After an exhausting day in Amalfi on Saturday (!), I woke a little later on Sunday morning to no hot water at mia casa. I explained tononnaAnnamaria the problem and a few phone calls later we had her grandson – Francesco, her daughter – Luciangella, her granddaughter – Annabella, Annabella’s boyfriend and a couple of other people I hadnt seen before all down in the apartment in their pyjamas trying to solve the problem. And so, Ive finally worked out that the whole family seems to live in various apartments within the same building, and when it was explained to me via email prior to my arrival that ‘Mrs Annamaria has a very big house where lives all her family’, they meant she lives in a big apartment block (with no numbers) and all her family live in the various apartments. Finally, it makes sense, I think.
At 9:30am I caught the ferry to the island of Ischia (pronouncedis-key-a) and an hour later arrived in the small port. The island is famous for a few things: 1) it’s natural beauty, it is very green and hilly; 2) the natural springs; and 3) the Aragon Castle.
Being my mother’s daughter, I was a little hesitant to set off on a full day tour of Ischia with a guide, as there is only one ferry that returns to Sorrento each day, at 5:25pm, and if you miss it, you stay there or you go to Naples, then find your way home from there. So, I set off on foot through the town to explore and came across the Aragon Castle which is only connected to the main island by a small narrow road and is set up on and built into a large rock. The castle was built in 474 B.C. and has an amazing history of various rulers and inhabitants, in particular in 1823, Ferdinand, king of Naples transformed the castle into a prison for thieves. As with many historical sites i’ve visited in Italy so far, the experience is quite moving as you are able to walk right on in to the various rooms and areas of the castle. My photos don’t do it justice unfortunately but I spent 2 hours in the castle which is now slowly being ‘restored’… Italian style.
And then for the most important decision of each day, where to eat lunch. I decided on a simple beach restaurant where I sat on plastic chairs and took in the view of the castle and the island of Procida in the background.
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around the streets, learning about the natural springs, sampling local treats from the pasticcerias, and of course sampling their gelato… which wasnt as good as it is in Sorrento!