Island of Ischia
Today after breakfast in the outdoor courtyard at our fabulous B and B we decided to take a taxi and go to island if Ischia. It requires a ferry boat, or as it turned out, a hydrofoil speed boat. Taxi driver was called by Maxine, our host. Off we went. Heat of the day already settling in, very warm and muggy. Sunshine and heat.
In port today were also Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas and NCL Spirit. Lots of folks checking out the city and likely heading to Capri, Pompeii and other sights around the area. The taxi driver was named Ciro. This area seems very old and not so well kept up … Today is a national holiday in Naples so many things closed today.
We caught a free shuttle and ended up deciding to take the hydrofoil over to the island, it takes about sixty minutes apparently. I sat up top and took pictures and enjoyed the sea air. I took pictures of the sea gulls and lighthouses, and the city as it disappeared from view.
When we arrived at the island, we walked along the boardwalk, very scenic and lovely dotted with restaurants and cafes. As we walked the vendors were I tested in getting our Euros. One suggested we have lunch at his place, gluten free pasta and he could arrange with an English tour guide to take us around the island. At two or three the shops all close for the afternoon, people go to the beach. And the. After five they open up till almost midnight for shopping in the cooler time of day. After consultation we agreed.
Lunch was great, sparkling water and gluten free penne with fresh tomato sauce … Yummmm. And our three hour tour with five of us in the taxi. This main town, Ischia, just celebrated 160 years of age with a big festival. The island was once a volcano and is now a crater … All natural protection in the harbour. There are 6 municipalities and we saw them all! Total population 65,000 in winter and upward of 250,000 in beach and summer season. Peppe was our driver and he said my name is pronounced Pamella, with emphasis on end.
The island is famous for the thermal healing waters and spas … And cosmetic creams made from same. Also terra cotta ceramics, and some wine! Not hearty enough for making Prosecco, I asked. However Limoncello is big here! And growing porcini mushrooms. Many piazza areas, the squares in town. Over a hundred churches. One of the towns is for the very wealthy tourists.
Miles of beaches we saw. We got out in several locations for the view. Two mountains still on the island and we drove to the top of the largest one. About thirty five km around the island and we went out to the coast many times. Winding switchbacks. Very interesting, beautiful and fun roads, with old architecture to look at. Also grapes hanging heavy on the vines, almost ready to be harvested.
One place we saw was hosting a wedding. It was a large church on the coast and is apparently open all the time. It was designed for a place for people to cry … For the losses from the seas. Mostly tourism is the main income on the island and second, about a quarter is from fishing.
Intriguing rock formations from the molten lava formed … And many buildings also made from the greenish stone. “Rocks in love “. Two huge rocks in the sea look like they are kissing. Another Elephant rock and Eagles Beak. There is a spot where the very hot natural water goes directly in to the sea and people come from all over to swim in that spot. For wellness there are lots of spas and areas to go where the water is famed to be best in the world.
We saw a lot of Greek influence, with the white washed homes, and also other nationalities over time have left their mark.
This is a place we should all visit and perhaps return there one day to partake of the healthy waters!
For now I am ready for bed. Oh, tonight I went out for a gluten free pizza at Starita, there is also one in New York! Wonderful
Ciao ciao, buona sera!