Ischia is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. Accessible by ferry from Naples or Sorrento, it takes about 50 minutes to get to this incredible spot. It’s known for its mineral-rich thermal waters such as the hot springs that bubble up at Maronti Beach, in the south.
I stayed at the Miramare E Castello Hotel which was quaint and classy. The view from its sun deck and pool was of the medieval Aragonese Castle, linked to Ischia by a stone bridge. As you approach the castle from the cobblestone streets, you fully expect a dragon to appear because of its incredible architecture. Nearby, the houses, restaurants and stores remind you of Ischia’s fishing tradition.
The people are delightfully friendly, the food is delectable and the lack of heavy tourists make this a true gem of a location. I was told it’s reminiscent of Capri before it became so popular.
It is very common for people to come from around the world to soak in the thermal baths. Ischia has 103 thermal springs and over 300 thermal bath locations. The water from the natural hot springs, heated by volcanic activity, is thought to be the most healing in Europe and is sought after to treat a variety of health issues including arthritis.
The restaurant I most enjoyed was La Vigna di Alberto. Incredible atmosphere with a local flair. They were full with reservations but our taxi driver knew the owner and called and they squeezed us in at a table they set up just for us on the patio. The food kept coming and after 4 hours of drinking delicious wine, eating many courses and listening to a guitarist, who traveled around to each table, we were completely satisfied. A must do!!!
There are adorable shops in several spots around the island so I suggest exploring and you won’t be disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed this stay and would recommend Ischia for those adventurers looking for someplace off the beaten path.