Friday, June 28, 2019

Our Last Full Day in Ischia

Thursday, 27 June, 2019

We started another hot day in Ischia with the promise of a day lounging about at the sea shore again doing little more than baking in the southern Italian Sun.

It was already warm when
we awakened

After a good breakfast at the Don Pedro Hotel, we started our trek down the hill to the beach.

A Piaggio dreaming BIG!

Our designated baking spot
is just to the left

After about two hours of alternately lounging in the Sun and then dipping into the Tyrrhenian Sea's cool, refreshing waters, I got restless.

With the promise of returning in a couple of hours with a pair of Ischia's signature Zingara panini for lunch, I left Laurie at the beach to explore Ischia a bit more.


I was heading East more or less along the shoreline in search of Ischia's Castello Aragonese, a fortress complex first built in 474 B.C. by the Greek-Siracusan Hiero, who came to the aid of the Cumaeans in their war against the Tyrrhenians.

The Castello would be used over the millenniums defensive blockhouse building temples, churches and fortifications on this tall rock of an islet about 150 meters off of Ischia's northeastern shoreline.

Along the way as I strolled, I discovered several Ischian treasures.

Tile Art

Ischians love their limoncello

A beautiful entryway
to a random home

Yes, the Sun was DEFINITELY
up and beating down on my
now sweat soaked body

Looking back towards Ischia
from the foot of the Castello's island

The two islands are connected by a long cement bridge just a few feet above sea level.

Locals sunbathing on the rocks
next to the bridge

The Castello Aragonese is imposing,
no doubt about it!

I paid the ten Euros entry fee and gladly took the elevator to the top of the Castello's imposing rock island.

Great views from the Castello
to be sure, it would take a long
siege to defeat people up here

After Hiero's times the Castello was used alternately by the Romans, the Normans, the Suebi and the Angevins. Each group added their own flares to the Castello.

In 1441 A.D., King Alphone of Aragon rebuilt the fortress and the name Castello Aragonese d'Ischia has stuck ever since.

I did mention the views, didn't I

The Castello's jail

The Castello's most splendid period came in the late 16th-century when the islet was home to 1892 families plus a convent of the order of Poor Clare nuns, the abbey of Basilian monks from Greece and a whopping 13 churches all sharing this somewhat small islet.

At least there was a good view
out of the jails window

A mural from one of the larger of
the 13 churches

A safe harbor to the South of
the Castello's entry bridge

It was a fascinating site but those views were amazing!

Love on the rocks

One last look back at the
Castello Aragonese

I still had to get those two Zingara panini for lunch for the two of us so as to be able to dine al fresco.

I still had an eye out for more interesting things about life on Ischia.

The love tile art mosaics

A much desired water fountain
as the day was becoming a scorcher!

Felling my Summer Vibe

A small convent on Ischia

I posted a picture of this work of
art in a previous post, I just like it

After spending a few more hours soaking up the Sun and wading into the sea, we headed to a harbor side bar for some adult beverages and then took a taxi up the hill to our Don Pedro Hotel.

I had booked a 30 minute massage before dinner and was really looking forward to it as my back and neck were indeed sore.

I met my masseuse Gianfranco in the hotel's lobby where we quickly journeyed to a vacant hotel room where had set up shop.

Gianfranco has 20 years of experience at his craft and wasted no time working on me in a blend of what I took for Thai massage and a Russian Mafia hit squad techniques!

But it worked, I felt much better.

Why the soreness . . .

Walking this much in the HEAT today
may have had something to do with it

Meanwhile, even more new Venom Camp photos arrived yesterday . . .

Sharing a moment with Chicago Bears
RB Coach Charles London,
QB Coach Dave Ragone,
Special Teams Coach Chris Tabor
and OL Coach Shane Toub before our
first practice

Making Bears LB Coach Ted Monachino
smile before the start of the Venom Camp,
probably at Laurie's expense it appears

We have really enjoyed our three days on Ischia. Just what the doctor ordered.

On Friday we will take the hydrofoil boat back to Napoli, pick up a car we rented and start the drive towards Catanzaro in Calabria, the toe of the Italian boot-like peninsula.

Our #3 seeded Varese Skorpions Women's Flag Football team will be playing in the Italian National Championship Tournament in Catanzaro on Saturday and Sunday and we want to be there to support them to the max.

It's GREAT to be a Skorpion on vacation in Southern Italy!

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