Pinch me because I still feel like I’m dreaming after an amazing time in Ischia (yes, for those of you who know my true feelings for the island, you read that correctly) with my friends and their daughter, who is just about three months older than Baby Boy. They left on Friday, and I have had that twinge of emptiness in the pit of my stomach, the one I always get when I say good-bye to the ones I love, ever since. Still, I have the memories of their vacation. And Memorial Day weekend allowed me to make like a tourist myself for a bit. One of the best experiences we shared was a tour by Franco of Ischia Taxi.
Even though I’ve been visiting Ischia since I was 2, I always seem to learn something new when I head out into the island. This time was no different. Thanks to Franco, I learned the overlook, whose view is in the photo above, is a hot spot for guys to bring the ladies with whom they’d like to share a kiss (and something more, but they must feign being gentlemen). This was educational to me because my husband brought me here the first time I visited Ischia after we started dating. You can bet with that beautiful setting, he snagged a kiss – nothing more than a kiss, though, so no worries mamma and papa.
Franco also taught me that there’s a museum in Ischia featuring fish fossils, which were found on top of Mount Epomeo, Ischia’s highest point. You might be wondering, as were we, “How on earth could a fish end up on top of a mountain?” Well, Ischia was a volcano. When it erupted, Epomeo was elevated above the ocean. Those fish that were swimming on what would become Epomeo could not survive without the ocean water, they died, and presumably time and the lava, preserved their remains, thus the fossils. It’s not quite the scientific explanation, but it makes perfect sense, no? Indeed, you do learn something new everyday.
What was so lovely about this two-hour giro dell’isola (island tour) were the visits to various landmarks. While the babies slept – cozy in their car seats in the van taxi – my friends were able to stop and see another overlook that had them view Naples and Mount Vesuvius from Ischia, Forio’s Soccorso church made famous in the movie Avanti and by Pope John Paul II’s visit about a decade ago, the famous Lacco Ameno fungo, a giant rock that naturally formed and juts more than six feet out of the ocean and looks like a mushroom, views of thermal spas, Giardini Poseidon and Negombo, and Sant’ Angelo, an old fishing village turned tourist must-see.
Of course, they also stopped at make-out point, where Franco insisted they share a smooch. When our camera broke and we lost almost all the pictures from the tour, Franco, who drove us to visit La Mortella Gardens the next day, brought them back to make out all over again. This time he had them pose Titanic-style to boot. It was all very Italian. Is that service or what?