The ways of a tenacious people

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The island of Ischia is held on the initiative of the Pro Loco Panza from Sunday, September 15 to Wednesday, September 18, 2013 "Visiting the wineries", now in its sixth edition.

"Ischianews&Events"published aspecialeventthatwill be distributedwiththe September /OctoberMagazine.

People of Ischia were strong and tenacious consisting in peasants and fishermen...

It drew from a fertile land that was necessary to tame against the morphology and the fury of the elements, all the means of subsistence and was capable of this people, already numerous in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and scattered in a dozen of micro-communities in the 46 square kilometers of  the largest island in the Neapolitan archipelago which reached up to Ponza 44 miles away, trading agricultural production of wine with the other islands nearby, and especially with the Continent . Already in the eighteenth century were produced in the island 50 thousands of barrels of wine.
Sailors traded in all the Mediterranean Sea and even in Dalmatia thousands and thousands of barrels of wine taken from vines brought by the Greeks in the past as the "Biancolella" and "Forastera". This population knew also fishing in a generous sea and knew how to trade the fish also with the Great Capital, Naples and its surroundings, Pozzuoli.
There is a huge literature on the people of the island of Ischia in the past centuries of local and foreign writers who give confirmation and illustrate with more and more particular the paramount consideration of Giuseppe D’Ascia, the greatest historian of the nineteenth century of Ischia : “there is an oar, and a shovel in every family of the  island of Ischia”.
This agricultural economy, which has enabled the local population to live and that as early as the eighteenth century reached about 24 thousand of inhabitants, has not disappeared. The great boom of mass tourism that has had its greatest expansion in the 1970s seemed to have deleted the agriculture, the one with the happy expression of winemaker Andrea D’ Ambra calls the ‘heroic viticulture’ because the farmer climbed up to 700 meters for  ‘terracing’ land and knew how to work the ‘green stone’  that tore the rock, but the pressure of development has made sure that the tourist economy of the  island qualifies better, that’s offer of stays of the "sea - spa - hill - climate" to get rich with the addition of ‘good wine – typical products - culture and local color’.
So a combination of civilian volunteers gathered in the Pro Loco Panza, this ancient village in the municipality of Forio referred to as "Pansa Vicus" in 1590 in the paper of Abramo Ortelio, which has a current population of about 7.000 inhabitants and where are located about 200 hotel business for about 1.800 beds, with about 100 business, he thought 6 years ago that it was necessary to show to tourists these old and new cellars where one can still produce good wine of Ischia so that it was known that Ischia has not lost its traditions but preserves and renews them, that this people of farmers and fishermen still exists and is tenacious in the new challenges of the modern economy as its precursors, strong even against an institutional system, obsolete, because the island is still divided into six municipalities that no longer make sense.
“We have established six years ago with a group of friends that I would remember - Bruno Seberic, Domenico Miragliuolo, Dante Castaldi, Luciano Trifogli, Mario Guarracino, Alessandro Impagliazzo, Francesco Polito and Tommaso Ristoro who was the soul of that group of founders - a civil, cultural and tourist voluntary association, that in the absence of the promotion of Forio and  Public Company for Tourism, promoted our territory with its economy of yesterday and today. So we started the activities of the Pro Loco Panza”, says Leonardo Polito, 51 years, salesman, President of the Pro Loco Panza receiving the reporter in the beautiful seat located right in the center of the city in Piazza San Leonardo.
“We have about 200 members that make up our financing and we have recovered, especially with the passion of our friend “master” Luigi D' Abundo, three paths of extraordinary beauty : Monte di Panza, Bay of Pelara and fumaroles of Montecorvo, abandoned for years and that instead, recovered, have become a discovery for tourists that, going through them, warn the memory of the ancient farmers who traveling along them to cross from one end to other our island”, says Leonardo illustrating the most important initiative in September: Visiting wineries, now in its sixth edition.
“It is a historical and cultural journey to discover the old and new cellars of the island of Ischia not only those of Panza but the whole island, up to Campagnano on the other side, with a tasting of local products and with a guided tour “, he explains, adding that ‘everything is organized for the assistance to tourists and we also thought about evenings with music and singing. The initiative is financially supported primarily by private sponsors and finally this year also the attention of Corporate Care, Hospitality and Tourism with a contribution. This year, in collaboration with the island section of the CAI (Italian Alpine Club) we have also organized two guided tours for hiking, one that starts from Panza and another part from Fiaiano, so that tourists can also know the cultivated fields”.
“Our association of civilian volunteers want to show that we need a unity of purpose to all interested parties at the tourism development and the defense of the island community to improve our economy, making a synthesis between the earth and the sea, the old and the new, and present it to the tourist who is always more fascinated of beauty and of humanity of our island. Last year about 3 thousand people visited the cellars in just three days. This year have increased the participating wineries: we have two wineries in the area of the Spalatriello to Pilastri and the ‘Giardino Mediterraneo’ in the town of Ischia while we set up "meetings of the producer" in reception venues, such as the Poseidon Gardens, and others, where those who produces the wine illustrates it to tourists making so tasting the locations of the holiday”, concluded President Polito.
Just by the Pro Loco of Panza then comes the concrete example to practice a "tourism policy" unified for the whole island maximizing all segments - from culture for the spa - because the island is still stunningly beautiful especially in the September sun. Today as yesterday.
You can still read the "love song" by Lamartine wrote on the hill of the Sentinella in 1820 :
“... Beneath this sky where life and happiness abound, on these shores which the eye so pleasurably scans, we have breathed that air of another world!”

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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
  • Inhabitants: 58.029

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