Ischia Island is a hidden gem in the Gulf of Naples, Italy that is known for its stunning scenery, rich history, and relaxing hot springs. With so much to see and do, it can be tough to know where to start. To help you make the most of your visit, I've put together a comprehensive guide to the island's hidden gems, including a detailed section on the Aragonese Castle.

I. Introduction

Brief history of Ischia Island

Ischia Island has a rich and fascinating history that spans thousands of years. The island was inhabited as early as the 8th century BC by the Greeks, who established a colony there and named it Pithecusae. Over the centuries, the island was ruled by various civilizations, including the Romans, the Byzantines, the Angevins, and the Aragonese. During this time, the island became known for its thermal springs and was a popular destination for those seeking healing and relaxation. In the 20th century, Ischia became a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world with its stunning scenery, rich history, and relaxing hot springs. Today, the island continues to thrive, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience steeped in history and natural beauty.

Why it is called "hidden gem" ?

Ischia Island is often referred to as a "hidden gem" due to its relatively low profile compared to other tourist destinations in Italy. Despite its stunning scenery, rich history, and numerous attractions, the island has managed to remain relatively undiscovered by the masses. This has allowed the island to retain its charm and authenticity, making it a true hidden gem for those who do make the effort to visit. Whether you're looking for a peaceful getaway, a chance to immerse yourself in history, or simply a chance to relax in the sun, Ischia Island has something for everyone. And, because it's not overrun with tourists, you'll be able to experience all that the island has to offer in a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere.

Overview of what to expect in the article

In this article, we'll be exploring the hidden gems of Ischia Island and all that it has to offer. From the island's rich history to its stunning natural beauty, we'll be taking a deep dive into what makes this hidden gem so special. We'll also be highlighting some of the must-see attractions on the island, including the Aragonese Castle, one of the island's most iconic landmarks. Throughout the article, we'll be offering practical advice for making the most of your time on the island, as well as suggestions for things to see and do. Whether you're planning a trip to Ischia or simply looking to learn more about this fascinating place, this article is the perfect resource.


II.Hidden Gems of Ischia Island

Porto di Ischia

Porto di Ischia is the main port on the island and serves as the hub for transportation and tourism. Located on the western coast of the island, the port is surrounded by restaurants, shops, and cafes, making it a lively and convenient place to start or end your time on Ischia. From here, you can take a ferry or hydrofoil to reach the other islands in the Bay of Naples, or simply explore the local area. Whether you're arriving on the island for the first time or setting off to see more of the Bay of Naples, Porto di Ischia is the perfect starting point for your adventures.

Giardini La Mortella

The Giardini La Mortella is a stunning botanical garden located on the island of Ischia. Founded by the English composer Sir William Walton and his wife Lady Susana Walton in the 1950s, the garden features a diverse range of plants from around the world, including subtropical species from Asia, South America, and Africa. The garden is particularly renowned for its collection of palm trees and its beautiful setting, which includes a stunning waterfall and several serene ponds. Whether you're a gardening enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful place to relax, the Giardini La Mortella is not to be missed. Visitors can take guided tours of the garden or simply wander at their own pace, taking in the lush greenery and the sound of water flowing through the ponds.

La Colombaia

La Colombaia is a historic thermal spa located on the island of Ischia. It was built in the 16th century and is one of the oldest thermal spas on the island, with a rich history that has attracted visitors for centuries. The spa is located in a beautiful and serene setting, surrounded by lush vegetation and overlooking the sea. Visitors can enjoy a range of spa treatments, including mud baths, thermal baths, and massage, all using the healing waters from the spa's hot springs. In addition to the spa treatments, La Colombaia also offers its visitors the opportunity to relax and unwind in its beautiful gardens and soak up the sun on its spacious terraces. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day of pampering or simply want to immerse yourself in the island's history and culture, La Colombaia is the perfect destination.

