As well as benefitting from the spa treatments, sunny weather and moments of real relaxation that the island is able to offer, it is also essential to take the time to discover the history and culture of this ancient place. A scooter is the best way to combine days devoted to discovering the island’s historic attractions with days making the most of Ischia’s opportunities for relaxation and amusement.
Ischia was the first Greek colony in the Mediterranean. This is demonstrated by the Cup of Nestor, an archaeological find of international importance, discovered by the archaeologist Giorgio Buchner in San Montano bay. The cup, housed in the Villa Arbusto museum in Lacco Ameno, could be a great starting point for learning more about the history of Ischia. While in Lacco Ameno, we can also take a look at the Fungo, a rock in the shape of a mushroom, which has remained unchanged over the years, becoming an icon of the municipality itself. We can then head to Forio, where we can see the ancient look-out towers built in the early 1500s. There are seven still standing today, all open to visitors, but there were even more in the past.
A visit to the wonderful Soccorso church is a real must. This architectural spectacle stands imposingly on the skyline of Forio’s belvedere.
Following the road up towards Serrara Fontana, we have the opportunity to admire the natural beauties that continue right up to the peak of Monte Epomeo. We can stop in the Ciglio district to visit the unusual houses built into the rock, then continue by exploring the characteristic village of Sant’Angelo, a magical place where time seems to have stood still, while the small Torre promontory overlooks an ancient fishing village that is well worth a visit.
Our tour continues with the Nitrodi springs, in the municipality of Barano. These thermal water springs date to the first century B.C., when the Romans built what can now be described as the oldest spa in the world.
Next we come to the municipality of Ischia. On the road from Barano we encounter the Pilastri aqueduct, built in 1600. We make our way into the village of Ischia Ponte, where we can find the famous Aragonese Castle, the Guevara tower and the age-old settlement of AENARIA, an ancient Roman colony that is now submerged. When in the harbour area we can glimpse the imposing Bourbon Royal Palace on high ground, a former hunting lodge used by the ancient kings of Naples. The final part of our journey of discovery of the historic monuments and sites of Ischia takes us to Casamicciola. A place packed with charm, the first centre of island tourism linked to the island’s oldest and most famous spa facilities. It could be interesting to visit the Geophysics Observatory, home to some of the pages of history that have left their mark on Casamicciola and the island as a whole, not just from a geological point of view, but also a human one. Indeed, Casamicciola was the municipality chosen by Giuseppe Garibaldi himself, who stayed in the ancient Villa Parodi Delfino to recover and treat the injuries and illnesses he had procured in battle.
Ischia is a truly unforgettable place, just waiting to be discovered in complete freedom.