After a very difficult week for me in Italy, our trip to Ischia arrived just in time; I needed some well-deserved calm and quiet time.
For this trip, we decided to leave the car home and take the brand new Italo train (it still had the smell of a brand new car). It was fast; 50 minutes to travel from Rome to Naples. However, we were not as lucky with the ferry to the island. The boat was old, it was not very clean and I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t had an outdoor bridge in case I would feel seasick. After the nice smell of the brand new train, we had to experience the strong smell of diesel and sweat. It reminded me the train we had to take in Egypt where even the food tasted like diesel! Oh well… To our contentment, it took only a little more than an hour to get to the island.
I don’t know what influenced my choice to go to Ischia but I was not disappointed. This place had the look I imagined what a small fishing village in the Mediterranean Sea would look like. We stayed here, at the Algergo Il Monastero in the Castello Aragonese.
Yes!!! This is where we stayed. The view was incredible and, to top it off, it was quiet. I could hear the silence… aaaaaaaaaah!
There was many terraces where we could sit and sip a nice cup of Java.
We had so much fun walking around and exploring the castle (I will not bore you with the history of the place, which dates from 474 B.C. and is interesting; however, if you are a history enthousiast, you can visit this wikipedia page). In the ’70s, they gave a small modernity perk to the castle by installing an elevator to get the visitors to the main area of the castle – about 60m above the sea. Although, we did took the winding walking route to go down to the village a couple of times and we could easily imagined how hard it would had been to attack this place.
We also rented a scooter to drive around the island and stopped in Sant’Angelo for a glass of the typical orange and lemon juice topped with crushed ice. Very good and refreshing. Sant’Angelo is the little village you can see here, at the base of the cliff.
Lemons, ceramics, limoncello are typical of the Campania region but something that represents Ischia, that you can only get there, is the Liquore alla Rucola; a roquette (or arugula) liquor. It is sweet and taste a bit like rhum at first and then you get the bitterness of the roquette. Different but not bad. I tasted it in a little store named I sapori dell’Isola d’Ischia (literally: tastes of the island of Ischia); that says it all. It is closed to the castle, on the main road, and the owner was very very nice.
It was a nice and relaxing 3-day trip, where our only concern was to choose at which restaurant we would eat – a very difficult task! ;)
So, I am back in Rome with a well rested brain…