Like a precious stone set in a jewel, lies the hydrothermal structure of Castiglione, nestled between the parracine (characteristic dry stone walls of trachyte, the local volcanic stone) and dense vegetation from lush green, the blue of sea and pools. Strategically located among the towns of Ischia and Casamicciola Terme, it is a real sensory experience, where the same colours are taken from natural spirulina, microalgae typical of tropical regions (Central America), and found in Ischia, specifically in a thermal pool in Citara.
About this discovery, I focus my attention to learn the extensive research and production, operating with the University of Naples Federico II - Department of Food Science and in particular with CRIAcq (Center for Interdisciplinary Research hydrobiological resources management and aquaculture). With the curiosity of those who have never seen anything like this live performance, my eye focuses on the bioreactor on the right side of the waiting room of the spa. A box of dark green, tending to shades of blue, open end, where this microalgae, unicellular organism or spiral wrapped around itself, immersed in water, absorbs carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen in the room.
What a pity we could not watch the painstaking work of restoration of spirulina, using the tap, through which the liquid is flowed, and from which, by means of filters, it retrieves a kind of “jam”, suitable for cosmetic purposes to food, as witnessed by the project of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nation)! Since 2004, in fact, it uses the “dihe”, a complete food created processing seaweed, typical of the regions adjacent to Lake Chad, in Africa: a study of a real project, supported by INRAN (National Institute Research Institute for Food and Nutrition). There are numerous characteristics of Spirulina: in addition to being a natural dye, in it there is the presence of all essential amino acids. From here, the idea of the chef of three restaurants (self-service specialist for fish, generic), to offer, since June, every day a different dish of this food so precious. A special taste, in my opinion a strange consistency, but definitely not to be despised, especially thanks to the skill and creativity of those who can always add new flavours and colours.
Beside these features, should not forget those aspects of herbal medicine and phytocosmetics. Omega 3, Omega 6, and beta-carotene (more than 10% compared to the concentration found in carrots and assimilation of five times), a real plant glycogen able to prevent and combat premature aging, as well as being an anti-radical free.
As a careful observer, I test the properties just met, and then deep, trusting the reliability and quality of the facial treatment, I tried to preview. I come out relaxed, with skin visibly improved, and cast a quick glance at the phrase “In the bluest green you’ve ever seen” written next to IXYA, the new line of natural products, made from spirulina, which will be launched internationally, being the Castiglione park the first structure to cultivate and disseminate the use of ‘miraculous’ seaweed, and is used for facial and body treatments, with or without mud. For years the whole tradition of the hydrothermal complex is based on this sentence, now reinforced by the colours of that phytoplankton. IXYA, as two syllables: IX, symbolizing Ischia, YA, to represent the Maya, who used to call it “food of the gods”.
Now it will be almost superfluous my path of exploration: to rely on the skilful craftsmanship and technical Balinese massage (union between two cultures of Thainlandia and Bali), Shangri-La (of Tibetan origin) or with shells, typical of the spa, watching the flourishing vegetation, to accustom the nostrils with the scent of arbutus, myrtle, the pejoia, rosemary or other plants in the greenhouse test the temperatures of ten swimming pools, 32 to 36 ° C; advantaging trails or cable-car to reach the upper part of the park. A warning to the customer in feeling the staff always present, ready to take care of him, but with due respect. A guarantee, given by the scientific studies outlined above, as well as the background: it is thanks to Baroness Ursula von Stohrer (grandson of the founder of the Deutsche Bank, Rudolph von Koch), in 1934, and her interest in Castiglione, that in it opening the phase of tourism linked to sustainable development. A particular story, which I leave to the reader’s curiosity to seek out actors and characters, famous and less famous visitors, including a stylish Coco Chanel.