A Jewel of the Mediterranean: Discover Ischia

“Ischia, paraviso ‘e giuventù, Ischia, chistu mare è sempre blu!” (“Ischia, paradise of youth, Ischia, where the sea is always blue!”) sang Totò – a versatile Neapolitan artist – and despite the world continuously evolving, Ischia remains a hidden paradise in the Gulf of Naples.

Sant Angelo © Studio Voyager

Ischia is one of the most beautiful and enchanting places in the world. It’s not just a place; it’s my home, my birthplace, where my family and friends reside. It’s where I grew up, where I learned to walk, and where I uttered my first words. Ischia is where I return for Christmas holidays, for my birthday, and for summer vacations. It’s where I met the love of my life, savored the most delicious hot croissants at dawn, and witnessed some of the most breathtaking sunsets.

The Green Island

Ischia is a place that is enchanting with its natural beauty, its healing thermal waters, and a fascinating history that spans millennia. Known as “the green island” for its lush vegetation, Ischia offers a unique combination of relaxation, culture, and adventure that makes it an unmissable destination for those seeking a perfect getaway.

The thermal springs of Ischia have been famous since ancient Roman times. The waters, rich in minerals, are renowned for their therapeutic properties and attract visitors from around the world eager to relax and rejuvenate. Thermal parks, such as the Poseidon Gardens and Negombo, offer a wide range of thermal treatments in breathtaking natural settings. These places are not just wellness centers but true oases of peace where body and mind can completely regenerate.

History

Ischia - Aragonese Castle, Castello Aragonese d'Ischia
Aragonese Castle © Alberto Brunello

Greek, Roman, and Bourbon influences are reflected throughout the island. The Aragonese Castle (Castello Aragonese d’Ischia), which stands on a small island connected to the main island by a bridge, is one of the most representative symbols. This majestic fortress offers spectacular panoramic views and a rich immersion in history, with its ancient walkways, churches, and gardens. Walking through its walls is like taking a journey back in time, breathing the atmosphere of past eras.

Cuisine

Ischia’s cuisine is another of its great treasures. Local cuisine is an explosion of authentic flavors and fresh produce. Coniglio all’Ischitana, prepared with local spices and fresh tomatoes, is the traditional dish par excellence that cannot be missing from every Ischitan’s table. The island’s taverns and restaurants offer a variety of dishes based on fresh fish, seasonal vegetables, and local wines, giving visitors a journey into the authentic flavors of the island. You can’t leave Ischia without trying the famous “rucolino,” a bitter liqueur made with wild arugula that is perfect as a digestif after a meal.

Beaches

Ischia is also renowned for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. From Maronti to Sant’Angelo, the island’s coasts offer the opportunity to relax in the sun and swim in clear waters. The sandy beaches are perfect for sunbathing, while the transparent waters invite you to swim and snorkel. For nature lovers, the island offers numerous hiking trails that traverse vineyards, forests, and hills, with breathtaking panoramic views that leave you breathless. These trails are perfect for those who love walking in nature, enjoying landscapes that constantly change and offer glimpses of rare beauty.

Culture

Ischia is a lively island, with a series of cultural events and festivals that animate local life throughout the year. The Ischia Film Festival attracts celebrities and movie buffs from around the world, while village festivals celebrate the island’s culinary and cultural traditions. The people of Ischia are known for their hospitality and love for traditions, making every visit a warm and unforgettable experience. Participating in one of the many local festivals is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the island’s culture and get to know its traditions.

Sant’Alessandro Parade

Famous is the parade of Sant’Alessandro, a celebration that combines history, tradition, and faith in an explosion of colors and period costumes. This parade is held every year on August 26 in honor of Sant’Alessandro, the patron saint of the homonymous village located in the municipality of Ischia Porto. The event has become a must-see for residents and tourists, offering a unique spectacle.

The day of the parade begins with the solemn mass in the small church of Sant’Alessandro, a simple but rich construction in history and spirituality. After the religious celebration, the actual parade begins, with the participation of hundreds of people, including many inhabitants of the village wearing traditional costumes. Participants flaunt historical costumes dating back to various eras, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to the Bourbon period, creating a fascinating journey through time.

The parade winds through the village streets, crossing Ischia Porto and reaching Ischia Ponte, a route that allows participants to cross some of the most beautiful and characteristic areas of the island. The costumes, made with care and attention to detail, represent a cultural heritage of great value, passed down from generation to generation. Among the various characters participating in the parade, you can admire noble ladies, knights, peasants, fishermen, and artisans, each with their own distinctive attire.

