To breathe in the most authentic air of Ischia and take a step back in time, one should head to the quaint village of Ischia Ponte. In the picturesque center of sailors and fishermen, dating back to the 13th century, one can enjoy relaxing strolls among fascinating views and architecturally valuable buildings, away from the chaos thanks to the wide swaths of closed vehicular traffic.
This area is home to a high concentration of restaurants and activities that evoke the identity of Ischia, with typical local products accompanied by local wine produced in the nearby countryside. Scenes of Ischian typicality can be witnessed, such as the arrival of the paranze (fishing boats) at dawn on Piazzale Aragonese loaded with the day’s catch. That fresh fish will be found on the tables of all the restaurants in the village and in the kitchens of the people of Ischia.
A tour of Ischia Ponte, at the foot of the imposing Aragonese Castle, will be an immersive experience, including local tastings, a few hours of shopping and scenic walks on the Bay of Cartaromana, the most beloved bathing spot of the island’s inhabitants, in whose depths the archaeological site of Aenaria from the Roman era is enshrined.
In this unique setting, in which we also glimpse the Michelangelo Tower and the Little Church of St. Anne, patroness of parturients, the most important festival of the Ischian summer takes place: the sea festival at the rocks of St. Anna, a parade of allegorical boats or simple reproductions on rafts of slices of ancient Ischitan life and striking local architecture. An enthralling tradition all to be experienced, echoing the feats of ancient folk faith and devotion, when people went in procession by sea in goiters adorned with grape vine leaves to invoke the Saint’s protection.