So a new decade is upon us, Christmas is out of the way and the sore heads from New Year's Eve are gradually healing. It's incredible how much focus is given to the festive period these days, only to be filled with a huge void once it's all over.
To fill that void we all need something new to focus on and something to look forward to, and booking a holiday seems like a pretty good place to start. Over the course of the late autumn months, visitor numbers to the website gradually dwindle, making my life relatively simple. However, as soon as those clocks start to chime in the New Year the world over, the traffic and number of emails starts to rise once again.
The first week of 2020 has been no exception to that axiom and I've been very pleased to hear from the many of you that have written in, outlining your plans for visiting Ischia this year or seeking assistance of some kind.
2019 was a hugely busy year for me personally; apart from looking after Ischia Review I've also been building up the other websites in the "Review" series. There are now a total of 38 websites, all in the same style as this one, dealing with different areas of Italy; regions, cities and other islands. This involved lots of travelling, thousands of photos and countless man-hours in front of the computer, writing descriptions and filling those websites with relevant content.
As a result of those efforts, there are some areas of this website that weren't updated as regularly as they should have been last year so during this first part of the year I'll be going through those pages to bring them up to speed. That means updating the annual events calendar with this year's dates and giving careful attention to every page on the website to make sure the information is fully up to date, altering any opening-times or entry prices to attractions along the way.
Our main service offering is Private Transfers to and from Naples and those prices are already up to date; easy enough as they haven't changed from last year. I'll shortly be going through all the boat rentals and boat tours to bring those up to speed as well; there will be some price adjustments there but also a range of new boats and excursions to choose from. Our third main offering is Private Taxi Tours of the island and those prices and options are already up to date.
If you're looking at the website today and see something that appears out of date or you're not sure about, please feel free to drop me a line via the email address below and I'll be happy to help.
Apart from that I wish you all a Happy New Year, a prosperous decade and of course, great times to come in Ischia!
Dion Protani - email@example.com - Wednesday 8th January 2020
Is it safe to look up yet? You know I think it might just be. My previous blog entry was on 1st June which is an indication of what a busy summer it's been. Of course summer isn't quite over (23rd September is the first day of autumn) but with the transition from August to September, there's a hugely different atmosphere on the island. August is the month when most Italians take their summer holidays and with Ischia being a major sun and sea destination, the island receives more than its fair share of visitors.
During August, everything is a little more expensive and a little harder to find availability for, be it accommodation, boat rentals, restaurants or any other activity a tourist might want to undertake. Then 1st September arrives and there's a grand, collective but inaudible sigh of relief that cascades around the island.
Now, the main tourist season is far from over with September a very important month and things still going strong for the first two weeks of October, but everything is just a little bit easier and a little less stressful than in August.
This summer was the hottest I can personally remember and compared to previous years, the amount of days lost to rain or rough sea for boat rentals was strikingly low. We had a pretty bad May in that respect but since then it's been 3 months of unadulterated messing about on the water with our Boat Tours and Boat Rentals. We've seen a big jump in the number of tours booked with skippers this year, partly because we've had more boats to offer but also, more English-speaking skippers, for whom we've received fabulous reviews and feedback.
With September now upon us there are fewer requests to deal with and more chance of finding boats, private transfers and taxi tours of the island available. This is a really lovely time of the year to visit Ischia as there's a greater feeling of peace and quiet after the chaos and extreme heat of summer. From August daily temperatures in the mid 30's (Celsius), September brings a milder heat, measuring around 23 - 28° C (73 - 82° F) during the day times whilst also remaining warm enough to go out in a t-shirt and shorts at night without feeling a chill.
I think the last word of the previous paragraph says everything about the current mood: it's most definitely a time to "chill" in the modern, relaxing sense; we're still some way off the other type of chill.
Back with more soon :-)
Dion Protani - firstname.lastname@example.org - Monday 2nd September 2019
Buongiorno a tutti! My blog updates are getting more and more spaced-out these days (you can read that in two ways but I'm definitely speaking in terms of time!) as the summer takes a firm grip on daily proceedings. Taking a quick glance back at May: it was a rather unusual month of weather as a freak cold spell took hold throughout Italy but now that we're into June, conditions seem to be stabilising somewhat. Given the disappointing May, we should be in for a glorious summer and autumn to make up for it, (that is how it works isn't it?) and there's so much to look forward to over the remaining 5 months or so of the season.
With regard to things to see and do, anything that's anything on the island is now fully up and running and it's all systems go from now until the middle of October. In the middle of June we'll see the direct hydrofoil services between Ischia and the Amalfi Coast start again and those will remain available until the middle of September. At the time of writing (3rd June), the tickets aren't yet available through our booking engines but they will be soon and the first hydrofoil will be leaving Amalfi on 15th June.
