On Saturday we ended up with a free day so we decided to take a ferry to the Island of Ischia. The trip took about 35 minutes by a very fast boat and we spent a wonderful few hours wandering around the island.
As with most of our trip, we ended up on a different boat from the one we originally wanted and pulled into port at a different place on the island. That just proved to be an opportunity for us to learn how to catch the bus to get to the next port.
The Island is the result of a Volcanic eruption many years ago and it now contains many hot springs and spas and is a a gorgeous area. Although there is a lot of tourism on the island, it is not nearly as overwhelming as it was on Capri. We had a slow stroll down one of the pedestrian only streets and enjoyed shopping and looking at a gorgeous park.
We eventually made our way to the Castello Aragonesse d’Ischia, an old structure that dominates one end of the island. We spent about an hour wandering around the castle, finding ourselves in some of the most interesting cubbyholes…..
We laughed at the music playing at the restaurant…..it was all stereotypical Italian music with “O Sole Mio” and “Santa Lucia” on the play list. We decided that we needed to watch for a limousine to drive by for an “attempted whacking”.
While we were eating, we enjoyed watching a couple taking wedding pictures on the pier. I particularly liked how the photographers threw themselves into their work….
In the evening, Salvatore picked us up and took us to an Italian Steak House. As usual, the meal began with a huge collection of “Starters”. They included a ball of Mozzarella (ping-pong size for EACH of us), slices of Proscuitto, a slice of Chengale sausage, another unknown meat slice, roast pork slice with a spicy sauce, plates of sautéed mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, potatoes, a slice of Eggplant casserole, and 2 others that I cant remember right now. Happily, we skipped the Pasta course and went straight to the Meat course. We all had a grilled steak, expecting it to be wafer thin, but were served a HUGE Sirloin Steak that was grilled to perfection. We drove to a Gelato shop to finish out our last meal in Italy. As we ate it we strolled around a park, watching all of the teenagers gathered in groups. The drive back to the hotel took about an hour as the roads were totally clogged with people enjoying the evening….remember that at this point it was 11:30 pm!!!
When we got up at 4:30am to leave for our return journey, there were still people outside!!