Five Reasons To Visit Italy’s Best-Kept Secret
JULY 2023 ISSUE
SO YOU think you know Italy? One of the country’s best-kept secrets may well have eluded you – until now.
Situated in the Gulf of Naples, Ischia (above) is the less well-known neighbour of Capri and is a small volcanic island measuring only 46-square-kilometres.
To date, it’s been popular with Italian tourists while flocks of international travellers descend on neighbouring islands. Here are five reasons to say sì to Ischia.
While many parts of the Amalfi coast are known for their rocky beaches, Ischia has more options when it comes to finding an idyllic white sandy beach to spend a summer’s afternoon.
Some of the best options include the Bay of San Francesco and Bay of Citara in Forio d’Ischia and Maronti Beach in Barano d’Ischia.
Beaches range from small sandy coves with shallow turquoise waters and rocky backdrops, to long stretches of sandy coastline flanking the island’s calm glistening waters.
Natural beauty and R&R
As a (dormant) volcanic island, thermal waters are everywhere in Ischia taking many forms including thermal parks, spas and dedicated wellness centres.
Depending on your mood (and time of year) thermal baths around the island vary in temperature from a soothing 28 degrees centigrade to a cosy 40 degrees.
Within the island’s lush hinterlands you’ll discover charming traditional villages, vineyards serving local wines and hearty cuisine featuring delicious stews and meats – contrasting the delicate seafood you’ll find on the coast.
Culture and activity
While Porto is the island’s capital offering ferry connections to other neighbouring islands and the mainland, there are a great many other towns and villages to visit around Ischia.
Great for a road trip, you can find something to suit every interest: from Ponte’s medieval fortress, Castello Aragonese, to Forio’s colourful coastal villas and gardens of Giardini La Mortella.
Explore towns with picturesque narrow winding streets lined with traditional low-level architecture, museums, boutique shops and abundant character-filled restaurants and cafes serving delicious local delicacies.
Cultural festivals also take place around the island throughout the year, so it could be worth checking if your itinerary coincides with any key events before your trip.
Food and board
Italian tourists visit Ischia throughout the year which makes the island’s offerings much less seasonal than others in the Amalfi area.
Without the summer squeeze and with a more localised customer base, meal prices in restaurants never appear over-inflated.
Meanwhile, accommodation typically ranges from three- to five-stars with many offering great value deals including half board and dinner options.
Time to party
Coastal restaurants burst to life every evening ready to serve up Ischia’s many unique gastronomic delights (and giving you a great excuse to get dressed up), and trendy bars and clubs also open later in the evenings for those who are keen to experience Ischia’s vibrant party scene.
Porto is also known for its beachside lounges and discotheques, while Forio is the place to go for its many portside bars.