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Trip Report Trip report – Ischia, Venice for the Art Biennale and northern Tuscany

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This was a 3 week trip with a week in each place. The plan was to have a fairly lazy first and last week as we knew we'd have a very busy and tiring middle week in Venice.

Part 1 : Ischia

We stayed at Casa Celestino in Sant'Angelo, where we stayed for a week last year and plan to stay again next year. Sant'Angelo is idyllic and I'm so glad that we stayed there, thanks to good advice on this board. (Last year we'd originally planned to stay in Forio which is not the same at all.)

We went 2 weeks later this year (16-23 June) and the weather was much warmer ' 28-32 degrees C ' although it still got quite windy on the beach sometimes.

The journey all went smoothly but still took 13 hours - see, it's not that much easier for those of us who don't have to cross the Atlantic ! Left home at 0450, taxi to EDI, EDI-LGW, 3 hour gap, LGW-NAP (both flights with BA), express bus to Molo Beverello, hydrofoil to Ischia Porto, bus to Sant'Angelo, walked to hotel arriving 1845 local time.

After the strenuous journey (and a hard year at work) we ended up doing nothing all week except going to the village beach each day, eating, drinking & sleeping. We had intended to go to the concert at La Mortella on the Sunday (as we did last year) but couldn't face getting back on a bus again so soon.

Ate dinner at the hotel a couple of times & the food was quite good, but we were put off by the smoking. Ate some other nights at Da Pasquale which is mainly a pizzeria (and cheap), but again ordered the rabbit feast for our last night and enjoyed it a lot. For lunch we usually got a sandwich from 'La Dolce e La Vita' (!), and always got one of their cakes each to take back to our balcony with a bottle of Prosecco (from the wee grocer near the hotel) for a late afternoon treat. We also decided their ice cream was the best and made sure to have una coppa each, every evening ' the 'fondente' flavours (dark chocolate with cherry/orange/praline') were to die for.

All in all a fantastically relaxing week in a beautiful place, and I can't wait to do exactly the same again next year ! Of all the places I've stayed in Italy, to me this is the best for just relaxing, enjoying the beautiful surroundings, reading, swimming, eating and drinking.

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