Italy
Forio

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5 travelers at this place
  • Day10

    Ein Tag auf Ischia

    August 29 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Die holprige Fährfahrt hat dann doch Spuren hinterlassen. Zumindest ging es dem Janschn gar nicht gut. Schwindel und Unwohlsein machten unseren Tagesplänen erst einmal einen Strich durch die Rechnung.

    Ich habe mich also erst einmal allein zum Hafen aufgemacht um unsere Fährtickets nach Neapel zu organisieren.

    Als ich zurück war, ging es Jana dann Gott sei Dank besser und wir haben uns mit dem Bus zum Giardini la Mortella aufgemacht. La Mortella (italienisch: Ort der Myrten) ist ein Anwesen mit einem kunstvoll angelegten Park. Es stand ursprünglich im Eigentum des englischen Komponisten William Walton und seiner Frau Susana (1926–2010), die unmittelbar nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg nach Ischia kamen. 

    Ein wunderschöner Garten und Landschaftspark mit unfassbar schönem Ausblick.

    Danach haben wir mit dem Linienbus eine Inselrundfahrt gemacht, die doch etwas länger dauerte als gedacht. Wir wollten nämlich ungedingt noch ins Castello Aragonese und die Öffnungszeiten waren recht kryptisch mit 1,5 h vor Sonnenuntergang angegeben.

    Also viel der Weg von der Bushaltestelle zum Castello etwas schneller aus. Wir hätten aber gar nicht hetzen brauchen, denn wir hatten noch 2,5 h Zeit.

    Die Burg ist ein Traum. Besonders in der Abendämmerung. Unfassbar schön. Wir haben den Ausblick sehr genossen. Getrübt wurde die Stimmung lediglich vom nagenden Hungergefühl, was wir mit einer Tüte Chips aus dem Klostercafé etwas stillen konnten.

    Natürlich haben wir auf den Sonnenuntergang auf der Panoramaterasse nahe der ehemaligen Kathedrale gewartet. Zum Schluss gab es noch eine etwas gruselige Kuriosität zu bewundern. Den Nonnenfriedhof. Die Nonnen wurden nach dem Tod auf Mauersitzbänke gesetzt, anstatt unter der Erde beigesetzt zu werden. Während das Fleisch der Toten dann langsam verrottete, trafen sich die übrigen Nonnen an eben diesem Ort um im Gebet über den Tod zu meditieren.

    Uahhh🤢

    Wir haben dann noch sehr lecker in Ischia Stadt zu Abend gegessen. Direkt vor einer Kirche, während bei geöffneten Türen der Gottesdienst stattfand mit anschließendem Kirchengeläut.

    Ein traumhafter Abschluss eines wunderschönen Tages.
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  • Day40

    D40 Italy - Forio, Ischia

    August 13, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Our mission today was to enjoy a little bit of the western section of the island, by first heading to Giardini La Mortella. This garden is one of the top things to do here on Ischia, and was recommended also by our Air B&B host in Rome, and after a long morning we knew why - it was truly spectacular.

    Mortella is in fact the Italian name of Myrtus communis (a relatively common hedging plant in Australia with edible berries), which used to grow wild and populate the hillside where the gardens were developed.

    The garden is the life’s work of the 1900s composer William Walton’s wife; Susana Walton. Gardening was her passion, and she created the garden for the sole purpose of providing her husband with a place to relax. Landscape designer Russel Page was adopted to support in the early stages of the gardens design; a project at the time which expected to take 10 years. Since it’s inception, it’s continued to be developed to this day, but its bones and core aesthetics remains the same. Page took his inspiration from the surrounding environment. This meant embracing the naturally rocky outcrops of the garden, which features steep steps and dry stone walling created from rock mined on site. The curved paths create a sense of mystery, with small rooms providing vistas to Forio, and irregularly shaped ponds full of water Lilly’s and other Italianate features.

    While the garden today begins in the valley beneath the rocky face and features a long simple water feature connecting three small fountains, Russell Page originally said no to any water (as it wasn’t natural given the landscape), until Naples connected Ischia on town water supply some 12 years later.

    One of the fountains is octagonal shaped, created for Williams 80th birthday. Interestingly and hilariously, William had a button installed in his room so he could turn off the fountains after Susana had entertained guests, and continue composing in silence.

    One of the gardens prize pieces is it’s Victoria House, a small glasshouse with a pond featuring three different species of of Victoria, the giant prickly water Lilly’s. Rhett themselves are fascinating, closing their flowers in the evening and overnight turning in colour and gender from female to male.

    There is a small recital hall on site which was created after William’s death to provide aspiring artists a place to practice and develop confidence in front of real audiences. This opportunity continues to this day, as does the outdoor concerts in the on site performance open air theatre with stadium seating built into the rocky face of the gardens, and with Forio as the backdrop far below.

    We watched a 45 minute video (made in the ?90s?) that had Susana guide us through the garden. In this, she shares a drink of Prosecco, Lemon and Mortella with a young artist who has just performed a recital. This is a drink she proudly created and self describes as ‘a miracle combination’! One which we enjoyed afterwards at the dainty little garden cafe, accompanied by a deliciously sweet and savoury bruschetta and a lemon almond cake - molte bene!

    The last interesting point I’ll mention is that William’s remains were put inside a natural pyramidal rock over looking the garden. Next to ‘William’s Rock’ there is a permanent bowl of Felicia’s, paying tribute to the colour of his eyes.

    If one ever finds themselves in Ischia, visiting Giardini La Mortella is essential. The spirit of both Susan and William Walton lives on in the garden’s aura, bestowed to the trust that maintains it.

    After visiting the garden, we made a beeline to the slither of ‘free’ beach in Forio where we cooled down in the Mediterranean. We wandered the streets of Forio, visited its Basilica atop a spur jutting into the sea, then returned back to our beloved (and quieter) Lacco Ameno.

    After a cooling shower, we headed to the local Archaeological Museum of Pithecusae to see ‘Nestor’s Cup’ in all its glory. This pottery wine cup dates back to the eighth century BC and was discovered in 1954 at Pithecusae (first Greek colony name of Ischia). It is significant in having one of the earliest surviving examples of writing in the Greek alphabet.

    That evening, we wandered into town and feasted on seafood while watching cute Italian children dance their little hearts off to the music blaring in the streets. Tonight was some kind of musical street party, with numerous performers busting out tunes on the foreshore. We spent some time on the fringe of the dance floor bopping along to what must have been popular Italian songs, with the locals singing along, worded for word.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Forio, フォリーオ