge for all island inhabitants: it proved to be invincible even against Admiral Nelson, whose fleet did not succeed in conquering it but destroyed only the cathedral which today remains in the ruins and in the cupola.

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Ischia-Ponte

Ischia-Ponte

Once of two separate town, Ischia-Porto and Ischia-Ponte are now one long, colourful, hotel-shop- and tree-filled agglomeration, stretching from the ferry port to Castello Aragonese. The swift and complex manoeuvring of ferries and hydrofoils in the uniqueness of the harbour itself. Until 1854, this was an inland lake in an extinct volcanic crater, but while the island was under Spanish control, King Ferdinand II was sickened by the smell of its brackish waters, and so demanded that an opening be made to the sea. The 150-year celebrations of the port have brought about its restoration, but you still need to be prepared for traffic jams blocking access in the ferries on busy Sunday evenings. Overlooking the port, the church of Santa Maria di Portosalvo, also built in 1854, was another of Ferdinand’s good works.

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