To most people, the island of Ischia is as mysterious as the pronunciation of its name: Eee-ski-a. This volcanic island off the coast of Naples has long been a favorite of Italians (and Germans; Angela Merkel is a regular), but is now on the lips of savvy American travelers, too. In addition to the thermal waters that flow in abundance on Ischia, the main attraction is the newly renovated Mezzatorre Hotel and Spa, which oozes style along with healing hydration.
The Pellicano Hotel Group, owners of the equally stylish Hotel Il Pellicano and La Posta Vecchia, has turned the Mezzatorre into a destination in itself. The hotel’s whimsical décor (meals are served under the big top in a tented room awash in pretty red block-print fabric) and good bones (a stunning cliffside setting overlooking the Gulf of Naples) are turning heads from New York to Paris. So pleasing is the vibe that one might not want to leave the property, but do. Ischia is uniquely Italian and worth a look (or soak).
You can’t go to Ischia without experiencing the island’s thermal waters. They’re good for the soul and, some think, the body. The Mezzatorre has its own thermal spa (comped for guests), but why not visit one of the island’s famous “thermal gardens?” There’s nothing quite like them in America. With a day pass, you can soak in a range of thermal pools scattered around a large park planted with beautiful trees and flowers. Negombo is closest to the Mezzatorre. The Poseidon Thermal Gardens is perhaps the best known.
While not as splashy as its chic neighbor Capri, Ischia’s main towns of Forio and Sant Angelo are worth exploring for a little local color before enjoying a long, leisurely lunch by the sea. That’s pretty good for the soul, too.
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Ischia can easily be incorporated into an Amalfi Coast/Capri itinerary. Ask us to explain the differences between these three incredible destinations.