Lacco Ameno is a place to stroll by the sea, enjoy an aperitif, admire the bay’s centrepiece ‘funghi’ rock, eroded by time. The Greeks first landed here bringing vines and wine, they left behind a trove of pottery, which can be seen in the museum beneath the Church of Santa Restituta.
The greatest treasure is the 700BC Nestor’s Cup, on view at Villa Arbusto museum, former home of the 1950's film magnate, Angelo Rizzoli. The cup bears a three-line inscription which is one of the oldest known example of writing in the Greek alphabet, it promises "...the one who drinks form this cup will suddenly fall in love with Aphrodite and her beautiful crown".
Forio is a charming town by the sea, home to the pretty Chiesa del Soccorso and lined with shops and eateries, with a lively evening atmosphere. It is also home to the renowned botanical garden La Mortella.
St Angelo is traditionally a fishing town, on the south side of the island. It has a typical Mediterranean feel, with white washed facades, and many restaurants and cafes by the port.
Ischia town is an energetic evening scene, drop into the Americano café for live jazz in the gardens. If it’s morning try their speciality diminutive cappuccino. Via Roma has all the boutiques, great ice cream is at Cicco, pick up a cone and make an evening passeggiata towards the majestic Aragonese Castle
In the 5th century the castle was a safe haven for more than 2000 Ischian families fleeing pirates, it became a residence for 12th century Norman noblemen, reaching its greatest splendour in 15th century under Alfonso of Aragon. He began a renaissance, attracting brilliant minds to share art and ideas, even Michelangelo came.
By this time there were 13 churches and a convent for the Poor Clare Nuns, which they built with their own hands as it was forbidden for men to assist them. Today you can visit a grim crypt with empty stone seats where deceased nuns were placed to decompose. Living nuns prayed around them, contemplating the temporal nature of life, and collecting their dissolved remains and bones.