Meditation is something on which I should rely. After all, I’m a neurotic Italian American mother. I worry about my family, health, money, work, and what we’re going to eat for dinner. My brain never shuts off.
Many people can relate, not just Italian Americans. However, when we say, “family,” it usually extends to grandparents, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, your mother’s third cousin on her father’s side, who you call zio, and all the rest. The pressure to succeed, to have enough money to support the family (whoever needs your help), to work harder than everyone else, and to constantly feed each other literally and figuratively can be downright overwhelming.
As a child, my father insisted we take Tae Kwon Do classes as a means of learning self-defense. One of the first tasks we had to take on was “clearing our mind” and meditating. The master had us sit “criss-cross-applesauce” style on the floor of the gym. We had to put our hands palms up on our knees and breathe deeply. Then, we had to think of nothing at all.
Even back then, I could not grasp the concept. There was too much stuff taking up space in my mind back in elementary school. Things have only gotten more cluttered up there ever since. In fact, now that I’m 40, I’d need a big rig to haul out everything taking up space in my brain. I probably have one whole quarter of it focused on whether to make eggplant or zucchini for the side dish for lunch tomorrow at any given moment. Forget about all the space occupied with worry about affording a college education for my son.
In any event, Mother Nature can sometimes help me at least make a little room for peace up in there. This little video that I posted on Instagram is an example of one of those moments. It’s from summer 2018, and I suddenly realized that the sound of the waves in Ischia, which is off the coast of Naples in Italy, was calming. I recorded it, so I could have a slice of meditation, which always seemed impossible. Nowadays, whenever I need peace, I can let the waves wash over me, even if only in my mind.
Island life is fine for me in small doses. It took a long time for me to come to this realization. When I was in my 20s, I thought I wanted to give up the hustle and bustle of working in New York City, move to an island, and write while my feet were planted in the sand on the beach. It would be a simpler life but a better one.
Of course, if a handsome islander wanted to sweep me off my feet, I was fine with that, too. That’s what actually happened. While I was in my family’s native Ischia, an island off the coast of Naples in Italy, I met Antonio, who is now my husband of nearly 10 years. Basically, we live in two worlds. We often travel back to Ischia, especially in the summer. At one point, we spent nine months on the island with our then toddler son.
After being able to experience island life – and not a mere vacation – I was no longer as enamored with the idea of sequestering myself on an island. That’s the thing about taking up island life. Your beloved vacation destination becomes where you live and work. Therefore, it can’t possibly live up to the dream it once was.
While on vacation in Ischia, I would visit family I hadn’t seen in years. We would eat the best, freshest food and relish time together. I would go to the beach and the thermal spas. When we were dating, my husband and I would gather with friends until the wee hours of the morning. We would hang out at luxury hotels, owned by friends and family, and partake in gourmet meals by the best chefs on the island. It was like I was an eternal tourist even as a became part of the community.
In those days, I would always work from home and keep American hours. But I was young and hungry, full of energy. Then, we got married and started thinking about having a family. Things started to change dramatically. I found myself preferring sleep to talking and eating well into the early morning. Reading and writing on the beach made my hands sweaty and my eyes squinty even with sunglasses. Hello wrinkles! The sand falling into every crevice wasn’t making it any better. Those bright-eyed, bushy-tailed vacationers were no longer me and my people. Instead, they were annoying tourists sucking up all the air of the place. Who needs ’em?
Well, the island and its islanders do. So, I have to come to grips with the reality of living in a tourist’s paradise. Over the years, I’ve come up with a robust list of pros and cons:
Benefits of Living on an Island
Within Walking Distance of Natural Wonders
The beach is so close to where I live when I’m in Ischia that I can smell the sea air when I close the front door behind me. When you turn the corner, you may see a glorious sunset or the lush green hills in the distance. Pastel-colored homes dotting the countryside and a sea of stars with the bright full moon hang like a painting above the actual sea at night. The scenery is breathtaking and inspirational. While I love the views of New York City back home in Jersey, they are just not the same as Mother Nature.
