A CASTLE IN THE SEA BETWEEN HISTORY, ART AND NATURE
The Aragonese Castle of Ischia, as described by the famous Italian poet, Ludovico Ariosto, is the rock on which the mythological Typhon lay his arms, chest and belly. It is also one of the most visited and photographed sites on the island. From postcards to movies filmed on the island, from historical documentaries to artists’ paintings of all time, this imposing rock which was transformed into a small town in the Middle Ages, was the master of this island.
The reason for this is easily explained by the fact that the castle had an immediate impact on those who reached the island. Charming but wrapped in an aura of mystery, like all castles, and maybe even more so because the Aragonese Castle has something others do not – the sea. The sea surrounds it and at the same time separates it from land, the same sea in which its reflection is seen on calm days and from which is lashed during winter storms. It is this sea the makes this rock an island within an island.
The other characteristic that sets it apart is its state somewhere in the middle of nature and architecture, with its ancient walls, churches, ramparts, and houses blended perfectly with the dark and angular rock of this unique island, which emerged after a volcanic eruption that occurred between 280,000 and 340,000 years ago. The tiny island is about 113 meters high.
There is yet another intriguing genesis of this tiny island. According to a local scholar, what we call a castle today was once nothing more than a hill of the ancient city of Aenaria. Then Aenaria brought about the end Atlantis and sunk into the sea. The hill lost its connection to the sea and became the little island we see today. Among the things we are certain of is that it was Carlo d’Angio, in the thirteenth century, who had a square tower built on the top of the tiny island and, in the body of the water facing the castle, a port that brought fabulous benefits to the citadel on the rock. In the first half of the fifteenth century, Alfonso of Aragon transformed the castle into a true fortress. Among his great works is a tunnel dug into the rock that leads to the stronghold.
The Aragonese Castle in Ischia has a long and fascinating history, evident from the above description, which is worth investigating further during a visit to the island. One of our favourite pieces of history to remember is the wedding between Ferrante d’Avolos and Vittoria Colonna celebrated in the cathedral of the castle on the 27th of December, 1509. The newlyweds were not fortunate because soon after Ferrante lost his life while waging war. Vittoria, a very cultured but gloomy woman, lived most of her widowhood in the castle. Vittoria Colonnna, from the contrast between the beauty of the place and deep sorrow she felt, was able to give life to poetry that became immortal.
- Adulti // € 10,00
- Gruppi (a partire da 20 persone) // € 9,00
- Bambini 10-14 anni // € 6,00
- Bambini 0-9 anni // Gratis