Ischia: To Ponte, or not to Ponte?

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Mar 17th, 2013, 02:28 PM
  #1
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Ischia: To Ponte, or not to Ponte?

Hello everyone!

At the end of September/beginning of October, my husband and I are planning to stay in Ischia for three nights (part of a ten-night trip in Italy) and are interested specifically in Ischia Ponte, either at an apartment via airbnb or Hotel Europa. (Why Ponte? Well. Um. It looks so lovely in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Ha! Is that reason enough? If not, feel free to slap me and the thoughts of a glistening Jude Law out of my brain.)

We are interested in enjoying the scenery and views, perhaps stopping by at one of the thermal spas. A casual stroll/hike here or there. Beaches are pretty but we aren't beach bunnies--that one thermal cliffside beach spot sounds worth a trip, though. Eating. Drinking. Variety is nice, but not necessary. We'd be happy drinking negronis (mmmmmm) at the same bar each afternoon. A bar with an ocean view? Even better!

We're laid back, casual folks. We don't care about shopping and fine dining (unless it's phenomenal--we DO love food, after all). Authentic casual and/or local street food is our jam. We generally like fresh, simple meals, and well-crafted cocktails and wine. Oh, and coffee.

In your humble opinions, is Ischia Ponte a good spot for us? If so, can you point out a couple of good bars and dining spots?

I should add that we also considered Amani (on the Amalfi Coast). Would that be better suited to our needs? There's a small apartment available there that is a great deal.

Note* It's my first time in Italy--first time in Europe, in fact! My husband spent a week in Sardinia several years ago and LOVED it.

Note** We will be in Naples the following two nights, and will be seeing Pompeii during that portion of the trip. So that's not a day trip we're concerned about while staying on Ischia (or Amalfi?)
lindsayjean is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2013, 03:59 AM
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Ischia Ponte would be a fine place to spend a few days, or much longer!

The best dining spot I found on the island is on the other side, near Forio; you can take a bus to a nearby stop and then a nice, fairly steep walk, to Da Peppina di Renato. You must try the rabbit.

My report from a few years past mentions this and other dining suggestions.

We have a regular poster on this forum, Peter, who lives on the island and will hopefully offer suggestions.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-its-spell.cfm
ekscrunchy is online now  
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Mar 18th, 2013, 07:37 AM
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Thanks so much!

I'm trying to wrap my head around the bus system. From what I understand, I would need to take a bus from Ponte to Porto, and then from Porto to Forio (or wherever we were headed.) Is this correct? How long would each bus ride be, approximately? Are they going to be PACKED that time of year?
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Mar 18th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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We were there in late September a few years ago. Buses seem to be crowded when school lets out, but we never had a problem. I do believe that you would have to take the small bus to Porto, and connect to the bus that makes the perimeter circuit. But I would not let this dissuade you in the least. Distances are not long, so there does not seem to be any "bad" or "inconvenient" location to stay. YOu can also rent a car for the day; your hotel could arrange this, but we did not find it necessary. It is easy to get the hang of the bus system in a couple of days.

Having said all that, and considering you have not been before, Amalfi (did you mean that town, or Atrani--they are neighboring towns, walkable from one to the other) would also be a good option and a bit easier to access since you would not need to take the ferry.

Any chance you can devote more than 3 days...perhaps visit both places?



My reports are focused on food, but you might find helpful tips in this one, based on our stay in Amalfi and Naples a few years before the Ischia trip.


I will say, based on subsequent visits, that the Amalfi Coast is jammed with tourists during late September, early October. Buses were jam packed to the point of being really uncomfortable. Ischia is a bit more off the beaten path for English-speaking tourists...and those spas are unforgettable!!

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...and-naples.cfm
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Mar 18th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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We've lived in Ponte for a decade now, after moving here from London in 2003.... and it was previously our choice when vacationing on the island... so perhaps no surprise if I say you're looking in the right area?

The number 7 bus is probably the one you're thinking of - usually doing the Porto/Ponte/Porto loop every fifteen minutes... then, from the Porto depot, take the 1, 2 or CS to reach Forio.

But if in no great hurry, you'll usually have a more pleasant journey by going in the other direction! From the Europa etc, walk 10 minutes at most to Piazza Eroi - where you can catch the clockwise CD bus, almost always a lot quieter (but don't tell everyone).

On either of those two (the CS and CD) an entire circuit of the island - which is about 7 miles by four - takes some 100 minutes!

..................................

For more about the transport services, ticket prices etc, I've put together a ragbag of bit and pieces here:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/beginisc

... with photos from around the island and other stuff starting from:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/allaboutischia

Or jump in this way, if looking for something or somewhere specific:
http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/recisch&view=tree

Do also have a look at the bilingual magazine for visitors - printed copies monthly at about €2, or backnumbers available for free download as PDFs from:

http://www.ischianews.com/it/home/ar...ategory/2.html

..................................

Perhaps you're too young to remember but long before Mr Law there'd been a previous movie made from Patricia Highsmith's tale - with an equally hot actor in the lead role.....

http://www.imdb.co.uk/title/tt0054189/

Many of the shooting locations chosen by Minghella were exactly the same...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2000/feb/26/italy

... and you'll soon find Bagno Antonio, with those blue and white beach huts!

Must go, but do feel free to ask about anything else,
Peter
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Mar 18th, 2013, 12:20 PM
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Never knew about Purple Noon, Peter!
Many thanks for that tip...have put it at the top of my list!
ekscrunchy is online now  
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Mar 18th, 2013, 08:08 PM
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ekscrunchy: d'oh, I actually meant Minori. I have NO idea how or why I wrote "Amani." My brain is oversaturated with the names of Italian towns and they've all apparently blended together into a made-up name. Ha ha ha. Whoops!

Peter, I've seen Purple Noon but I had no idea it was (partly) filmed on Ischia! What a nice throwback on Minghella's part. I need to watch it again.

Thanks so much to both of you for the bus tips and helpful links. I will wade through them and report back!
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Mar 19th, 2013, 02:59 AM
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You'll find a list, with some others which perhaps also didn't register as having been shot here, on:

http://www.hoteleuropaischia.it/uk/i...n_13.php?lg=uk

... but be warned, that Peter Sellers / Britt Ekland movie is a real stinker!

Eventually, through a series of inter-connections, Visconti (who had a summer home near Forio, "La Colombaia", the dovecote, where his ashes are buried), Delon and Lancaster ended up in Sicily together, making the famous Il Gattopardo / The Leopard..

http://www.pbase.com/image/130391153

Also in the cast of that was Terence Hill - the TV detective priest 'Don Matteo', but known more for an amazingly long run of movies (spaghetti westerns mostly) made with fellow-veteran, Bud Spencer... who was filming here a few years ago, starring in a crime series of his own.

We declined the opportunity to be extras, but did go and watch one day:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/budspencer

Peter
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