Immerse Yourself in Local Culture

The Sant’Alessandro parade is not just a religious celebration but also an opportunity to showcase and promote local culture and traditions. During the event, you can savor some of the island’s typical dishes, prepared according to traditional recipes, and enjoy performances of music and folk dance. The streets fill with stalls offering handmade products, from embroideries to jewelry, passing through local food and wine products.

Participation in the parade is open to everyone, and many tourists take the opportunity to immerse themselves in Ischia’s culture by wearing traditional costumes themselves. This spirit of inclusion makes the festival even more special, creating a strong bond between visitors and the local community. The Sant’Alessandro parade is ready to welcome you next August 26th!

The Path of the Sun

In addition to the famous sites, Ischia hides lesser-known but equally fascinating corners. The Path of the Sun, hidden behind the walls of the Aragonese Castle, is a small spiral path rich in Mediterranean vegetation, with breathtaking views of Ischia Ponte, Ischia Porto, and nearby islands such as Procida and Vivara. Walking along this path is a unique experience that allows you to discover hidden corners and enjoy spectacular views. Another gem is the Pillar Aqueduct, an ancient Roman structure made of lava stone that testifies to the technological ingenuity of the past. This aqueduct, which stretches for 550 meters between Ischia Ponte and Ischia Porto, is a marvel of ancient engineering that deserves to be visited.

Yours to Discover

Ischia is an island that has a lot to offer: wellness, history, culture, and natural beauty. It’s a destination that enchants and leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of those who visit it. If you’re looking for a place to rejuvenate, immerse yourself in history, and enjoy breathtaking views, Ischia is the ideal destination. Whether you’re looking for relaxation in thermal waters, adventures in nature, or a culinary journey through the authentic flavors of the island, Ischia will offer you an unforgettable experience. All that’s left to do is pack your bags and set off to discover this jewel of the Mediterranean!

Annalucia Scotto Di Clemente

Contributing Editor

My name is Annalucia, and I'm a communication and creative writing student at John Cabot University. I'm studying to become a journalist with the dream of opening my own editorial office that can train all aspiring journalists and give voice and importance to every single person who wants to. Currently, I am vice president of "The Matthew," the online and print newspaper of my university. Furthermore, I am a writer for "The Matthew," "Live in Italy Magazine," and "Italics Magazine." I enjoy writing and telling stories and experiences of all kinds, especially personal stories. Every time I write a story, I imagine there's a reader in front of me to fully engage them in my emotions. Writing is one of the most powerful communication tools, and I can't wait to communicate with all of you.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Build your authentic life in Italy! Live in Italy Magazine is an experiential lifestyle news site dedicated to anyone who has or will make Italy their home away from home. Read stories from expats and Italians. Named the Best Italy Magazine by Feedspot!

We feature in-depth articles and interviews covering:

  • Expat Life
  • Food & Wine
  • Travel
  • Lifestyle
  • Design, Art, & Culture
  • Real Estate, Hotels/Resorts & Long-Term Rentals

We are committed to creating great content. Please consider becoming a Sponsor by donating on Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Our Contributors:

Lisa Morales, Editor-in-Chief (Miami)
Christine Cutler, Travel Editor (St. Petersburg, FL)
Lorenzo Diamantini, Food and Wine Editor (Gubbio)
Adriana Suarez, Top 8 Editor (Miami)
Bel Woodhouse, Contributing Editor (Cozumel, Mexico)
Giulia Marchetti, Contributing Editor (Viterbo)
Angie Kordic, Visual Arts Contributing Editor (Stockholm, Sweden)
Feuza Reis, Breaking News Contributor (Miami)
Patrizia Vigolo, Contributing Wine Editor (Vicenza)
Natalia Bell. Food Contributor (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Emma Prentice (Ferrara/UK), Contributor
Justin Patulli (Ottawa, Canada), Contributing Editor
Annalucia Scotto Di Clemente (Rome), Contributing Editor
Valeria M. (Bologna), Contributor
Sandra Diaz-Velasco (Miami), Interior Design & Architecture Contributor
Carrie Convilli (Venice), Veneto Events Correspondent

Al Esper Graphic Design: Digital Edition Art Director (Tennessee)
SQLHardhat: Aaron Morales, Website Design and SEO (Miami)
Visual Popcorn: John Craven, Video Editor (Miami)
Colls Fine Art Photography: Armando Colls, Contributing Photographer (Miami)
Sabrina Negro, Translator (Piemonte)
Giulia Ferro, Subtitler EN/IT (San Michele all’Adige)

Sales: sales@liveinitalymag.com

Submit Your Press Release: lisa @ liveinitalymag.com

Guest Contributors:

Guest Contributor applicants should have a good understanding of WordPress. Email links to recent articles along with your social media handles to: lisa @ liveinitalymag.com.