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Nutella Oct 15th, 2002 02:45 PM

Is anyone just back from Ischia/Procida?
Several weeks/months ago there was a flurry of activity on this board of people who were heading to Ischia and/or Procida. I'd love to hear observations from anyone who's just returned. Thanks!

Barb Oct 15th, 2002 03:46 PM

I just returned from Procida last Friday. I am in the process of writing a trip report - Rome, Procida, Sorrento, Naples. I was on Procida from 9/30 to 10/3. It was like stepping back in time. Not touristy, not exactly beautiful, but very relaxing. It is very densely populated for such a small island. The streets are very narrow and the traffic is pretty steady. You really have to dodge cars, skooters when walking on the streets. There really is not much shopping, except at the Port. I know I'm not painting a very good picture, but I really enjoyed it because it was not a tourist mecca. It was like a glimpse into what life is really like on an island in Italy. The food was worth the trip. The most delicious fresh seafood. The buildings are very colorful and it was an artist's paradise. It is also very reasonable to stay there. I stayed at the Hotel Celeste. My single room was 50 Euro a night! It was small, but very clean and certainly adequate for a single person. Transportation is a bus that comes every 20 min. and takes you pretty much anywhere on the island. There are also mini-taxis -the three-wheel kind. You do not hear much english spoken here. The people are very proud of their island and a little protective I think. But after spending an afternoon on Ischia, I was very glad to get back to the slow pace of Procida. Hope to have that report done soon with names of restaurants, etc.

Nutella Oct 15th, 2002 05:57 PM

Thanks so much for posting, Barb! Your description of Procida is exactly how I envisioned it. I'm really looking forward to reading your trip report. If you don't have a chance to post it before this weekend (when I leave), would you mind briefly mentioning the best place you visited on the island, and maybe a restaurant recommendation. Thanks!

Barb Oct 16th, 2002 12:22 PM

Nutella: I forgot to mention in my trip report a couple of restaurants on Procida. The absolute best, but I'm not sure of the name, was in Coricella. It should not be hard to find because I think it's the only one open this time of the year. You don't get seafood any fresher than this, or prepared so tasty. You have to walk down about a million stairs to get to Marina Corricella, but it is very worth it. Also, at Marina Grande, L'Osteria del Gallo was very good. I had probably the best spaghetti with clams I've ever had and the house wine was very good. Have a great time - where are you staying? They have wonderful apts. to rent by the week and very cheap - I may try that next time.

Nutella Oct 16th, 2002 12:47 PM

Thanks Barb, just found this after reading your trip report on the other thread, I asked you a couple of questions there. I'm staying in Corricella for one night only. But I may have the opportunity to return for another night or two or three later in the week if I really like it there. Sounds like you did - you're already talking about returning : )

Alba Oct 18th, 2002 08:14 AM

I returned from Ischia last week---what a great place! As stated in other postings, Ischia is much larger than most people imagine. We have family in Ischia, so we stayed with them and did day-trips from there. For example, I (a traveling-solo female at that point) went to Rome for a few days to visit friends. I took the ferry to Naples, taxi to the train station and then on to Rome. I had always heard such horror stories about Naples that I was a bit afraid. But, aside from the traffic(!), it was fine. No problems at all!<BR>We also took a guided tour to the Amalfi Coast one day. We requested (and got) an English-speaking guide. It was wonderful.<BR>Capri is very close, too. So, one could do a day-trip there.<BR>Ischia itself has lots to do, too. The Castello Aragonese is very interesting to tour. The handout one receives upon entering also has English descriptions of the Castle.<BR>The Mortella Garden is beautiful. Sir Wm. Walton and his wife created it back in the 50's. It boasts over 1,000 rare plants, flowers and trees. It is also a school for young, gifted musicians.<BR>The beaches and views from just about anywhere on the island are breath-taking. <BR>And, the food! Oh my gosh--the food was great anywhere we went! The seafood is plentiful (sometimes unusual); and much rabbit is served. Try it, you may like it!<BR>Ischia is known for its ceramics and Limoncello liquor. We brought several of both home (carry-on) and everything survived. The ceramics store clerk wrapped the plates, etc. very well for travel.<BR>The Poseidon Garden thermal spa is fabulous! It reminded me of Maui. There are numerous pools, 2 cafe's, a beach and beautiful walking paths. Bring your own towels and bathing cap. You can buy a bathing cap there (about ?2). You could also wear a baseball cap. Aside from my American husband, all the men had those "Speedo" type bathing suits. 99.8% of the women wore 2-piece suits.<BR>One day, we hiked Mt. Epomeo. We rode up in a 4WD vehicle, and then hiked down. You can also ride a mule for the trip, if you like. There is a nice restaurant at the top, and one about half-way on the trail in case you need some "refueling". The view at the summit is spectacular--you can see forever.<BR>Most of the tourists on Ischia are German, so many Ischians know German rather than English. But, most of the people in the tourist industry can communicate in English. Don't let the language stop you---the people are wonderful, generous and amicable.<BR>In my opinion, Ischia is a hidden treasure. Discover it!

Nutella Oct 18th, 2002 10:29 AM

Thanks for the Ischia report, Alba! Do you remember any memorable restaurants? At Poseidon, was the weather warm enough to be outdoors? Also, what sort of hiking was it - should I pack my hiking boots? Thanks

Alba Oct 19th, 2002 04:59 PM

Nutella--<BR>We were at the Poseiden Gardens the first week of October. The day we were there (and most of that week) it was warm enough to be outside in a swimsuit. They do have an indoor pool, too. Check for Naples and you'll get a ballpark idea of the weather on Ischia.<BR>No, you won't need hiking boots to climb Mt. Epomeo. My husband wore his sneakers, and I, like my Italian cousin, wore casual, black leather, rubber-soled lace-up shoes.<BR>I should have written down the names of the restaurants! So sorry! I guess I was so swept away by the food, the scenery and the people that I forgot names of places. I can absolutely recommend my cousins' restaurant and caf&egrave;: La Floreana. It's in Serrara, on a scenic overlook called The Belvedere. Great view and even better food. They've been in business for all their married life--28 years, so it's not just my biased opinion! For pastries (and probably lunch) go to the Calise Bakery. There are signs when you get off the ferry pointing the way! I believe that there are two locations, but the "main" one is huge and beautiful.<BR>Next time, I will write down names of places!<BR>Ciao!<BR>

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