Sant'Angelo

Sant'Angelo is a picturesque village located on the island of Ischia. The village is known for its stunning beauty, with its narrow streets, charming houses, and vibrant atmosphere. Sant'Angelo is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, who come to enjoy its beaches, restaurants, and shops. In addition to its beautiful scenery and bustling atmosphere, Sant'Angelo is also home to several historical and cultural sites, including the church of Santa Maria Maddalena and the ancient Roman villa of La Villa delle Ginestre. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day at the beach or an opportunity to experience the island's rich history and culture, Sant'Angelo is a must-visit destination.


III.The Aragonese Castle

History

The Aragonese Castle is a historic fortification located on a tiny islet off the coast of Ischia. The castle was built in the 4th century BC and has been a major part of the island's history ever since. Over the centuries, the castle has been used as a military fortification, a royal residence, and a prison. Today, the castle is one of the island's most popular tourist attractions, offering visitors a glimpse into its rich history and stunning architecture. The castle is famous for its unique circular shape, its walls and towers, and its beautiful gardens. Visitors can explore the castle's many rooms, towers, and courtyards, and enjoy breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding landscape. The Aragonese Castle is truly a hidden gem that is not to be missed.

Architecture of the castle

The Aragonese Castle is renowned for its unique and impressive architecture. The castle's circular shape is particularly notable, as most fortifications of this type are square or rectangular. The circular design was intended to provide better defense against attacks and make it easier for the castle's residents to observe their surroundings. The walls of the castle are thick and sturdy, and several towers rise up from its corners, offering stunning views of the surrounding sea and countryside.
The castle's interior is just as impressive as its exterior. Visitors can explore a variety of rooms, courtyards, and gardens, each with its own distinct character and history. The castle's walls and towers are adorned with beautiful carvings and sculptures, and its windows offer breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding landscape. The Aragonese Castle is truly a masterpiece of medieval architecture, and a visit to this historic fortification is a must for anyone interested in the history and beauty of Ischia Island.

What to see inside the castle

The Aragonese Castle is home to several fascinating attractions that are not to be missed. Here are just a few of the highlights that visitors can expect to see:

Museo Archeologico di Pithecusae: This museum is dedicated to the archaeology of Ischia Island and the surrounding area. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits showcasing artifacts from the island's long and fascinating history, including ancient pottery, jewelry, and tools.
Gardens of the Castle: The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens that are perfect for strolling and taking in the views. These gardens are filled with lush greenery and a variety of flowers and plants, and they offer a peaceful escape from the bustling city.
The Lighthouse: The lighthouse is one of the most recognizable features of the Aragonese Castle. This tall tower offers stunning views of the surrounding sea and the nearby islands, and it is a popular spot for taking photos and enjoying the scenery.
The Dungeons: The dungeons of the Aragonese Castle are a must-see for anyone interested in the darker side of the island's history. These underground chambers were used as prisons in the past, and they offer a glimpse into the castle's military and defensive past.

These are just a few of the many fascinating sights that visitors can expect to see inside the Aragonese Castle. Whether you're a history buff, a lover of architecture, or simply looking for a unique and memorable experience, the castle is sure to provide.


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Frequently Asked Questions about Ischia and Italian islands in general

Q:How to get to Ischia Island ?
A:You can get to Ischia Island by ferry or hydrofoil from Naples or Pozzuoli. There are also several flights to Naples Capodichino airport, from where you can reach the island by ferry or hydrofoil.

Q:When is the best time to go to Ischia ?
A:The best time to visit Ischia is from April to October, when the weather is warm and sunny. The island is also famous for its thermal springs, which are open all year round.

Q:What is the most beautiful island in Naples ?
A:This is subjective and can vary based on personal opinions. However, Capri is often considered one of the most beautiful islands in Naples, known for its lush vegetation, stunning beaches, and thermal springs.

Q:What is the most beautiful island in Italy ?
A:Again, this can vary based on personal opinions. However, some of the most beautiful islands in Italy include Sardinia, Sicily, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast.