Distant dog barking - check, bell-tower of Parrocchia San Francesco Saverio illuminated - check, cup of tea steaming and neatly nestled on coaster - check, Sunday night - check. Ok, it's time for this week's blog.
So what kind of week have we had? Well if for some reason you were restricted to just one word you might choose something like "wet", for wet it has been. We had rain every day last week, making life a bit difficult for those of us restricted to two-wheeled transport to really get out and about but the silver-lining to that thick, grey cloud is that we've been able to do lots of work on the website that we don't normally get the time for. Anybody searching for accommodation will be pleased to know we've made some big improvements to the self-catering section with lots more information & images available and it's all now slightly smoother to navigate and find what you want.
Those improvements were planned for quite some time but with the amount of enquiries we're currently receiving about places to stay in Ischia, it's become our number one priority. With all the Christmas shenanigans out of the way it's a good time for many people to start planning their summer holidays and by doing so early you tend to get the pick of the best accommodation that suit your planned travel dates.
Despite Ischia being a relatively small island, there is a vast amount of choice when it comes to hotels, apartments, villas, bed & breakfasts, agriturismos, campsites, hostels and anything you can think of, so with all that in mind we invite people to write to us and ask us any question they may have about the island, where they can stay, how to get here and what to do once here. We're seeing a big increase in the number of enquiries we get and the general level of interest in the island which is really pleasing and makes us very excited about the year ahead so long may that continue!
On a different level but also applicable under the word "exciting" is the fact that legendary French actor Gerard Depardieu is the latest big name to join the Ischia celebrity gang as he's here to film some kind of documentary about art. I'm restricted to "some kind of" because specific details about the project haven't been provided and it's even been reported in some despatches as being "Top Secret" but I'm sure we'll get more details filtering through once the security forces drop the threat level against any leaks.
For this week's blog photo I've chosen the one and only Castello Aragonese in Ischia Ponte looking resplendent in its winter guise and with dozens of local fishermen's boats stacked in front of it on the other side of the bridge. The castle is the first thing that most people notice when they arrive on the island and the last thing they ever forget, its medieval contours majestically playing the lead role on the stage that has Capri, Procida, Mount Vesuvius and the Italian mainland creating a star-studded backdrop.
Anyway, with January hurtling towards its conclusion and 2015 gathering pace I bid you all a very happy week and will be back with more this time next week, barking dogs, bell-towers and cups of tea all in tow.
Sunday 25th January 2015 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Today's Saint's/Name Day: Conversion of San Paolo, Savino, Sabino
Today in history: Antarctica first identified as a continent by an American naval expedition (1840)
Born on this day: Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759), English author Virginia Woolf (1882), American singer/songwriter Alicia Keys (1981)
Sun-rise (alba): 07:19 Sun-set (tramonto): 17:12
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.