- What to se see and Do
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Forio is a charming place of great beauty, famous to be one of the few places on earth wherein particular weather condition, during the sunset, the luckiest people can see the optical phenomenon of the green flash.
One of the main tourist attractions of Forio is the La Mortella tropical garden, whose creator was British composer William Walton, who founded his residence there. This floral paradise has an impressive variety of vegetation that is combined with basalt stones and fountains.
To discover the beauty of La Mortell takes time because it is full of surprises, unforgettable species and beautifully-decorated places. The botanical garden is open from April to November 4 times a week. You can also watch concerts in the summer.
The spectacular Aragonese castle is one of the main tourist attractions of the island. This fortress is located on an island east of Ischia, connected by a 200m-long island bridge surrounded by pine forests and beautiful sandy beaches. Its great historical and cultural value is surrounded by a privileged geographical position from which you can enjoy the beautiful views of the island and the sea. The height of the castle is 115 m, the total area is 543 m2.
Guevara or Michelangelo’s Tower
This is one of the best-known symbols of the island, just in front of the Castle, rebuilt on the ruins of an ancient fortress, likely one of the defense towers built from the XV century as a protection against pirates.
One of the aspects of Ischia's most famous is its thermal water, In Casamiccioli, especially, from antiquity there are three most famous pools. These include the swimming pool Gurgitello, the swimming pool of Cotto and Sinigallia and the swimming pool Rita.
The most famous thermal park, located in Citara bay, is listed on UNESCO protected sites. In the cascades, there are 18 swimming pools, Roman baths, Japanese bath, nice infrastructure and, if you want, professional help and advice.
Baia De Sorgeto
In addition to the above mentioned thermal springs in Ischia, there are also "wild" sources of spa treatment. In the Bay of Sorgeto, the hot springs hit the sea, creating natural thermal baths. You can swim here even in winter. The experience is completely free of charge and opens all year round. It is accessible both by sea and on foot via a steep ramp of stairs that leave from the village of Panza.
The area of Serrara Fontana, with Frassitelli and Falanga forest, represents the heart of the ancient rural and agrarian Ischia. Here is where you can still find green fields full of grape-vines, stone-houses once used as shelters by the farmers during harvest season, snow-pits where ice and snow were collected during winter and stored for the summer.
One of the main attractions of Serrare Fontane is the small town of San Angel. San Ángel also has a magnificent spa with an ancient tradition of treatment. No cars are allowed to drive in Sant’Angelo and unlike the other Ischia’s villages, it’s still a peaceful oasis.
While travelling around Sant’Angelo there are several footpaths that can take you up the hilltops. One of these is a footpath that goes to the thermal springs of Cavascura. Cavascura is a natural catchment area hollowed into the rock of a deep valley. This amazing ancient place still preserves its caves, its little waterfall, its hot springs that continue to come down from the mountain to a very high temperature of 90° C.
The place can be reached by the beach of Maronti in Barano, one of the biggest of the island. From the beach, a small path penetrates the hill. A stream of water indicates the presence of a spring, and, after a few meters, you will arrive at a place which is still intact from the times when Roman emperors and senators came here to get a dose of "leisure time and wellbeing"
People who love plants will be satisfied because the path that runs along the small river is full of spontaneous plants, like canes and papyrus.
In the baths carved in the volcanic rock, it is possible to soak; there is also a natural sauna carved in a cave and some baths of cold water. In the Spartan cabins, the wellness therapy continues with mud treatments and massages: Just like the Romans used to do two thousand years ago.
Also, there is an excursion to the Mount Epomeo, that tourists prefer to takes by night to can admire the wonderful sights of the daybreak.
In the municipality of Lacco Ameno we can find many tourist places, Among them we can highlight the City Hall, built in the seventeenth century; a natural amphitheater facing the sea; the parish of Santa María de las Gracias; museum and excavations of Santa Restituta and the church of SS. Annunziata, among many others.
Lacco Ameno is best known for its giant mushroom that juts from the sea. This unique tufa rock formation called Il Fungo is the result of the volcanic activity that blessed the island with its hot mineral springs.
Barano d'Ischia is the second largest city on the island, although not by population, but by territory. There are numerous places of extraordinary natural beauty, as well as a high historical and cultural value that is worth visiting.
