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Historic Ischia full of stories – Facts from the Greek time

A history about the Greek, Romans and film-stars. As times gone by Ischia is invaded by friendly tourists

ISCHIA IN HISTORY: Famous people have been regulars here for decades. Ever since Liz Taylor and Richard Burton came and filmed the romantic movie “Cleopatra” in 1962. Then  international celebs arrived for holiday. If celebrity spotting is your interest, head over in July when the Film Festival is in full swing. And the German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a regular on historic Ischia. They say Ischia is not as jet-setty as neighbour Capri. But who cares as long as Sophia Loren still pay a visit.

The history of Ischia island runs back to 8th century BC as the Euboeans in 770-760 a.c as the first Greeks to land in the bay of San Montano. Later, in 1134 the Roman rule begins. From 1708 Austrians rule begins and in February 1734 Charles 1 and Burbon occupies Ischia and Procida.

historic ischia
Performing a dance tradition about the historic Ischia on the Piazza

Hear the New Sound of Iskiah

Island of Monkeys

The island was known to the Greeks as Pithecusa, probably meaning “island of monkeys” and to the Romans as Aenaria. From the Middle Ages it was subjected to frequent attacks and invasions, usually related to the struggles for control on the mainland.

New history. In 1830 Ferdinand II becomes the king of Naples linking to a period of great glory of Ischia. New roads were built, an electromagnetic telegraph cable connects Ischia to the continent and he completes the construction of the church of Portosalvo.

Austrian rule begins in 1708

1734 Charles 1 of Bourbon occupies Ischia and Procida.

1830 Ferdinand 2 becomes the king of Naples linking its name to a period of great splendor of Ischia, new roads are being built, an electromagnetic telegraph cable connects Ischia to the continent, completes the construction of the church of Portosalvo.

1854 The transformation of the lake and the opening of the harbor provide new opportunities to the island’s economy.

July 28 1883: A disastrous earthquake had place across the island with particular devastating effects on Casamicciola. A terrible shake of earthquake that lasted a few seconds, raised everything, covering the island by ruins and destruction.

1950 Start on the tourist development of the island. The ‘commendator’ comes to Ischia, falls in love with the natural beauty, and aware of the tourist development. They buildt the hotel Queen Isabella at Lacco Ameno, which soon becomes the point of the jet set around the world.

In 1962 Fox, a giant of world cinema, begins at Ischia Ponte shooting of Cleopatra with Burt Lancater and Liz Taylor with whom the island gets the definitive promotional launch in the world.

Ischia is the island of old history, new spa and thermal water

Important town

The island´s volcanic soils are fertile, and the wine produced here, called Epomeo, is famous. Wheat, olive oil and citrus fruits are also important on historic Ischia. Well known for its mild climate and numerous thermal mineral springs, Ischia is much frequented as a health and vacation resort. The more important towns are in the north of the island: Ischia, the administrative center and seat of a bishop, consisting of the fishing village of Ischia Ponte with a castle, and Ischia Porto; Casamicciola Terme; Lacco Ameno; and Forio a resort town and seaport on the western coast. Ischia har boat connection with Naples.

Castello Aragonese, or The Castle, is one of the main attractions

Hotel Iskiah: Home away from home

Food and wine

There is great seafood along the seaside. But there’s also a mountain cuisine different from what you have along the sea. Such as pheasant and rabbit stews. Ischia Bianco from Forastera and Biancolella grapes, makes the good local wine.

Next Hot Destination

We predict the historic Ischia to be the next Hot Destination in Italy. But not like touristic cities as Venice and Rome and not any large cruise ships on arrival. At least, the hot thermals and spas are here to stay and continue the best reason for a visit to this green island.

READ MORE: Ischia makes comeback

historic ischia
Film star Sophia Loren still a regular on the island Ischia

Gudmund Lindbaek
Gudmund Lindbaek
Journalist founded King Goya a few years back. Meeting people, local food and engaging stories are my passion. I plan for ambitious once-in-a-lifetime trips. My delight is the prospect of Future Travels: Longer, Slower, Farther! I just want a tiny slice of adventure to be alive, and then excited to return home.


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