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A fabulous day on Ischia

We want to share with you the fabulousness of a day we spent on the Green Island at the end of October. The weather was splendid and everywhere we went we were treated so warmly.
Ischia is full of hidden gems and populated by lovely people who take the time to say hello and tell you about their home. There are so many things to explore, food to eat and sites to visit, but our favourites are the highlights of our custom tour: Villa Arbusto, the enchanting visit of Giardino Mediterraneo, the agriturismo in Punta Chiarito and the walk to the exceptional hotel Mezzatorre.
Ischia is often known to be a great destination for thermal baths which is, of course, f a b u l o u s but there is so much more.
Inhabited since the Bronze Age, the island has a rich history for visitors to enjoy and many sites to explore such as the Aragonese Castle, the churches of Santa Restituta and Soccorso the Mortella Gardens as well as many other natural spots for hiking and taking in view of the island.

It was very hard to choose but we decided to do the first stop at our beloved archaeological museum in Villa Arbusto.

We love this eight room museum beacause of its panoramic position. It overlooks the bay and the town of Lacco Ameno and faces the promontory of Monte Vico, once the acropolis of Pithecusae which is the ancient name of Ischia.

Villa Arbusto was built in 1785 by the Duke of Atri, Carlo d’Acquaviva. The last owner was the publisher Angelo Rizzoli who bought the estate in 1952. The principal archaeological section of the museum was inaugurated in 1999 with a section dedicated to Rizzoli and his strong connection to Ischia opening in 2000.
Villa Arbusto displays the archaeological finds of Pithechusae, the oldest Greek settlment in VIII BC on the coast of Southern Italy until Roman times. Terracotta and bronze objects from necropolis, adorable donkies in clay and vases testifiy to the trade vocation of the island. Votive objects from the Temple of the Nymphes in Nitroidi celebrate the cult of the nymphes and their terapeutic water which continues to be lauded on the Green Island.
The most prestigious artifact in the museum is the 8th century BC clay cup from Rhodes known as coppa di Nestore (Nestor’s cup) because of the epigram engraved on it saying “I am the beautiful cup of Nestore, the one who will drink from this cup will be immediatly enraptured by the desire of the beautifully crowned Aphrodite.”
The three verses referring to the Nestor’s cup described in the Iliad, are one of the oldest examples of written Greek and the oldest example of poetry in original writing.
A walk in the garden to admire the stunning view, surrounded by the Mediterranean flora of olive and pine trees, laurel, pomegranates, oleanders make the visit to this museum ever-marvellous.

Alice: Yes! Pure poetry. Can we talk about another magical place with a splendid view? Giardino Mediterraneo. Incredible.

Visiting the wine cellars from 1800 was charming but the high point was taking the “elevator” through the garden to the top for the view of Procida and even Capri on a clear day.

Fiorella: And when we got to the top, our gracious host gave us the most delicious homemade chocolate hazelnut torrrone desert and, of course wine.

Alice: I cannot wait to return to try their food! Such a chic and simple place to enjoy a meal or aperitivo

Driving along the winding roads of the largest of the islands off the coast of our beloved Naples there are vineyards and sumptuous gardens immersed in the rich greens surrounding Mount Epomeo.

Along the roads are plenty of restaurants where you can taste local pastries, unique dishes, wines and liquors while chatting with locals.
Fiorella: I loved where we ended up having lunch in that incredible agriturismo overlooking Sorgeto beach with the best eggplant parmesan I’ve ever had!

Alice: Punta Chiarito was incredible.

Yet another view to take in and savour. The people were so welcoming and even gave us a tour of the garden where they were harvesting their olives. I loved that the vegetables we ate and wine we drank were all grown there! Would be a great place to stay the night to also take in the thermal baths at the adjacent hotel.

Speaking of hotels, I’m so glad we got to check on Mezzatorre.

It’s a hidden, romantic place overlooking a private emerald-water bay.

The 16th century watchtower was home to the movie director Luchino Visconti and now provides joy to his guests with a spa, pools, terraces and a restaurant for the highest level of luxury.
What a great place to spend the day!

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