The Romans called it Aenaria, Virgil named it Inarime, we call it Ischia.
In late May this year I took a gorgeous day trip to this volcanic island not far from Naples. On a practical level (I didn’t keep my receipt but think) it was around €20 each way on the hydrofoil. There are the full range of food options from supermarkets to glorious restaurants overlooking the sea and of course, there is the €17.50 needed to buy two pretty bracelets at That’s Amore on via Luigi Mazzella!
It is notable for its Greek colonies dating back to the 6th century BC.
It has thermal spas with mud and hot springs and these draw the likes of Angela Merkel as well as 4 million other tourists.
The stunning Aragonese castle is a highlight as is the port, the beaches and phenomenal coastal walkway looking back at the Italian mainland.
Another notable feature which is not so lovely is the complete absence of any sewage system here even though 60,000 people live her year round and the 4 million visitors all use the loo. It goes directly into the sea.
Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels had some scenes set here. It was a welcome escape from poverty, sickness and heat of Naples for the young Elena in the second novel.
Only being here for a day limited how much I got to see but the boat ride alone was a joy. (Have you stood outside on a hydrofoil with the wind and salt spray howling across the deck on a hot summer’s day? Knees bent as the boat thumps up and down over the waves. It is like water skiing with no skill! It is exciting and invigorating! I found my tribe out there, the others that love this sort of experience, we shared shy smiles 🙂 ).
I went back to Naples with a suntan, a tummy full of cherries, arancini, and gelato and of course, wearing my bracelets.