The isola verde, or verdant isle, with its intense perfumes and a true triumph of colour and intoxicating fragrances that will seduce and charm you, like the song of the sirens.
From January through to December, the island’s magical backdrop is filled with lush vegetation, the eternal blue of the sea, the dark volcanic sand of the beaches, with the luxuriance of nature’s iridescent and variegated colours, breathtaking beauty, its gentle climate, the golden lemon trees, the pine groves and the wide variety of flora: vines, shrubs, olive trees, parasol pines, cypresses, together with a large variety of exotic and oriental plants including agaves and Barbary figs.
But there’s more to Ischia too: not just sea, sun and nature, but also a long history since the foundation of the first Greek colony in the West in 776 - 760 BC,several years before the foundation of Cumae near modern-day Naples in 750 BC.
Traces of our island’s first Greek colonies can be seen in the large number of artefacts displayed in the Villa Arbusto archaeological museum and in the “Santa Restituta” museum in Lacco Ameno .
Amongst the major finds conserved in this museum is the Cup of Nestor. a kotyle (ancient Greek drinking chalice) dating from the so-called Geometric Period, made of rhodium and bearing an inscription in the early Euboean form of the Greek alphabet which reads: “I am the cup of Nestor, from which it is good to drink. But whoever drinks this cup dry, straightaway desire for beautiful-crowned Afrodite"will seize him.
With the Roman era, , Pithikoussai changed its name to Aenaria and became a home and holiday resort for the Romans, drawn here in particular by the island’s hot springs.
Then, Aenaria, attacked by pirates and subject to continuous earthquakes, was ceded by Augustus to Naples in exchange for Capri.
From around the year 1,000 onward, the island took on its current name of Ischia and was ruled in turn by Vandals, Saracens, Byzantines, Normans, the French and then the Spanish.
Finally, in 1438, Alfonso of Aragon became the lord of the island and took up residence in the castle built on a fortified islet which was named the “Aragonese Castle” in his honour.