The scenic drive around Ischia, pearl of the gulf of Naples with its architectural attractions and breathless views
The island of Ischia
is located in the stunning Bay of Naples
, in the south of Italy. It is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque islands in the whole Tyrrhenian Sea.
Once in Port of Ischia, a natural basin surrounded by gentle hills, it is impossible not to see the massive fortification of the Aragonese Castle
(pic n°1), a pearl of architecture that will leave you breathless. The Aragonese Castle stands on a rocky islet that was created more than 300,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption. The inlet is linked to the mainland by a walkway, which is often flooded by the tides. Among the many attractions that are gathered in the castle complex, the Cathedral of the Assumption is a must see, especially for Cripta Gentilizia, an impressive crypt that lies just under the cathedral. The total visit to the castle can take up a half day, but it is absolutely worth it!
In the area of Lacco Ameno
you will have the chance to admire two towers built by Alfonso of Aragon in order to defend the isle from the Saracens. One of the towers (pic n°6) is located at the extreme peak of Monte di Vico and it was built to guard the whole bay and had the dual function of warning and defense. You can linger in the same area and visit Villa Arbusto, which today is an archeological museum, or make your way to nearby Forio
, a small fishing village. Here, you cannot miss a visit to Citara Bay (pic n°4). Apart from the beautiful beach, in this bay, there are Poseidon Gardens, a really impressive place of relaxation and care. Do not leave Forio without visiting Chiesa del Soccorso, famous for its white walls, its majolicas and the amazing sunset you can admire for this perfect location. La Colombaia and La Mortella are two amazing villas that you can visit in Forio.
The village of Sant'Angelo
(pic n°5) is located on the other side of the island. It is the most fashionable and tourist-crowded village of Ischia, with its car-free town center and its distinctive alleys. Allow yourself a romantic walk along the small port of the village, or climb up to the highest part to enjoy a spectacular view. If you do not want to go home without a souvenir of the island, here is the perfect place where to buy the typical lemon chocolate or the decorative painted tiles.
From Serrara Fontana, the area which Sant'Angelo lies in, many hiking trails take you to the summit of Monte Epomeo
(pic n°2), one of the favorite destinations of hiking lovers. The church dug into the tuff is very characteristic and the panoramic views of the island are wonderful.