by Melinda Gallo

Castello Aragonese

Alessandro and I took the bus to Ischia Porto from Casamicciola today. We wanted to tour as much of Ischia as we could and decided on starting with Ischia Porto. I bought a guidebook before we arrived in Ischia, but I don't like to read up too much beforehand. I like to know a minimum of what there is to see. For me, it is more about visiting what there is to see, learning more about the place when I am there, and appreciating it. If I study too much, I tend to have a different idea of a place and might end up getting disappointed.

Living in Florence :: Castello Aragonese

The only thing I do like to study before I visit a place is the specialty foods and restaurants. Most of the time, it's not easy because guidebooks are not always up-to-date and sometimes the person who writes the guidebook might not have the same taste as I do. So, I generally look at the restaurants that I walk past and ask the local shopkeepers.

Today we were so hungry that we ate at the base of the Castello Aragonese, which is a tiny island off the coast of Ischia Ponte. I took a picture of it as we were walking toward it. We found out that there was a restaurant up at the top, but were too hungry to wait. Our lunch was nice along the water that crashed against the rocky coast. A few people were sitting out on chaise lounges soaking up the last drops the summer sun.

After lunch, we paid our 10 Euros each, took the elevator to the top, and walked around the path that was designated. It was a beautiful and peaceful location where we could look out onto the water and see Ischia Ponte from many different directions. We noticed that there was also a small albergo (hotel), which I'd love to stay at next time as it's so peaceful and beautiful. I'm sure the view toward Naples from the rooms must be spectacular.

We then asked the bus driver how to get to Sant'Angelo, which is on the south side of the island. He told us to go back to Ischia Porto and take the "CD" bus, which from goes to the right instead of the "CS" bus, which goes to the left when you look at the pianta (map) of the island.

As our "CD" bus went past Ischia Ponte, I realized that we could've just gotten off at a small piazza outside of Ischia Ponte instead of returning all the way to Ischia Porto. The bus ride was long and quite treacherous. I was stuck between a pole and two women who kept knocking into me and vice-versa. The bus drivers drive quickly around the curves, honking as they get close to warn cars or buses coming in the opposite direction. A few times, the bus driver had to slow down at some points because two buses cannot fit on the narrow and winding roads.

We walked around Sant'Angelo, which was beautiful but quite touristy. All the shops were geared for tourism where one can buy ceramica (ceramics), t-shirts, and swimsuits. We ended up buying a cannoli with wild strawberries because it looked appetizing. Besides, we can always eat gelato (ice cream) back in Florence. We didn't stay long as Sant'Angelo is quite small and we also wanted to get back on the "CD" bus to continue our giro (tour) of the island.

Our next stop was Forio, which is on the opposite side of the island from Ischia Porto. We quickly walked around the city and then hopped back on the overcrowded bus to Lacco Ameno where we ate at a restaurant along the water.

Because the buses are not running as frequently at night, we felt incredibly lucky when one came by right as we arrived to the bus stop. We could've walked all the way back to Casamicciola, but we were feeling tired after walking around all day and visiting the cities along the coast of Ischia.

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