10 January 2012
Posted in PLACES YOU MUST SEE
So well known to everyone, it is probably one of most beautiful places to see in Campania. Ischia, the magic island on Tyrrhenian sea was always appreciated for its beauty. A perfect place for leisure holidays, romantic wedding or just a day trip, the Island has many things to reveal to those visiting. One of places of special interest is Castello Aragonese, originally build in 474 BC. The first building was not really notorious, just two towers to guard the Island. But with time passing those two towers became the beginning of what today so many people from all the world came to see.
The islet where the castle is build originally was only accessible via sea, but in 1441 Alfonso V of Aragon ordered a stone bridge to be build and connect the main island to the castle. The walls of castle were being fortified in the same period, becoming islanders’ shelter in case of raid of enemy’s fleet. What’s most interesting: the castle occupy the entire top part of the islet, and round 1700 there were over 2000 families living around it.
Even today the grandeur of this place makes it the most visited spot on Ischia. To arrive there you after walking the bridge you have to pass a long tunnel. Don’t worry, it’s not dark there thanks to large openings which originally were used to pour boiling water or oil over enemies attaching the island. Walking along you’ll find a little chapel there, dedicated to Saint John of the Cross, who’s the Islet saint patron. However, the tunnel is not the only way to get there. You can easily reach the top with modern lift.
Once there, you should allow and give yourself at least few hours to walk around and enjoy this wonderful place. Among the most interesting sights within the castle is the nun’s cemetery. The Clarisse order who occupied this place for three centuries, they had very particular mortuary rite. They use to sit their departed sisters on high thrones, kind of stone seats with drainage holes in small cells. There the bodies were left to putrefaction until only bones were left. The seats were hollowed, to allow flow of liquids from the putrefying bodies. The liquids where gathered in bowls hidden under the sits. What was so particular about that already strange dead ritual? Well, the nuns were obliged to daily visits and prayers to their decomposing sisters. Gladly, now this macabre and unhygienic places are cleaned of bodied, much to relief of visitors and tourists.
Another palace of much interest are churches of this tiny island. The most evocative however is the church Cathedral of our Lady of Assumption. Nearly destroyed by the British shelling of the island, the grand stucco is open to the elements.
discovering Ischia and its treasures may be wonderful adventure especially if accompanied by someone you care for. To all couples and our readers visiting Ischia we would like to propose a wonderful venues, where holidays as well as weddings will come true: Hotel Mezzatorre.