The island of Ischia

The island of Ischia

 

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Castle Aragonese Ischia

Geography

The island of Ischia has a surface of 46,3 km2.

The highest relief is Mount Epomeo (787 m), situated in the middle of the island. Mount Epomeo is not of volcanic origin, being instead the result of the upheaval of volcanic rocks over the last 30.000 years. The volcanic activity on the island has been characterized by minor eruptions at large time intervals. After the eruptions of the Greek and Roman times, the last one took place in the year 1301 in the Eastern part of the island, with a lava outflow descended until the sea (along the area today called “Arso”) .

Most of Ischia’s coastline and coastal waters are integrated in the natural marine protected area “Regno di Nettuno”.

From a geological point of view, the island of Ischia has a volcanic origin and is the result of several eruptions happened over a time span of approx. 150.000 years. The geologically most ancient areas of Ischia are located along the Southern coast (Punta Imperatore, Capo Negro, Punta della Signora, Punta Sant’Angelo, Capo Grosso, Punta Chiarito, Punta San Pancrazio, Punta della Cannuccia, Monte di Vezzi, Scarrupata di Baranffo), and were originated between 147.000 and 100.000 years ago. The only exception is represented by the area of Monte Vico, that is the homogeneous outcome of the volcanic activity during one single period of time.

As already mentioned, in the middle of the island we find Mount Epomeo, with its typical green tuff rocks dating back to 55.000 years ago. In the SW we find the geological formations of Citara (33.000 years ago), the area of the present-day lighthouse Faro di Punta Imperatore  (19.000 years ago), Scarrupo di Panza (between 29.000 and 24.000 years ago) and Campotese. Afterwards the volcanic activity became more intense in the NW, with the large emanations of Zaro and Marecoppo of circa 6.000 years ago. They are located in the vicinity of Lacco Ameno and enclose the Valley of San Montano. On the opposite side, in the SE of the island, approximately 5.000 years ago Nature shaped the plateau of Piano Liguori.

Climate

The particular conic shape of the Island and its geographic location contribute to its mild climate also in winter, so that the average temperature of the island is above 16ºC, with an average of 9° in winter and approx. 24° in summer. This pleasant and well-balanced climate contributes to attract tourists also in the colder season. In winter, on Maronti beach, you can easily take a hot sauna, then refresh with a dive in the cold sea and complete the wellness path with sunbathing. In January you sometimes get the impression it is June – thanks to the tuff rocks of Maronti beach that work better than a stove in capturing and releasing heat.

 

The SPAs of the island

The thermal waters of Ischia have become internationally renowned after World War II, but their beneficial and healing properties have been well-known since ancient times. Not far from Maronti beach there is Cava Scura, for example, a place entirely carved in the rocks that can be reached along an impressive canyon. This is the most ancient example of thermal centre of the Island, founded as it was by the Romans. In Ischia thermal water is abundant. Among the most important thermal parks are the “Negombo” situated in the wonderful bay of San Montano in the municipality of Lacco Ameno, the “Poseidon” on the beautiful Citara beach in the town of Forio and the “Castiglione” in the municipality of Casamicciola Terme. Almost all the hotels of the island are provided with a thermal swimming pool and several of them offer thermal mud packages in their SPAs. Last but not least, a word should be spent about the healing water of the “Nitrodi” spring in the municipality of Barano. It boasts surprising therapeutic virtues and heals many skin disorders. In the Fifties, these beneficial and almost “miraculous” waters induced the editor and tourism pioneer Angelo Rizzoli to open up Ischia to the world of thermal tourism.

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