My Island Love: ISCHIA
My husband and I got engaged in Ischia, Italy, so I thought I would share some of the highlights of this magical trip with you. I would recommend 5 days/4 nights in Ischia, at least. Here are my picks for a wonderful adventure there. Bon vacances mes amies! xoxo
DAY 1 & Night #1 : Ischia Porto: HOTEL: Albergo Il Monasterio. This hotel is incredible. It’s a former monastery built at the top of an island connected to the mainland by a long path. So to get to your room you walk down the long path over water, walk through a tunnel hallway built into the rocks, and go up an elevator inside the rocks of the island. And when the doors open at the top, voila! you’ve arrived at Albergo Il Monasterio. So magical. Breakfast is on the terrace with a view to Ischia Porto. This place is so gorgeous and so different, I really think it’s a must-visit for any adventurous and glamorous traveler.
VISIT: Cartaromana Beach: This beach is located between Castello Aragonese and the Sant’Anna cliffs. The beach also offers one of the best views of the island.
Cartaromana is well-known for its natural hot thermal water springs that spill out onto the shore, allowing tourists to swim in the sea even during the winter;
DRINK: Discotheque: http://www.valentinoischia.eu/home/
NIGHT #2: Stay in Sant Angelo. We enjoyed our stay at Hotel Venere because it’s romantic, located on a hill overlooking rolling countryside, nearby villages , and of course the sea! The rooms are very bare bones, but the view is beautiful, the rooms are BIG with private large balconies, and since the hotel is family run you feel very much part of the local scene.
EXPLORE: Cavascura Baths. While traveling around Sant’Angelo there are several footpaths that can take you up the hilltops. One of these is a footpath that goes to the thermal springs of Cavascura and Olmitello. To get there, take a taxi boat from the square of Sant’Angelo to the Fumarole beach.
Here, with the beach behind you, take the footpath from the right side of the beach which is flanked by oleander trees. The first stretch is steep, with a few houses on both sides, then it levels out and there are Mediterranean bushes and a variety of plants such as figs, capers, prickly pears, etc.On the right, there is a view of the Maronti beach. Passing under a natural arch, turn right to reach the beach. Here is the entrance to Cavascura. There are all types of typical restaurants and at the back of the canyon are the antique thermal springs of Cavascura.
Going back, climbing the steps through the vine yards, you will arrive at the antique establishment of Cava Olmitello, which sadly to say is in disuse. Here, as you make your way through the bushes, with only the croaking of frogs, you can imagine yourself traveling back in time when the world was a much simpler place.
Cava grado Beach: small cove located near Sant’Angelo; hydrovolcanic activity occurs in outpourings of hot water which can be used for relaxing baths. To get here, there is a steeply sloping foot-path starting at Succhivio;
Fumarole Beach: This beach is supposed to be the island’s finest. It’s long, wide, clean and not too crowded; it’s also of a dark colour, since it’s of volcanic origin. It can be reached in 30 minutes by taking a footpath from Sant’Angelo, or in a couple of minutes by boat-taxi. There are some fumaroles here, and locals often go there and cook dinner in the sand. The beach is also a popular hangout at night.
EAT: Ristorante Mamma Mia. Via S. Angelo 48 Serrara. Mamma Mia was our favorite restaurant by far, that we’ve ever eaten at EVER. There is no menu. Il padrone Giacomo welcomes you and seats you, and his wife emerges from the kitchen to tell you what is on offer for the evening. No menus, just the freshest most authentic, completely homemade and filled with love food you can ever eat. From the restaurant you have a view of Fumerole Beach, the beach next to the Cavascura baths, which is dotted with a few restaurants perfect for lunchtime seafood dining right on the beach. You can sit on a colorful chaise lounge with built in shade, like the orange one I’m lounging on in this post. Anyway, in the evening the view to this beach is gorgeous. You can watch the sun setting and then the moon rise behind the island, as you sit in your window table at Mamma Mia. It’s so beautiful adn romantic. We took many photos from this idyllic position.
Here is a photo of Giacomo at Mamma Mia, who let us try his dessert cactus wine made specifically for him. His photo was even on the bottle label! He was happy for us since we told him, on our second occasion eating at Mamma Mia, that our engagement occured in Sant Angelo, after we ate at Mamma Mia!
DAYS 3-4: Forio.
Stay: HOTEL VILLA CAROLINA. It looks simple at first, but the location is perfect for activities at the beach, like waterskiing and sailing. It’s also perfect for visiting all the great restaurants in walking distance, along the waterfront and on the town’s main street behind the hotel. You can exit from the rooftop pool to the town, which is a little up the hill or just up the elevator for you! The main shoppping street has wonderful local flavor and architecture, pretty buildings and cute shops from food to clothing.
VISIT: Baths: http://www.giardiniposeidonterme.com/ Church: The Soccorso’s church Tower:
Il Torrione Citara Beach/Bath: This beach is at the foot of Epomeo, and is one of the most popular on the island. The crystal-clear water that laps the beach mixes with the thermal water spas in several points, allowing you to bathe in the sea and reap the benefit of thermal water at the same time.
EAT: http://www.lacasereccia.com/ Ristorante Umberto a Mare, Via Soccorso, 2 Bar Ristorante Il Fortino Via Fortino, 37
DRINK: La Bella’Mbriana: Via Marina n. 7