Do not miss visiting the church of San Juan Bautista, one of the oldest buildings on the island dating from the fifteenth century, windmills in Montebarano, Pilastrian waterway dating back to 1470, and the Saracena Tower.
On the island, the largest number of pine forests are located in the municipality of Barano, which is an ideal place for an afternoon excursion into untouched nature. This regeneration oasis offers walking in the shade of pine, chestnut and oak trees and allows you to enjoy the characteristic Mediterranean fragrances.
Gardens of Villa Ravino
Giardini Ravino is an arboretum with one of the greatest compilation of cacti and succulents planted outdoors in Europe. Giardini Ravino is also the location of Meristema Fair, an exhibition dedicated to both professional and quality amateur gardeners, enriched with seminars and hands-on experiences regarding biodiversity in nature.
Villa La Colombaia
Villa La Colombaia promotes cultural activities such as music, cinema, theatre, art exhibitions, workshops, and cinema reviews. For lovers of a good Italian film, a small museum, located within Ville La Colombaia, is a real attraction. It stores photographs and stuff, stages and objects related to the films of a great director. The villa and the park are open to the public.
- Festa della “Ndrezzata” – Easter Monday
The “Festa della “Ndrezzata” is held in the village of Buonopane, near Barano. The “Ndrezzata”, is a typical dance from the island. It is a kind of rhythmic, violent and picturesque fight where the dancers are dressed in traditional island costumes and fight each other with wooden swords.
- Festa San Vito – 14-18 June
Saint Vito is the patron of Forio, and in dedication, a four day festival is held at this time. A large amount of preparation goes into making this festival as alive and exciting as it can be. The streets of Forio are crowded with stalls selling all kinds of things from local delicacies, to island artwork, even pets like cats and parrots. The village is decorated with an array of lights and there is a massive fireworks display on the final eve of the festival. Festa San Vito is one of the most beautiful and busy festivals the island hosts and is a must to see if you are on the island during this time.
- Foreign Film Festival – June
A cinema festival with premieres and retrospective themes dedicated to films located in Europe, especially Italy. Ischia, for example, was one of the favourite locations for films made in Italy from the 1950s onwards. Some of the films made here are “Vacanze a Ischia” with Vittorio De Sica, the colossal “Cleopatra” with Richard Burton and Liz Taylor and the more recent film “The Talented of Mr Ripley” with Matt Damon and Jude Law.
- Vinischia - July
An event, which is entirely dedicated to food and wine and regional crafts. It has been organized each summer since 1999 at Torre Guevara at Ischia Ponte. Shows, concerts and dances are organized around the exhibitions, the food, and wine tasting.
- Festa di Sant’Anna – 26 July
The Festa di Sant’Anna is held on July 26th each year in the borough of Ischia.
On that occasion, there is a sea parade of figurative boats from the island’s various boroughs and also from Procida, under the Castello Aragonese. The parade ends with a prize-giving ceremony and fireworks.
- Settembre sul Sagarato – August and September
A village festival has been organized every year since 1988 in Ischia, that is held in Piazzale Battistessa, opposite the Church of San Pietro. The festival lasts for two weeks and is filled with painting exhibitions, parades of traditional costumes, wine tasting, “fagiolate” (bean stew tasting), concerts and shows- La Festa di Santa Restituta
- La Festa di Santa Restituta is a festival in Lacco Ameno to commemorate their Patron Saint, Santa Restituta.
The festival begins each year on the 17th May until 19th May with religious ceremonies in homage to the saint at La Chiesa di Santa Restituta in the main piazza.
The period is marked with special lights being erected throughout the town while market stalls are set-up and sell all kinds of delicious local sweets and treats.
- La Festa di San Michele
La Festa di San Michele takes place on the 29th & 30th September in Sant'Angelo. The celebrations begin from the small square by the harbour where a flotilla of small boats follow the statue of Saint Michael as it's paraded on the sea towards the bay of Sorgeto. Along the shoreline the whole village is beautifully lit with candles and fires.
- La Festa di Santa Maria al Monte
La Festa di Santa Maria al Monte takes place in Forio on the 12th September every year when the people of Ischia and Forio in particular converge on the hilltop location to celebrate the day. The occasion is marked by a series of masses at the church, a running event that starts from Forio town centre and finishes outside the church and hundreds of people having picnics in the forest close to the church.
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