duminică, 31 octombrie 2010

Ischia ... last destination

Well, folks, Ischia was the last destination of our trip to Naples. We saved it for last and it was the best decision. We had a wonderful Sunday afternoon walk on the tiny streets, beautiful piazzas and sunny beach. It was just perfect for our last day in Italy.

We left Napoli in the morning and reached the island around one hour and a half later with a speed boat. The ride was quite rough as the sea was troubled after a storm, so we got there a little dizzy, but safe and happy to set foot on the island that the Greeks first discovered over 2.500 years ago.

... leaving Naples with the speed boat...

volcano and the castle - view  from the sea

Ischia is the largest island of the Campania region – its velvety slopes green with pine woods and vineyards – hence its nickname Isola Verde (Emerald Isle). Mount Epomeo – the volcano – has long been dormant, but the island shows significant volcanic activity with its many hot springs, mineral waters, and steam and hot mud holes. These are extensively used by the island’s many spas; hence Ischia’s other nickname , Island of Eternal Youth.
The island’s shore alternates between rugged cliffs and beautiful beaches.
With over 150 spas on the island, plus open-air facilities, including natural pools and steam holes, Ischia is a huge thermal resort


Ischia knew little development during antiquity and the Middle Ages because of its very active volcano – Monte Epomeo – which erupted for the last time in the 14th century.

That is when the island’s growing population led to the development of the spa industry with the opening  of the first thermal establishment in Casamicciola Terme in 1604. The island itself, however, went relatively undiscovered by tourists until the 1950s, when well-to-do Italians came here in the hopes of finding an alternative to overcrowded Capri. 

Although Ischia is more popular now than it was then, the atmosphere is quieter than on Capri – partly because people who come here usually stay for several stay and are looking for quiet, not celebrities.




It is time to say goodbye to Napoli.....!

sâmbătă, 30 octombrie 2010

Pizza - Pasta - VESPA

The first thing it comes to my mind when I think of Italy is: pizza, pasta, Vespa. In this exact order. 

There's no need to tell you much about pizza and pasta because I'm sure you eat Italian cuisine as often and as much as I do, so  for this last post about Italy I left all my attention focus on the Vespa. 

The Vespa: an Italian symbol of a fresh start at the end of World War II; a picture of optimism and of growing wealth; an emblem of the family; and the witness of many love stories.

Exactly 67 years after its arrival on the scene, the Vespa is still a cult object worldwide for young and old, a vehicle capable of changing its look while keeping its own familiar design. A mere scooter, it has remained in vogue for no less than six decades. Its story runs parallel with the history of Italy and Europe from the end of the war until present day.

Vespa witnessed so many adventures and love affairs both in movies and in real life. Maybe the most emblematic scene is the one in Roman Holidays (US - 1953), by William Wyller

There's also La Dolce Vita (1960 - Italy), by Federico Fellini, with Marcello Mastroianni, Austin Powers, An American in Paris (1951 - USA). The Gene Kelly classic, Rebel Without a Cause (1955 - USA) by Nicolas Ray, Alfie (2004 - USA), The Italian Job (UK – 1969), The Talented Mr. Ripley (USA – 1999), by Anthony Minghella - tons of vintage scooters in it.
  credit: imdb, whoridesavespa, leblogdebetty, wikipedia


I wish you the loveliest weekend!