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It’s been seven months since we returned from Italy. Not a week goes by without at least one member of the family saying, “I miss Italy.”
I was talking with The Buster about some recent blog posts and he said, “Are you done with the Italy posts yet?”
“No,” I replied. “Would you like me to finish them?”
“Yes, please!” he responded.
So, with my Juice position growing ever-further in the past, and family time my highest priority, recording the final memories of that far-away trip rises to the top of the list.
Thanks for the inspiration, Buster.
Travel to Ischia was covered in this post long ago. We arrived late at night, then settled in for a week in this new paradise.
The full moon that lit our way on the first ferry to Ischia.
Of all the places we stayed, Erika was the most responsive, most helpful, most generous host. And I do not say that lightly because we met some amazing, generous, splendid people.
You can read about the apartment and Erika here: Apartment On The Beach. As you can see from the reviews, she is beloved, and deservedly so.
The big picture perspective on the location of The Island Of Ischia:
The apartment first:
The steps up to the porch and front door.
The front porch- fabulous place to eat and work, lots of space for hanging clothes to dry, and a dry area for Buddie workouts.
The “screened” front door.
Looking in from the front door.
Kitchen to the left as you walked in the door.
Stove, washing machine, meat slicer on the back table. (‘Cause who doesn’t need one of those on vacation?!)
The fridge and microwave.
Couch to the right after you walked in the front door.
The electronic area, plus the stairs to the children’s room on the left, the adult’s room on the right.
The bathroom area in the apartment was interesting. From the back door, which I post later in this essay, you walked right into the bathroom area.
It actually worked well because the shower room was separate from the two toilet rooms with sinks, but an unusual design nevertheless.
The three bathrooms: Shower in first door on the right, toilets and sinks in the other two doors.
A simple bathroom.
The other bathroom.
The little shower- leaked all over the floor, but still felt great.
The back entrance out into the courtyard with restaurants and shops. Our door was to the left inside this mini-courtyard.
The courtyard outside our back door. Wrestling children for scale.
The apartment looked right out on the water, with the gorgeous castle to our right.
The sea wall in front of our apartment.
We loved looking out on the water every day.
Sunrise over our castle.
At the end of the street walking down toward the castle was a gelato place.
Thanks, google maps, for the shot of the gelato shop.
With Monkey as their fearless leader, the children got into the pleasurable habit of walking down to the gelato shop all on their own to have gelato each day. It was a great opportunity to stretch their comfort zone, with a very delicious goal.
Right by the gelato spot was a pier where boats with fresh fish would appear each early morning to sell that day’s catch.
I already talked about the day the children and I wandered to the beach.
We had several other grand adventures while in our Ischia home. The Pompeii Adventure will receive a separate write up shortly, but two other days I’ll reminisce about in this post.
As you can tell from any of our discussions about Ischia, the castle was a large part of our daily lives. One morning, while Monkey had time to work, Buds and I headed off on a tour with the littles.
On a walk the previous day, Buds and I had wandered down to find the hours and cost of entrance, and we knew there was somewhere to eat inside. Feeling well-informed, we gathered The Buster and Yessa, and walked on down.
This video shows the bouncy progress the children made, walking on rocks and walls to make their way to the castle.
This way to the castle!
Once in the castle, we began our self-guided tour. The rooms you can tour are numbered, and our brochure gave us the names and descriptions in English.
Tour of the castle.
The castle from above.
We meandered our way up and around:
Please note the description of the Nuns’ Cemetery. Of all the places we visited, this was the spookiest to me. The cement seats, which looked like port-a-potties, were horrifying once you understood their purpose.
The long hallway to enter.
A courtyard area past the cafe.
Yessa obliged us with a photo.
We deserved a cappuccino after the nuns’ cemetery.
It took awhile for our food to arrive at the cafe, so the children made a lovely pile of money.
View toward our apartment from the patio at the castle.
The last part of the castle tour is an exhibit on torture devices. Photos were not allowed, but suffice it to say humans have had horrific ways to injure each other for a very long time.
On to the next adventure:
Ischia made its way onto our list of places to visit because Uncle Z and Aunt A had spent time there on an Italy trip before they had children. It was one of Uncle Z’s favorite places due to the hot baths from the volcanic water around the island.
Once again, Buds and I headed off on a very long walk to hunt down one of these hidden paradise beaches we suspected were just out of our reach somewhere. Our very long walk helped us narrow down one path not to take when we headed out on our beach treasure hunt with Buster and Yessa the next day. (Ischia is a hilly island.)
Monkey cheerfully waved us off as she settled in to her work, while we headed out the door in our swimming suits with a backpack of supplies to spend the day out. We walked for miles, up and down and around. We finally had success when Buds wandered down a long, twisting road, hoping to discover a beach, while the children and I waited at the top of the road. An Ischian came out of the house across the road from us, and we asked him how we could find the beach.
Turns out Buds had taken the wrong path, but once he meandered his way back to us, we had directions to follow from a local, and down the long, long path we went.
Yessa took a terrible tumble on the long steps down, actually bouncing as she landed, but being the tough spirit she is, she popped back up and we continued on our way.
We found the beach, the water was warm, and we made our own fun:
Of course, he did a workout.
As we prepared to leave the beach, the rain began to set in. We worked our way up and away from the beach, eventually caught a bus, and got off at the wrong stop.
As luck would have it, it turned out to be a beautifully wrong spot. Despite the gloomy weather, an Ischian cemetery was filled with people cleaning up. While Buster and Yessa waited under a tree, Buds and I took the opportunity to wander around in this different style of resting spot.
After that impromptu visit, we made our way to the bus terminal where we squeezed onto the bus that would eventually get us back to our part of the island.
Partial Family Photo on the bus.
With a delightful restaurant right outside our back door, Buds and I slipped out for a quick dinner one of our nights in Ischia.
The patio of the restaurant, with our back door in the background. Pretty close to home.
One of the dishes we got to share.
Ischia was a relaxing, comfortable week. It was a mid-way point for the start of our journey to the South, and gave us a relatively convenient location for a visit to Pompeii, while also having plenty of adventure options closer to home.
Pompeii up next!!