As you all know, I spend time in Italy and that means that I must spend my time also in Italian. Although there are some English speakers around, the language of my every days is my second one. You might remember I even wrote about it here. Since that time, I have to say that while I will never master the language, my off days are very few and far between. A couple of weeks ago, my language knowledge was really put to the test. I spent a weekend with 15 beautiful Italian girls on a journey to the island of Ischia. Yes, I was the only non Italian in the bunch…and it was intimidating at first, I admit, but it was one of the best things I have ever done.
Ischia is known to be a ‘spa’ destination dating back to the ancient Greeks. Located off the coast of the city of Naples, it is a bit in the shadow of its sister island, Capri, but so inviting as it is much wilder and off the beaten path. The island has volcanic origins and because of this, the waters are known to have wonderful healing properties. We stayed in a spa resort near the town of Forio on the bay of Citara.
Despite the waters calling to us, our group was determined to see all the sites as well as relax. With the assistance of our trusty driver, the local bus system, and our two feet, we climbed and wound along the steep ancient roads covering most of the island in three days. Of course we took time for leisurely lunches full of Neapolitan pizza, fresh fish, and handmade pasta. One of the best things about traveling around Italy is the tradition of the pensione. This is where a hotel offers a full day of breakfast, lunch and dinner, or just breakfast and dinner included in the price of your room. So each night after touring we returned to the resort and this allowed us the time to relax with a little night swimming in the salty, mineral-rich waters. Then after a quick clean up, we enjoyed a 4 course meal in the hotel’s dining room.
Ok…now that I have bored you with a travelogue…here is the best part. I was really touched by this lush island, the lapping sea, the colors of the boats, the whitewashed Greekness of the architecture stacked one on top of another. You know where I am going with this…I think I see a new Ischia-inspired collection in my future.