Good Evening Ischia,
Continuing the slightly disorderly theme of the blog over the last couple of weeks, this week's effort again comes on a Thursday but obviously this isn't any old Thursday, it just happens to be the first day of the year and for that matter, the first day of the second half of the decade. Being as I'm generally quite out of touch with the rest of the world on almost everything, this has led me to question what this decade is actually known as now. Are we still in the "2010's" or do most people call it the "20 teens" for example? Answers on a post card please (an e-mail will be absolutely fine as well).
So I hope you've had a chance to get over your hangovers by now although if you had a really spectacular night out last night then you're officially granted an extra 12 hours to recover. I personally got through the evening without drinking what I would call excessively (others might disagree) and as such had a nice clear head this morning.The temperatures yesterday were below freezing for the first time since I've been here and there was snow in many parts of southern Italy, including Naples but not in Ischia. The minus 3° Celcius unfortunately seems to have murdered three recently purchased hibiscus plants whose bright green leaves have now turned decidedly droopy. Is there any chance they will recover? (We'd love to hear from any horticulturists who might know so please do tell if you can). So the difference today was palpable, not only was it a full ten degrees above freezing but the strong winds from the past few days disappeared leaving things nice and pleasant during the afternoon before the sun went down, leaving a chill in the air again, forcing me to be huddled up next to the radiator as I write.
The big night last night was another family affair with a huge amount of food and a sensible amount of drink on offer. As on Christmas Day, the centre-piece of the food was fish and this time the fish did have a name (see previous blog), a baked orata (bream in English) followed on from spaghetti with vongole (clams), gamberoni (king prawns) and salmon. This came after dozens of different types of vegetable and was followed in the end by I think three different desserts and fruit! So weighing an extra 10kgs each we the saw in the new year outside with the customary fireworks. Given the fact that so many other houses and hotels also have their own firework displays, what you end up with is a really spectacular show as the clock strikes midnight. Apart from our own, there were rockets and bangers going off in different directions as far as the eye could see, a real joy to behold. Midnight was toasted with Brachetto which is a kind of Prosecco but much sweeter and red in colour, dangerously drinkable too!
You would find it hard to be believe but we actually repeated the huge feasting again today, very enjoyable but completely ruining my New Year fitness regime (any excuse) which will now have to commence tomorrow instead, unless I can find another excuse then of course...
So it's the first day of 2015 and time to look forward to what the new year will bring but perhaps it would be wrong to overlook what has been an amazing 2014 so quickly. In terms of Ischia Review it was our second year of operation but so much different from the first in terms of numbers of visitors, enquiries and the services we were able to provide. Compared to 2013 when we were really just finding our feet and working out how it would all go, 2014 was when we were able to put all those experiences into creating something that has really started to work well. We were lucky enough to meet so many great people and make lots of new friends with people who popped over to the island for a week or two but who we will always stay in touch with and hope to see again.
All in all we've been very happy with how 2014 unfolded but we wont rest on our laurels as there's so much more to do and so many ways in which we can improve the services we provide. The relationships we've formed over these first two years have solidified and we work with some really great partners who all share our passion about making Ischia a destination where people can come and be swept away by the natural beauty of the island and by the amount of fun they can have by getting involved with the various activities that are on offer. By the end of 2014, i.e. yesterday, the website had doubled in the number of pages from the start of the year and there is still so much to add. We're hoping that this year the site will evolve a little to really do what the name suggests, to review Ischia. For the most part we've been providing our own input but with the recently launched forum we're hoping to see what you all think of the island's hotels, restaurants and other attractions such as thermal parks. All with the aim of making everything as good as it can be with constructive feedback.
Many of you will already have seen this week's blog photo as it was used for the blog on 28th September. I've used it again today as it was my favourite photo of the year, the array of colours on display that morning down at Maronti Beach was incredible and the funky colour scheme of the Bar Ristorante Il Nuovo Tropical in front of the dramatic turquoise of the sea behind it really was and is a thing of beauty. A close second was the grocery store in Ischia Ponte on Sunday 12th October but if you have your own opinion on which of our photos you liked then please do let us know.
Ok so onwards and upwards into 2015, the days are getting incrementally longer and although the coldest part of the winter is still to come, there's so much to look forward to on this wonderful patch of paradise in the Tyrrhennian Sea.
So from myself and also from Silvana who contributes so much to the website, we wish you all a heartfelt Happy New Year and hope to see as many of you as possible during 2015!
Buon Anno, Happy New Year, Frohes Neues Jahr, S Novym Godom and Feliz año Nuevo :-)
Dion and Silvana
Thursday 1st January 2015 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s Saint’s day/Name day: Maria madre di Dio
Today in history: The Julian calendar is used for the first time (45BC)
Born on this day: American novelist J D Salinger (Catcher in the Rye) (1919), first Director of the American FBI, J Edgar Hoover (1895)
Sun-rise (alba) 07:27hrs – Sun-set (tramonto): 16:46hrs
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.