From the summit of Mount Epomeo, which majestically dominates it, Ischia, the largest island of the Campanian Archipelago, reveals the multiformity of its landscape. And the variety of panoramas offered to the eye from the Lazio coast to the Sorrento Peninsula, from the Pontine Islands to Capri, from the nearby islands of Procida and Vivara to the Apennine mountains in the distance. Around Epomeo, which stands out for its green forests and characteristic tuffaceous rock inspiring the definition of "Green Island," rise on all slopes gentle hills, witnesses to the complex geological history that has shaped Ischia's profile.
In addition to giving it the largest thermal basin in Europe, with more than a hundred springs of thermo-mineral waters whose beneficial effects, already known in Greek and Roman times, have brought travellers from all over Europe to Ischia since the time of the Grand Tour, then consecrating it internationally after World War II. Waters that feed the modern spas with which most ccommodations are equipped today. With the added value of thermal parks, where pools and hot waterfalls are set in flower gardens overlooking the sea.
The fertility of the soil and favourable climate throughout much of the year create ideal conditions for lush vegetation, which from sea level reaches the summit of Epomeo. A wealth of vegetation characterizes every corner of the island and the charming green itineraries along the scenic paths always look toward the sea. And then the botanical gardens of European renown, the historic pine forests in the centere of Ischia, the flourishing Mediterranean scrub of the coastal areas and the forests that populate the ancient volcanic craters. The daughter of a millennia-old peasant culture, heroic viticulture has dotted the hillsides with vineyards, the origin of Ischia's famous wines, including Italy's first DOC.
Alternating with high and steep coastal stretches, long sandy beaches with equipped lidos open along the perimeter of the island. The largest, Maronti, is also famous for the area of boiling fumaroles, and then Citara, Cava dell'Isola, Chiaia and San Francesco in Forio; Varulo in Lacco Ameno, the shoreline of Casamicciola and the beaches of the Inglesi, San Pietro and Pescatori in Ischia. Extraordinary, in the sea of Sorgeto Bay, the natural pools of thermal waters, where you can bathe even in winter. All accessible by land and sea are the bays of Scannella, Cava Grado, San Montano and Cartaromana.
In the bay of San Montano in Lacco Ameno landed, in 8 B.C., settlers from Greece who chose the island they called Pithekoussai for their first and northernmost settlement in the western Mediterranean. That was the first centere of Magna Graecia, useful for trade and exchange with the Italic people to whom the Pithecusans also transmitted the alphabet. The Archaeological Museum of Pithecusae, in the 18th-century Villa Arbusto in the heart of Lacco Ameno, tells the story of the island from Prehistoric to Roman times, with particular emphasis on the Greek period thanks to exceptional finds such as the famous Cup of Nestor.
On Ischia, in the bay of Cartaromana from the characteristic Scogli di Sant'Anna, the sunken Roman city of Aenaria has been uncovered. Opposite, connected by a bridge to the large island, the islet of the Aragonese Castle rises in front of the ancient village of Ischia Ponte. Centere of all powers, identified with the City of Ischia for five centuries, the Angevin fortress, made impregnable by the Aragonese, welcomed, thanks to the poetess Vittoria Colonna, one of the most important literary cenacles of Humanism. For its natural and historical-artistic heritage, it is the island's symbolic monument, which can be visited year-round.
From the sunrise behind the Castle to the fiery sunsets that can be admired from Forio, identified by the unmistakable Torrione that soars between roofs and domes. Magical is the atmosphere of the promontory on which the Soccorso church stands out white against the sky. From there you can also admire the famous green ray.
To the south, the islet of Sant'Angelo, connected by a sandy isthmus to the big island, seals the charm of the picturesque fishing village that has grown up opposite it, buen retiro of artists and poets in the 1900s, now among the unmissable experiences of a relaxing and wellness stay on the island of Ischia. The Bourbon port of Ischia on the eastern side and the port of Forio on the western side are the landings of the units of our fleet on the island of Ischia. Where, 75 years ago, our long sea history began.