Buona sera and buona domenica a tutti! It's tea-time on Sunday here in Forio on the west coast of Ischia on what's been a damp, chilly and rainy day. Just as I start to write the weekly blog, chimes start to ring out from Parrocchia San Francesco Saverio, the cute little church that sits alongside the main road between Forio and Panza. With darkness having shrouded the island several hours ago, the church serves as a beacon with its highlighted bell-tower the dominant figure on the landscape while in the background hundreds of shimmering street-lamps look like the eyes of giant bats hanging in a cave, eerily watching us from their hill-top perches.
Away from the vampirical vista on the opposing mountain slope life goes on as normal, we're in the post-climatic midst of the quietest time of the year with all of those festivities around the turn of the year firmly behind us and the next big landmark of Easter still some way off. Tourists are thin on the ground too (metaphorically rather than aesthetically speaking), aside from various groups from Germanic countries such as Austria, Switzerland and erm, Germany who come here for walking holidays looking resplendent with their hiking kit and omnipresent sticks.
So you would think it's a time for us to put our feet up and relax (just for the record, my feet are actually up and I am actually relaxed), but we at Ischia Review don't think like that. There's so much to be done to make sure that anyone reading this website can make the very most out if their visit to the island and our work continues unabated. We've noticed a lot of you are really using this time of year to find the best accommodation so we're making some solid improvements to our holiday villas, apartments and self-catering pages, adding more info than was previously available and just generally making it all a bit easier to navigate and understand.
You may also have noticed our latest article which was added to the site this week. Written by Silvana, the article called "Famous People Who Have Visited Ischia", unsurprisingly tells the story of celebrities and other historical figures who have at one time or another visited these shores. There are some fascinating little tales in there as well as some outstanding names such as Pablo Neruda, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, W.H. Auden alongside dozens of Hollywood greats who have graced the island with their presence.
Apart from adding new content to the site it's also very much a case of responding to enquiries in the form of e-mails and phone calls and this last week has seen a big upsurge in both. We know what it's like when you're planning a holiday, there are lots of things you're not sure about and it's not always easy to know where to get the information from. For that reason we ask you to contact us and feel free to ask anything you'd like to know whether it's advice about the best way to reach the island, recommendations on where to stay or even what type of weather you can expect at different times of the year. We're here and we're always happy to hear from you and to be able to help you out in any way we can so don't be backward in coming forward!
Ok that's all from the weekly blog, the daily weather and photo update has proven to be a success so we'll stick with that for the foreseeable future meaning we'll have a little more to tell you tomorrow. With the murky, grey conditions we've had today I thought something nice and bright would be the order of the day so this week's blog photo is one of those lovely ceramic maps of Ischia that you see all over the island on people's houses, shops and restaurants. The hand-made ceramics are a big part of Ischia's culture and they add just that extra cherry of beauty on top of what is already an exceedingly good cake :-)
Sunday 18th January 2015 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s Saint’s day/Name day: Santa Liberata, Prisca, Priscilla, Leonardo and Beatrice
Today in history: A ship carrying more than 700 convicted English criminals arrives in Australia's Botany Bay to set up a penal colony (1788)
Born on this day: American actor Kevin Costner (1955), English writer A.A. Milne, author of "Winnie the Pooh" (1882)
Sun-rise (alba) 07:23hrs – Sun-set (tramonto): 17:03hrs
Hi, I'm Dion Protani, the creator of Ischia Review. I'm here in Ischia to tell everybody about this wonderful island and the weekly blog is designed to give you an insight into the culture and everyday life in Ischia.