From Ischia Porto to Ischia Ponte

Or "The Elusive Tourist Office"

I get up at 6:30, make coffee and settle on the balcony. The sun is rising, and despite the haze you can make out Vesuvius' profile across the Bay of Naples. The birds are having a song contest.

On our way out we ask the reception for directions to the tourist office. It would be nice with some brochures, bus timetables and stuff like that. Francesco is uncertain, but there should be one in Piazza degli Eroi, and when we look at his map there is an "i".

It is a pleasant day for walking, but there is no tourist office in Piazza degli Eroi. A local man points straight ahead and to the right. But there is no tourist office straight ahead and to right either. We walk until the road ends by the castle Castello Aragonese in the neighbouring town Ischia Ponte and see no sign of the elusive tourist office.

Ischia Ponte Osteria in Ischia Ponte
Click to enlarge

We enjoy refreshments when a café opens at 10. A small bus (number 7) passes regularly. It goes to/from Ischia Porto.

In a kiosk we find a map of Ischia with bus timetables. The man says that there is no tourist office in Ischia Ponte, but there is one in Ischia Porto.

Back home it is time for lunch. The sausages from the supermarket are good, but sputter so much that the whole kitchen needs cleaning. We write some postcards, and then it is time for siesta.

Afternoon stroll

An SMS wakes me up at 15 - the blessings of modern communication. The balcony is in shadow from noon, but today there is no wind, and the heat penetrates every fold. Heat by the Mediterranean is more compact than at home; each and every air molecule has been thoroughly heated and treated, where in Denmark it is no more than every third.

There's a lively traffic of small boats and ferries. There is always at least one ferry going somewhere.

Ship dog in Ischia Porto

At five we go to the harbour. The harbour in Ischia Porto is the crater of an old volcano, where a passage has been blasted to the open sea. Harbours always have an atmosphere, and this is a harbour for ferries and yachts. Nothing indicates commercial fishing.

We idle our time away watching a ferry arrive and then have an aperitivo at a café in Via Roma. The waiter is monstrously overweight, and his pink shirt is like a tepee. We pay 10 euro for two glasses of white wine and a bottle of water. The wine was good, but not cheap.

Dog in yellow dress

We go for a long walk along Via Roma. The further we get, the more fashionable the boutiques become. When we see a small dog in a yellow dress, we have had enough and turn back.

Grilled fish at Ciro's

We are the first guest at Ciro's and start with bruschetta with tomato. Helle has heart-shaped ravioli with four kinds of cheese. I have minestrone.

Bruschetta with tomato Mixed grilled seafood
Click to enlarge

After that we share a mixed grilled fish for one. Some is good, and some is less good. Italians love seafood, but in general I am not impressed by Italian fish (except in Sicily). Most of the local fish are bony small fry, and most of the quality seafood is imported. The turbot on ice in the glass case is definitely not from the Mediterranean, and "Canada" is printed on the tape around the lobsters' pincers.

We have ice cream for dessert and then go home to enjoy the warm evening on the balcony.