Chronicle – Ischia – the genuinely Neapolitan island

Picture of Richard Juhlin

Richard Juhlin

A summers chronicle when Champagne expert Richard Juhlin contemplates about the sun, the people, the landscape & an island.

Inspired by our fantastic July trip around half of Italy, I felt that I would like to continue on the paved road and take my sun- and bath-loving little children Leo and Nora on holiday to Ischia. A favorite that we visited for the first time in 2018. An island highly regarded in Italy, but unknown to most other nationalities. A bit strange considering that the island is very reminiscent of the world famous Capri and is only 20 km away. This is where the Neapolitans go when they want to get away from their vibrant beautiful but messy city at the foot of Vesuvius.

Capri is certainly even more beautiful with its even more dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views, but the wonderful gem is unfortunately overcrowded with tourists with all that it entails in high season. Ischia is about twice the size of Capri and much more genuine and in my eyes more charming with a tainted air of history and Bella Notte romance from the 50’s when the movie stars gathered in clusters at the newly opened luxury hotel Isabella Regina in Lecco Ameno. The pace is slower and people radiate a warmth that is like balm for the soul of us freezing northerners. However, the island is not completely tourist-free.

The island has just received a boost through the film adaptation of Elena Ferrantes, “My Brilliant friend” which partly takes place here. Most of the biggest luxury yachts run their regular route every summer, starting in Ravello, Amalfi, Positano, Nerano, Il Faraglione outside Capri before passing Ischia on their way to Liguria with the Cinque Terre and Portofino to finally reach the French Riviera. This summer was still strongly marked by corona restrictions and the boats were fewer, but if possible even larger with several Russian oligarchs along with the Italian cream and me and my Swedish small blond tots who appreciated exotic odd elements in the folk mix.

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