Spa on the volcano
Life on the volcano is possible and even beautiful – if we are talking about Ischia Island. The DT correspondent talks about thermal waters and healing procedures, as well as about food, castles, nuns and wine of one of the most famous islands of the Mediterranean.
As you know, you need to get to Ischia by boat from Naples. And Naples is such a city that everyone, as if by agreement, is described as “colorful.” And they speak with restraint about him, because – what if the interlocutor there still liked it? There are no comrades for the taste and color, and for some, linen hung from the windows, tattered walls, streets littered with garbage, and homeless people sleeping near expensive hotels will surely seem like a colorful sight.
Is this what I am writing to? And besides, after a colorful Naples and a 40-minute trip on a speed boat, where some might get sick, you don’t expect much from Ischia. Will not vomit – and thank God! And therefore, the reaction of those who first stepped on this beautiful island reminds stories of love at first sight: five minutes ago you scornfully said that this does not happen, but if it happens, then not with you … And suddenly, from one look at an unfamiliar face, a sensation arises, as if your breath caught and butterflies flutter before your eyes – and you just don’t understand how you lived before without this person.
Ischia, like sudden love, captivates instantly: with its bright colors, the hubbub at the port, tiny towns, lemon and orange groves, the serpentine of narrow streets where cars hardly drive, and the very atmosphere of some very earthly happiness, every moment of pleasure life … And until the very last moment of your stay on the island you wander in a light hop, as if breathing in wine fumes.
Workers in the Italian tourism industry love to position Ischia as a “universal” resort, a place where you can get everything at once: beaches, excursions, and treatments, because the local thermal parks are famous all over the world.
Ischia is a volcanic island. Of course, this also has disadvantages, for example, because of the threat of landslides, new construction is prohibited here. And the island does not have its fresh water – it comes from Naples through pipes laid along the bottom of the sea. But there are many more advantages: the soil here is so fertile that the crop is harvested more than once a season. Local wines were known in Italy long before Chianti, they are still famous today, lemon and orange trees in the gardens bend under the weight of fruits the size of half a soccer ball, and the main inheritance from volcanoes is thermal water here, like mud. Is there a hot spring on the private plot? The neighbors are envious: you can save a lot on water and heating. And if the water is especially useful, terms appear at this place. Most hotels on the island, regardless of stardom, have their own pool with thermal water. And the coolest ones can boast of branded cosmetics based on thermal waters, and mud procedures, and eminent doctors, who, based on your health card, will help to draw up a course of treatment.
See, hear, feel
There are so many vacation options in Ischia that the magazine simply does not have enough space to talk about all the possibilities. I’ll offer a couple of “one day” scenarios.
First: take a bus or take a taxi boat to Sant’Angelo – a small secluded fishing village, Angela Merkel’s favorite vacation spot. Private yachts park here and the powerful rest of this world. By the way, cars are not allowed here. Go to a restaurant with a fantastic view of the sea, where in the summer you often see world and Russian characters of a secular chronicle, drink an ice glade, eating it with strawberries. And then wander around the local shops of ceramics, jewelry, drink coffee and pastor in Piazzetta – a small cozy square, or go all day to one of the two nearest thermal parks – the Tropical or the Gardens of Apollo and Aphrodite. There you can move from pool to pool, wander around the gardens, give yourself a therapeutic mud and bathe under thermal sprays until the healing water soaks the body, like tiramisu liquor, and the skin becomes silk. It’s also worth trying what a sand bath at Maronti Beach is – hot steam from the Cava Skura thermal spring located in a cave near the beach gives healing properties to sand.
Option two: sightseeing day. Go to the Aragonese castle – a fabulous citadel in which the inhabitants of the island once escaped from enemy raids, and later thanks to the muse of Michelangelo, the poetess Victoria Colonna, artists, thinkers and writers found shelter. Today in this private property (there were smart people who bought the castle) you can walk, enjoy sea views from observation platforms, a collection of paintings dedicated to Ischia. And in order not to forget about the continuity of the “birth-life-death” cycle, you should get a small dose of adrenaline: look at the burial chambers of the nuns of the Order of St. Clarissa, who lived in the castle in the 16-19 centuries. They were buried in a very original way.