Despite the cool temperatures in May, we've been enormously busy with requests for our services such as Private Transfers, Boat Rentals, Taxi Tours and Boat Tours. We always prioritise our clients' e-mails above everything else but as a result, there are some pages on the website which we haven't had a chance to update yet with the latest timetables and prices etc. We are working our way through those at the moment but if you do see anything you're not quite sure about, please drop us a line to ask and we'll be happy to confirm anything you're unclear on.
I've included a photo of Cartaromana Beach in Ischia Ponte on today's blog, for no other reason than it shows what summertime in Ischia is all about. Italy is full of beautiful, dramatic, charming views but I'm yet to see anywhere quite as beautiful as Castello Aragonese.
Anyway, that's all from me for now; looking forward to a wonderful month of June and hearing from all you lucky people about to make your way to Ischia! :-)
With the winter months well and truly upon us Ischia takes on a slightly different persona. Aside from a few hardy souls the beaches start to empty, hotels and restaurants close and anyone involved in the island's tourist industry breathes a collective sigh of relief with their own holidays beckoning. However despite these factors, Ischia remains a living and breathing island with 60,000 residents going about their daily business. As many of those residents work in Naples or at least on the mainland the ferry and hydrofoil schedules remain largely in place with just a relatively small number of services removed until the summer season begins again around Easter. Next year Easter will fall on 21st April which leaves a substantial period of time to fill and although not everything is up and running there are still lots of ways in which you can entertain yourselves with a winter visit to Ischia. The most famous sight is Castello Aragonese in Ischia Ponte, a medieval castle situated across a stone bridge. This is very much the iconic image of Ischia and a must-see for any visit. Moving across to the opposite side of the island is the village of Sant'Angelo. The pretty little fishing village has a couple of beaches and a small selection of bars, restaurants and shops. There's also a really nice, gentle walk that you can take above the village and across to Le Fumarole Beach. Another iconic sight is Maronti Beach, the largest beach on the island. As in the link above, you can reach Maronti on foot from Sant'Angelo but perhaps the real beauty of it is when viewed from the other side of the bay. This view is best enjoyed if you've rented a car or scooter, there's a small car park with a viewing area which is a great place to stop and take photos. Apart from Maronti, Ischia has dozens of other beaches and even if it's too cold to swim they can be lovely places to take romantic winter walks. Some of the best ones can be found in the town of Forio which is the second largest town on the island. Forio has 4 beaches, Chiaia, Citara, San Francesco and Cava dell'Isola. The town centre is also well worth a visit, in particular the Chiesa del Soccorso church. One of Ischia's unique characteristics is the thermal water. The naturally hot water can be found in dozens of places across the island and although the thermal parks are only open from Easter to the middle of October, you can also enjoy the thermal water for free, all year round at Sorgeto Hot Springs in Panza. I've got all this way and haven't even mentioned the island's capital town yet! Ischia Porto is the transport hub of the island, the place with the most shops, bars and restaurants and also the liveliest in terms of nightlife. For shopping there's the main thoroughfare Via Roma while you'll find a lovely quayside called La Riva Destra with dozens of places to eat and drink side by side. You can walk from the main harbour in Ischia Porto to the Borgo of Ischia Ponte (home of the castle) in around half an hour, a walk that's mostly by the sea. On the subject of walking there are some great hiking routes all across the island. Perhaps the most famous is the climb up Mount Epomeo, the highest point on the island at 388 metres. Another town that we haven't mentioned yet is Lacco Ameno. This is the smallest town on the island but it's got a little bit of everything and is well worth a visit. If you're looking for a good way of seeing all of the above you can take one of our guided tours of Ischia. If you'd be interested in prices for any of our tours just let me know and I'll send those on to you. That's all from me for now but feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about the island and I'll be happy to help. Ciao :-)
Dion Protani - email@example.com
Hello! So we're now well into October and autumn already has a couple of weeks under its belt, gradually changing the colour and shape of the landscape as we head towards the cooler months. This is traditionally the month where the tourist season starts to ebb away but we're not quite finished just yet. Despite some mixed weather this week there are still plenty of people visiting the island and most attractions stay open at least until the middle of the month, notable among those is Poseidon Thermal Gardens which will be open until 31st October. We haven't been able to get any boats out on the water this week as the sea has been too rough but things are looking much more positive for next week, particularly on Monday with temperatures expected to reach the mid 20's (25° Celsius = 77° Fahrenheit). Most restaurants will be open for the majority of this month and although some hotels will start closing around the 15th, there are still plenty of other accommodation options to consider. We're still getting lots of enquiries for private