The Greeks chose it to found their first Magna Graecia colony, Pithecusa. The Romans called it Aenaria. From the Middle Ages, peoples and rulers of various origins succeeded each other for centuries: Normans, Angevins, Aragonese, Austrians, Spanish and French. Each one of them left significant traces in the island’s architecture, art and traditions. This elevated the largest Neapolitan island to a small universe forever capable of finding new ways to tantalize its guests
The splendid Posidonia prairies, spreading out across the entire depths surrounding the island, the ideal habitat for varies species of marine organisms, are the pride and joy of the Regno di Nettuno (Neptune’s Kingdom), the protected marine area established between the islands of Ischia, Vivara and Procida. The numerous available underwater itineraries are of great interest to enthusiasts. Ischia is also the perfect place for whale watching. Seven different species of cetaceans thrive and reproduce on a regular basis in the strip of sea between Ischia and the mainland. A Cetacean Sanctuary where one can spot sperm whales, whale calves and dolphins, including the Delphinus delphis, a species in danger of extinction that prosper in considerable numbers only in the Ischian sea.
The fertile volcanic land, a mild climate even in winter and the rich sweet waters have made Ischia the Green Island par excellence. Forty-seven square kilometres, mostly covered in woods and cultivated land, framing villages along the coast and on the side of the hills, which have maintained their original characteristics for the most part, despite the continuous development they were subjected to over time. A varied and compound territory, lying between the sea and the hills, which retains a historical division into six Communes: Ischia, Forio, Barano, Casamicciola, Lacco Ameno and Serrara Fontana.
From one side to the other, Ischia offers an uninterrupted sequence of dreamy panoramas and natural beauty. Historical testimony is in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment: the Aragonese Castle, the ancient fortress, which has been identified for centuries with what is currently known as the City of Ischia, the Torrione (tower) and the church known as Chiesa del Soccorso in Forio, the seaside village of Sant’Angelo, the historical thermal establishments of Casamicciola, the Villa Arbusto complex in Lacco Ameno, the Saracen tower of Testaccio and the monastery dug in green tuff on the peak of the Epomeo, the highest point on the island.
With more than a hundred thermal springs, Ischia boasts the largest hydrothermal basin in Europe. The thermal baths have attracted swarms of tourists since the eighteenth century. A high quality service guaranteed today by modern hotels, avant-garde thermal centres, tourist harbours and seaside resorts and various references to free time activities and entertainment. And don’t forget Ischia by night, filled with excitement and discoveries..