The dream of my life has always been to get married in Capri. Beautiful, elegant, perhaps a little too touristy and undoubtedly very expensive, but magical. Its sister Procida had not convinced me fully, she was also beautiful to die for but of a different beauty, too spartan that she didn’t find a way to win my heart. But of this family I missed the third sister, the green island: Ischia. I waited 24 years but in the end I got on a ferry and sailed towards it, so now instead of seeing me dressed in white while I look at the stacks I imagine myself looking at the Gulf of San Montano, because the effect of Ischia is exactly that, love at first sight. There you go a perfect guide to see in 5 days what this marvel has to offer
HOW TO GET
Ischia can be reached from the port of Naples by hydrofoil, I suggest the Alilauro company which takes you from Molo Beverello to Ischia in 60 minutes. If like me you are from Milan, or even better than Rome, you just need to get on a Frecciarossa (I remind you that you can take advantage of the young discounts with the cartafreccia under30) and from the station in 15 minutes by car you can easily reach the port.
You have to keep in mind that Ischia is not a Greek island to run barefoot in an afternoon. It’s big, definitely big. To get around you will need to take several buses or organize yourself with drivers. My advice is to contact Imperatore Travel, a travel agency of the place that will best succeed in bringing you exactly where you want to be dispersing as little time as possible.
WHERE TO STAY
If you have a passion for the hinterland, and that of Ischia is greener than ever, surely the Garden & Villas is the place for you. Strongly oriented to an ethic that respects the environment and protects nature, it will be a perfect cradle to doze off with a book in your hand under a lemon tree and take a dip in their pool. The vegetarian restaurant inside is absolutely a place to try, especially for breakfast!
If you are, like me, are the sea lovers then Borgo di Sant’Angelo is the place for you. Here you can choose to stay at the Casa Al Sole, a luxury boutique hotel with tailor-made rooms to let you spend the most unforgettable holiday, or at the Miramare Sea Resort. The windows of the latter’s rooms that overlook the crystal-clear sea of Ischia look after the most tormented souls, certainly gave relief to mine.
WHERE TO EAT
Let’s start with my favorite place, the restaurant of the Hotel Miramare. Here there are two must-haves that you can’t miss: a gin and tonic of the house as an aperitif and garlic ol and prawns spaghetti. Imagine all this as you watch the sun fall over the horizon. Pure magic.
Inside the hotel complex you will find Apollon alle Fumarole, with its thermal pools it will not only fill your relaxing afternoons but also your bellies. Here you absolutely cannot miss the pizza, the Neapolitan one, true, perhaps anticipated by a couple of fried stuffed zucchini flowers and a nice amaro to digest. And that’s what I recommend you to do.
Also in Sant’Angelo you will find Lo Scoglio, a restaurant overlooking the sea where the fish is king and will not disappoint you on the great classics.
If you are looking for something more refined and particular then you will have to leave the coast and venture into the mountains. Here is the trattoria Il Focolare run by Riccardo D’Ambra, Slow Food representative who, with his rabbit all’Ischitana and his stories of a real Ischia will fascinate you and make you want to come back again and again. I recommend also ti try their tomato pasta.
Do not miss the restaurant of the San Montano Resort & Spa. Also suitable for those who have large wallets, the restaurant of this magnificent hotel is not to be missed. Here you can taste a delicious cuisine on one of the most exciting views I’ve ever seen. Franco Pepe’s pizza is also very interesting. Here you will find original dough and ingredients. The variant dedicated to the hotel “San Montano” has definitely won the title of my absolute favourite pizza. If you are in the mood for romance their flagship is the Franco’s Fine restaurant, a restaurant with very few tables, intimate and perfect for a special evening.
EXPERIENCES NOT TO BE MISSED
Ischia is a wonderful view from the ground, but even more so from the sea. With the support of Imperatore Travel you can take a tour of the island by boat, an opportunity to navigate with the wind in your face and your ears wide open to capture every detail of this crazy island.
Giardini Poseidon. Ischia is known for its thermal waters. The Giardini Poseidon Spa is fantastic. You can choose from a huge amount of tubs with different temperatures, Knipp paths and even a natural sauna. Spending an afternoon here will help you to completely disconnect from the city and let the island do its magic.
A visit to the Aragonese Castle: full of history Ischia has a lot of history and historical facts to tell you. Make them do it inside the Aragonese castle that you find in Ischia Ponte, where I suggest you take a walk immediately after, here the view is breathtaking.
A visit to the Crateca Cellars. Not just sea. Ischia is also rich in opportunities for those who love the sea little less. Take a morning to go and visit the vineyard of the Crateca Cellars and be accompanied by its wise guardian through the terraces overlooking the sea. Then taste their wine, perhaps with some Ischian specialties to accompany it, and return home to tell them how many wonders this island can offer.
I hope it has entered into the list of the next places to visit, surely it has entered my places to return soon. Come here, take care of the body from its waters and the soul from its spirit, it will know how to send you back home with the feeling of having made a journey inside yourself.