transfers from Naples as well so please keep those coming in and we'll be very happy to look after those requests. The same applies for anyone thinking of coming to Ischia next year, if there's anything you're not sure about then just drop us a line and we'll be happy to help. For Today's Photo I've broken with tradition somewhat and not used one of my own. There's a huge concentration of very talented photographers on this island which I think is largely down to the veritable feast of photogenic sights all around Ischia and one such photographer really caught my eye this week with his shot of Chiesa del Soccorso in Forio so beautifully lit at night time. The name of this photographer is Ilia Dumitro and you can find some of his work here on his Instagram page. Ok so that's all from me for now, remember you can drop me a line if there's anything you need to know about the services we offer or about Ischia in general so don't feel shy about coming forward if you need something. Ciao :-)
Dion Protani - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok so who likes wine? Well for those that do, this is a pretty good time of the year to visit Ischia. The island was known in Roman times as Enaria which roughly translates as "Land of Wine". From that you can deduce that viniculture has been an integral part of life here for around 2,000 years and these guys really know how to make great wine. Away from the beaches in the quieter, mountain areas of Serrara Fontana and Barano, there are a multitude of vineyards ranging from established names such as Casa d'Ambra, Cenatiempo and Pietratorcia all the way down to small producers who have a number of vines in their gardens for example. I'm broaching the subject of wine today for a couple of reasons, the first is that there's a great wine event about to take place called Andar per Cantine which starts on Saturday 15th September. This is a lovely event in which you get to hike around the island's vineyards in small groups, sampling the wines, learning more about how it's produced and of course making lots of new friends along the way. There are different routes to take each day, encompassing the aforementioned areas of Serrara Fontana and Barano as well as the village of Panza from where the event is organised. The event lasts 8 days and is an absolute must for anyone interested in wine, be that the production or merely the consumption of it! The other reason I'm talking about wine right now is because the annual grape harvest known as the "vendemmia" is about to start. There's no set date for this, it all depends on how the growing cycle has gone throughout the year but within a week or so you'll start to see lots of little farm vehicles carrying big vats of grapes on the small mountain roads around Mount Epomeo. For a more in-depth look at Ischia's history of wine please see our Wines of Ischia article. Aside from the wine there's still a whole lot more going on around the island, not least of which the continued summer season which extends into the middle of October. We're still getting lots of requests for boat tours and boat rentals with the temperatures still very nice, particularly during the mornings and afternoons but it's still warm enough at night to go out without any extra layers. Temperatures over the next week for example are expected to range between 23° Celsius in the evenings and 30°C in the afternoons (between 73° and 86° Fahrenheit). We should also see plenty of sunshine with just a few cloudy spells. There is just one more event I should mention as well, La Festa di Santa Maria al Monte takes place on Wednesday 12th September and this is a day when lots of families will be out with the family having a picnic up on the mountain slopes. Ok so as you can see there's quite a lot going on at the moment so I'll let you all just go and enjoy it all! I'll be back with another update soon. Ciao :-)
Buona sera everyone. Almost without warning Sunday evening has crept up on us just as we were getting used to the weekend. Oh well it could be worse, the weather is great, the summer is in full swing and there's lots to look forward to. As always happens at this time of year the island is filling up on a daily basis and we're now just 10 days away from the very epicentre of the busy summer. August 15th is officially known as "l'Assunzione di Maria" (The Ascension of Mary) but colloquially it's Ferragosto to most people. A large percentage of Italians take their holidays on the weeks either side of that date and with Ischia being one of the main destinations for them it makes for a busy island. A quick look at the forecast for the coming week shows plenty of sunshine and temperatures between 25°C (77°F) at night and 30°C (86°F) in the afternoons so proximity to water is very much the order of the day, be it your hotel pool, one of the thermal parks, the sea or even your own boat. I'll be back with another update soon so until then - Ciao :-)
Dion Protani - email@example.com
