Stroll along Lacco Ameno, Ischia’s smallest town, grab a classic Italian aperitivo, and admire the famous “Fungo” (or mushroom rock) visible from its harbour. The strange formation – which, as the name suggests, looks like a colossal fungus – owes its present shape to centuries of sea erosion and, at 10 metres tall, has become the symbol of Lacco Ameno.
Make sure to stop by the museum beneath the Church of Santa Restituta, in the town centre, which houses several prehistoric findings and Greek ceramics from the 8th-2nd centuries BC; then head to the Pithecusae Archaeological Museum at Villa Arbusto, former mansion of 1950s’ film magnate Angelo Rizzoli. Here, you’ll find a fascinating collection of Roman and Greek artefacts including amphorae, ceramics, and jewels. Among them is the 700 BC Nestor’s Cup, an enigmatic artefact bearing one of the earliest known Greek inscriptions.
More quaint fish town vibes can be found in Forio, a small town by the sea, home to the pretty Chiesa del Soccorso, shops and eateries. This is where you come for incredible sunset views, the freshest seafood dinner, and real Italian summer vibes.
The manicured botanical garden La Mortella is here, too – and with exotic plants and a Zen Garden, it’s an excellent spot to while away an afternoon.
Sant’Angelo, on the south side of the island, will transport you to a universe of whitewashed houses and cobbled streets, flush with Mediterranean vibes, restaurants and cafes.
Ischia Town has two souls. Ischia Porto, where the main port is, is the island’s commercial heart and busiest district, with boutique-lined Via Roma and a plethora of laidback restaurants, ice cream parlours (try Ciccio) and bustling venues like Bar Calise, which offers live jazz at night and excellent cappuccinos in the morning.
Nearby, Ischia Ponte has more of an old-world vibe, and is home to one of Ischia’s most iconic and intriguing sights, the medieval Aragonese Castle. Sitting on its own volcanic rock formation, which is accessed by footbridge, the fortress is the symbol of Ischia, and not to be missed.