Ischia, forgotten pleasures on an island to live

Escursione Gondola 1464You will see with endless wonder, this island contains almost like a little garden all the circumstances and behaviors that contains the universal garden of the earth. Great Creator of all things ordered for the life of living and for instance of Man, the division of mountains, plans, sources, rivers, lakes, seas, islands, peninsulas, capes and isthmuses, not highly artifice and be able to contemplate the architecture of this little garden, building and painted by the great architect.

So wrote Giulio Iasolino in 1588 in his “De Rimedi Naturali che sono nell’isola di Pithecusa hoggi detta Ischia”, inviting the XIV century travelers to visit the island that combines all the wonders of the universe! Return the desire to take those paths, those streets and relive the excitement of that time, the black volcanic earth grown as a wonderful garden, the prodigious waters of its sources, and the vapors of the unstable underground fire, the temperate breezes, the magnificent landscapes, beaches, mountains and hills… We seek those ancient emotions!
The southern slope, currently the least developed of the island, for its hilly conformation and greater distance from the main ports of the island located on the northern side, in the sixteenth century was known for the houses, the gardens, springs and natural saunas. An ancient fishing village has preserved, over the centuries, its characteristic, built on a strip of sand between the mother island and the islet of Sant’Angelo from which it takes its name, comparable in beauty to the most famous villages of the nearby Amalfi Coast; Sant’Angelo is the starting point of our Sunday in Ischia.
It is a beautiful winter day, we park the car just outside the village of Sant'Angelo, backpacks loaded with towels and bathrobes, the stroller for little Candida, a sweater in life, the jackets would get in the way and we can go. It is eleven o’clock in the morning, the sun shines on the blue cobalt making turquoise the sky, the village is like asleep. On our path crossed a few residents and some tourists who move sly through the alleys of the village, everything is closed for the winter rest, only in the square it is possible to find a bar and a restaurant open. Seen from above, the little port with those huge boulders of the breakwater and the shadow of the small island of Sant’Angelo, looks like a mountain pool, emptied of the pontoons and the boats that flock in summer.
The clear sky gives us some spectacular colors, the church of San Michele Arcangelo, renovated on the recent celebrations of the centenary, shining among the blue sky and the green and yellow of the surrounding hills, while towards the sea, the view reaches the nearby Capri and the Sorrento peninsula. We take the alleyway leading to the beach of Maronti, the temperature is perfect, and there is just a slight breeze that colors the sea ofdifferent shades of blue, the surrounding landscape is enriched of pink, the feeling is walking into a watercolor, where the color tones are perfectly balanced by the skilled hands of residents.
A few meters from the beach, the steam comes out strongly from an old rusty valve that was an attempt of the fifties to harness the power of nature to produce electricity. The mouth of Typhon, so it was called before the human intervention, natural geyser, a hole in the ground from which flowed a jet of steam and water that reached the forty meters. A few meters away, the heat spreads through the sand, giving life to the famous fumaroles of Maronti, very popular in summer, night and day and winter. We have before us two kilometers of the beach, but the stroller will stick in the sand, so we opt for a secondary road, very steep, but more convenient for our means. From the top of the ridge, we enjoy an exceptional view on our left, the hills of Serrara Fontana and Barano, behind us Sant'Angelo, on our right the beach and the blue sea in the distance in front of the islet Capri. Going through a small road, we reach the ancient Baths of Cava Scura, known since Roman times for the quality of its water and since then remained almost intact.
The source is located in a canyon carved over the centuries by a warm stream, to reach it; we must go back to the beach over the water, along its natural banks.
The path is not suitable to our small guest, so we decide to continue our walk along the beach and spend the middle part of this wonderful day at the Gondola. A Pompeian red Building, also open in winter with thermal pool, natural sauna, solarium and a magnificent terrace directly on the beach of Maronti. The place is well attended, some tourists, devoted to the island and many young foreigners accompanied by islanders. We take the free sunbeds, we sit, under the sun and we are going to dive into the hot spring waters. While we are in the pool to relax body, between a swim and a hydro-massage, we observe, curious, habits of customers leaving the sauna, are rushing on the beach and running jump into the sea! Impact Therapy, from the heat of the sauna to the cold sea, the operation of hydrotherapy is based on thermal and mechanical effects. The nervous system carries the stimuli perceived in the skin into the body, stimulating the immune system, influencing gastric and hormonal secretion and reinforcing the cardiovascular system. The heat calms and soothes the body, slowing down the activity of internal organs. The cold on the contrary, stimulates and invigorates, increasing internal activity. Alternating hot and cold, stress decreases and stimulates body and mind. We must necessarily try it, the sauna is a natural cave dug out of tufa, with benches and a wooden deck. We need a bucket with water to rinse the bench where we sit, the system is very simple and natural, the thermal water flows under our feet, and the vapors spreading into the cave, warm our bodies, a bunch of laurel leaves in the middle of the cave, spices environment. We resist about ten minutes and then we go to the sea, the impact is violent but the body is invigorated, repeat the treatment a second time and then decide to relax on the beautiful terrace sipping a delicious bruschetta and a nice beer. The warm sun is just enough to get warm, the colors are outstanding, all around is peace, the deserted beach, the sea a blue expanse that is lost in the turquoise sky, Sant’Angelo on the right and the goats on the left are the setting for this magnificent picture of nature. What a fantastic day and what a wonderful walk and charming place! Thanks Ischia, thanks to those who still preserve it so beautiful and natural!



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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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