Evening folks. We're now right in the heart of the busiest part of the year and this is reflected in the number of e-mail requests we're receiving on various topics. Chief among those are the boat rental requests as everybody wants to get out on the water and have their own private space under the sunshine. That being the case I'd recommend making your requests as far in advance as possible because the boats are getting booked up rapidly now and that will only increase as we get into August. The private transfersand guided tours are a little easier to find availability for but again, if you do need something over the next few weeks the sooner you make the request the more likely we are to have availability. Today was the last day of the 2018 Ischia Global Film & Music Fest which was another great success and as it's July the big events keep coming thick and fast. Next up is arguably the biggest event of the year on the island, the Festa di Sant'Anna which takes place on Thursday 26th July in Ischia Ponte. The usually tranquil environs of the charming village will be overrun by thousands of people gathering to watch the sea parade, firework display and simulation of the castle burning while the castle itself will be surrounded by a huge armada of boats gathering to get the very best vantage points. In terms of the weather it's been a mostly sunny week but we've had a cloudy day today and that cloud has just thickened somewhat to give us a prematurely dark Sunday evening. According to the forecasts it's nothing more than a blip though and we should be in for a brighter day tomorrow, albeit with the threat of some wind in the afternoon. I'll sign off with a photo of Castello Aragonese looking nice and peaceful, the calm before the metaphorical storm to come on Thursday. I'll be back with another update soon so for now - ciao :-)
Dion Protani - firstname.lastname@example.org
Afternoon everyone. What a difference a week makes. It wasn't so long ago that all anybody could think about was the football but with England's sad demise it all fizzled out somewhat. Congratulations to France for winning it and also Croatia for getting as far as they did, arguably the bigger achievement considering the size of the country. On a personal note, World Cup fever was immediately placed with regular old-fashioned fever which isn't nearly as nice but I'm happy to have seen the back of that now and we start afresh with a new week. In terms of Ischia Review's clientele and visitors to the website, these next two weeks are the busiest of the year, usually peaking around 22nd July after steadily rising since January 1st. It works differently for most other businesses on the island who have a largely Italian-dominated clientele whose busiest two weeks are those either side of 15th August but whichever way you look at it, things are hotting up. I'm not even going to take advantage of that to link to the weather as I usually might, because we've got some rather hot talent (work with me here) on the island at the moment because of the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest. The star that seems to have grabbed most attention so far is Lily Collins. The actress and daughter of British musician Phil has been given the full paparazzi treatment since she arrived at Hotel La Regina Isabella in Lacco Ameno. Another big name here at the moment is Quincy Jones who's here to receive a lifetime achievement awards while I've also heard rumours of the likes of Antonio Banderas, Samuel L Jackson, Jeremy Irons and Terry Gilliam to name just a few being here right now. More than a rumour was Rod Stewart's appearance last week, spotted having dinner at the Miramare e Castello Hotel's restaurant. Ischia Global is a film and music festival with screenings of films taking place in Lacco Ameno and Forio from now until Sunday 22nd July. Please please please feel free to post any celeb-selfies on our Facebook page if you're lucky enough to bump into any of these "hot" stars - which leads me nicely on to the weather.....Right now there's a bit of wind around, making the sea a bit bumpy in places but other than that it's just boring old sunshine I'm afraid. We're still some way short of reaching the really high temperatures, over the next week it'll range from night time lows of 23°C (73°F) to afternoon highs of 29°C (84°F), still about 5°C lower than it can get at its peak. Anyway, I'll leave you with a lovely photo of Maronti Beach and Sant'Angelo in the background for now and I'll be back with another update soon. Ciao :-)
Evening all. It's 7pm and I'm sitting here with the curtains drawn to stop the sun blazing through the window at the end of another metronomically-hot day in Ischia. Actually I hadn't checked the weather forecast since my last update on 1st July because really at this time of year anything other than sunny is very unusual. Now that I've just checked it I can confirm that still remains the case for the foreseeable future and temperatures will hover between a minimum of 21° and a maximum of 28°C (70° - 82°F) for the next week or so. The Ischia Film Festival finished last weekend and was another great success but if you missed it don't worry because of course we have another event just around the corner, the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest which usually attracts a few Hollywood A-listers starts on Sunday 15th July so keep an eye out for those and feel free to share any selfies of you with a celebrity on our Facebook page. Now I've really, really, really tried to avoid talking about football on this blog as I know not everyone likes it and this is after all a blog about Ischia, but.......as a long-suffering England fan, World Cup semi-finals don't come around very often and I'm personally finding it difficult to think about anything else at the moment. I've had lots of e-mails from people asking if the match will be on and where to watch it but please don't worry about that, it'll be on in lots of bars and restaurants all over the island so you'll have no shortage of options. If any of you need some ideas for a good spot to watch it just drop me a line and I'll be happy to provide some suggestions. With respect to any of our friends from Croatia I'm going to refrain from saying "COME ON ENGLAND", although arguably I just did! Ciao :-)
Dion Protani - email@example.com
I'm Dion Protani, the creator of Ischia Review. Despite my Italian-sounding name I'm from Surrey in England and the blog is designed to give readers an insight into the current weather situation and the latest goings-on in and around Ischia.