Ischia - 8 days mid September

Old Jul 30th, 2010, 02:36 PM
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Ischia - 8 days mid September

It's been a year and a half since we were in Italy and we're very ready for a return trip. We've been looking at various places, which all seem wonderful, but after reading the trip reports on Ischia from ekscrunchy, caroline_edinburgh and all the people who responded Ischia fits the bill perfectly. We'll be celebrating a milestone birthday of my wife and she has requested a place with interesting things to see, beautiful views, good food and where she can get some rest.

I could surely put together a nice plan out of all the reports and responses, but I wonder if I could glean just a bit more that would help. Would it be helpful to rent a car? Would anyone change their hotel recommendations if we had a car? We'd like a place that is not in the midst of activity but where we could walk to a good restaurant, nice enough so if we had to stay in we'd be OK. I would also consider splurging on a very nice place for the last two nights on the island or on Capri if it would make sense.

Any help would be appreciated.
blej is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2010, 10:23 AM
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Good for you, Blej! I am headed to Puglia in September and will be re-reading your report several times before I leave!

Before I go on and on, bombarding you with my opinions, please let me know how important it is to you to be on a beach. How important to be on a sandy beach? Il Moresco is a divine hotel--very low key and old fashioned in the nicest sense. But their "beach" is located down the street (the hotel itself is not on the sea, but on a beautiful, flower-filled cobblestoned lane leading down to the sea. There is no sand there, though, and you more or less swim off platforms extending into the sea. The water may not be the cleanest on the island in that area, however. I heard, from friend we made on our visit who return every year or so, that the hotel has changed ownership since we were there, but reports are that it is still impeccable. You can walk to restaurants, but for the best food on the island, you should have a car or be willing to take expensive taxis. Il Moresco is known for their cuisine and you can also have half board for a modest increase over the price of the B&B rate--when we were there, it was 50 euro extra for two to include dinner. Again, they are famed for the quality of their cuisine but I did not eat there except for breakfast. My partner was eager to take the half board but I had to get out and explore the dining options.

Having said all that, if you do have a car, one place that I would investigate is Mezza Torre. You cannot walk to anywhere from there, but with a car, the island is yours. I looked into staying there; they give good discounts for multi-day or week-long stays. The beach in that area is gorgeous. There are two excellent restaurants in Forio, about a 20 minute or so drive from the hotel...

Tell me what you think of these two..and we can take it from there..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2010, 01:47 PM
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eks - I was so delighted to hear you're going to Puglia that I read one of your threads and reread my report. Although we were only there for about 5 days it changed the way we approach food. We almost never miss the local farm markets and use fresh and local ingredients now more than ever. I'm sure you will love it there. In the hill towns I really felt as we could have eaten almost anywhere and had a great meal.

Please don't hesitate to go "on-and-on" as your recommendations are always so helpful. I've already started to cut and paste from your trip report to make a guide to take. Re: the two hotels - they're both a bit too expensive for the bulk of the stay but perhaps for the splurge at the end. They do look spectacular. Unfortunately we will have returned before the 18th which start their low season so the prices are higher.

We are not real swimmers and so being on a beach is not anywhere near a necessity. A view would suffice. My wife might want to take a swim once or twice but we wouldn't plan around that. The pictures of Villa Melodie look pretty nice. Would you return there? I guess I would like to either stay at an affordable place for five days and splurge for three or stay at a very nice place in between for the whole time.

If driving wasn't an issue would you have rented a car? For how many days? It seemed you were able to use the buses pretty easily.

When you went to Negombo you mentioned bringing your own towel and robe as they do not rent them. Are you suggesting to bring one from the hotel?

If you're game I may have a few more questions later.
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 02:24 PM
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I am game to the utmost!

I will only a bit right now and return probably tomorrow with more. Meanwhile, you can think of more questions!

We did rely on the buses and they are very good. But I would have liked to have had a car, especially to go to various restaurants at night. And, for example, the bus lets you off at the top of a hill above Negombo. You need to walk down a long slope, and then back again.
Maybe 15 minutes each way. And to get to our favorite restaurant, outside Forio, we had to walk sharply uphill for about 20 minutes along a dark road. So think of a car as a nice luxury, but not necessary. You can arrange to rent a Smart car once on the island.

Villa Melodie is lovely, but to be honest, it had a bit too much of a German slant for me so I might return, but I would check out other options first. Almost all the guests were German or eastern European, mostly i the over-60 age bracket. If you can get beyond that, the accommodations are fine and the pool is wonderful, if a bit cold. The owner, Gianni, is very helpful. I feel a bit ridiculous criticizing the nationality and age of the other guests and I hope no one gets offended by my comments. It is my own failing.

We split our stay into two locations and I think this would be a good idea since you have 8 days. Important, too, if you do not rent a car, is to find a hotel that is close to a bus stop so you do not have to walk too far. The south coast looks lovely, but I think it is really more about the beaches there. Forio is a nice town but it is not imperative that you base yourself near there.

You could take the bath towels from your hotel to Negombo. But it is also good to have a robe, or at least a sarong to cover up from time to time. Otherwise you will spend the whole day in your bathing suit. This is not necessarily a bad idea, but we had iffy weather and it even drizzled a bit when we were there. You MUST plan to spend at least a half day there.

Unlike some other parts of Italy, you need to research the restaurants because there are some very mediocre places on Ischia. You can rest assured that you could do worse than to eat every dinner at Renato's place, Da Peppina. That is how much I loved that place and I think it will come close to what you enjoyed in Puglia.
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 02:58 PM
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EKS - thanks again. I'm sure we'll rent a car for at least a few days to get a sense of the place. I'll have to do a bit more research on accomodations and restaurants. I understand what you mean at the Melodie. We stayed at a lovely hotel on Lake Maggiore just a few miles from the Swiss border. It was a favorite with German vacationers and it felt a bit odd hearing so much of a language that wasn't Italian.

I'll be away for about a week without much contact with a computer (should do me some good). I should have some questions by then.
blej is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Ok! I am also on limited internet access this week but will check in. I look forward to discussing this topic with you! When I look back on my comments, I think perhaps it was as much the age of the fellow guests than their nationality. I just did not feel as if I were in Italy.
But remember that we had bad weather and if things had been different, we would have spent even less time at the hotel. We just hit a terrible streak of rain that week.... be continued...
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Dear EKS and all others: we were away on our annual retreat and met friends who just came back from Prague and enjoyed it. My wife who originally wanted to go there has now switched from Ischia to Prague - and this is a trip to celebrate her birthday. Thanks for all your Ischia wisdom.

I will start a new topic if needed, but just wondered if 8 days, including the day of arrival, is too long?
blej is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 10:37 AM
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Have fun in Prague. I will look forward to reading your report; I've never been but my sister spent a week there last year and told me that I MUST go!
ekscrunchy is offline  
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