Slower Pace of Living
There’s something about the heat and beauty that breeds a bit of laziness but not in a bad way. It’s a good thing. People are never in a rush. In Ischia, anyway, they still take a siesta every afternoon. It sometimes gets on my nerves, but it’s better for your health – physical and mental.
Doing More With Less
Smaller places make for smaller lives, but not in the way you might imagine. In New York, everyone is fighting to be top dog. You want to have a bigger house than the Joneses. On an island, people seem to be satisfied with having a decent place to live, good food on the table, and an abundance of family and friends. There is no rat race or naked ambition.
Drawbacks to Living on an Island
Higher Cost of Living
Everything costs triple. Goods are expensive because delivery to an island is more difficult. It requires extra travel on a boat. And the expiration dates on food and drink are often shorter, especially in Italy, where there are strict laws about preservatives and additives. Sometimes, in the hot summer, the milk or cream is bad within a day of purchase. Around here, the clothes are always expensive. Because Ischia attracts luxury travelers, there are mostly designer stores, which aren’t exactly budget friendly for the island’s families.
Sorry Access to Health Care
If you have the flu or a simple cold on the island, you’ll be more than fine. Your nonna (real or adopted) will dote on you and feed you and you’ll be back to good in no time. But if you have a serious illness or disease (or you have a serious injury), you might have a problem. I lost all circulation in my leg after a knee injury when I was a mere tourist in Ischia in 2004. I nearly lost my foot (I didn’t, thank God), but it would have been better to be in a city. There is no MRI on the island (or at least there wasn’t then), for example. Usually, specialists for diseases, such as cancer, are found in Naples, Rome, Milan, and so on. As a result, the islanders, even at their most vulnerable, have to move to get care. When you’re in a weakened state, this is a disastrous proposition.
Opportunities for Work Are Slim
Young people living on the island often leave if they have greater ambitions. The island provides some opportunities to work in tourism. But it’s limited to six months out of the year when the weather is good. Most people have no option to work year round. New laws have made it harder to get unemployment during the other six months. The slower pace and indifference to outdoing your neighbors with your finances are results of this economic reality. But a young person, who wants to have a family or who dreams of doing something more with his or her life, will find the island prohibitive. So, many of them fly away and leave their nest – even if just for the six months of winter when Ischia slumbers.
Saturnino is a small restaurant in Forio, a town on the Neapolitan island of Ischia in Italy. It is run by Chef Ciro Mattera and his wife Stefania Coletta. Families in Ischia have always gone organic; it’s in their DNA. They did farm-to-table meals before we put a label on it in the United States. And Mattera is a firm believer in the island’s greatest culinary traditions. They serve as the cornerstone of his work.
Way Ahead of Their Time
At Saturnino, Mattera uses locally sourced fish and vegetables to create works of art with food. He and his wife are friends, and I don’t always pay for the dishes they serve me. So, for full disclosure, I’m totally bias. But I can tell you I’ve never had a dish of his that I didn’t enjoy. And the warm and inviting atmosphere of the restaurant, which looks out onto the street and sea, will surely draw you in.
In Ischia, I was struck by the vibe of the restaurant, which is at once upscale and warm. The fact that it is small makes it cozy. Looking out the window onto the view, you may catch a glimpse of kids and their parents dipping their toes in the sea or lovers holding hands and making tracks in the sand. A couple on a Vespa will undoubtedly pass while the gentle sea breeze caresses your skin. It gives the feel of a paradise, where people eat, drink, and love life, which is just how Ischia prefers to present itself. Whether it’s true or not is debatable, but at lunch at Saturnino you can be a believer.
Saturnino Serves Up Respite
Of course, that ambiance set the right mood for a sophisticated lunch with friends and family. Throughout the meal, I could not help but stare out the window for the people watching and feel of being on vacation. This was all despite the interruption brought on by an already scheduled conference call for work. With paradise in my face, the call hardly was a chore. Because I failed to take copious notes on each dish, I will let the food speak for itself.
Even our 6-year-old’s specially made kids meal of nuggets and roasted potatoes was presented impressively with a sparkle of homemade barbecue-type sauce.
Each appetizer was small but gratifying. And the presentation remained larger than life.
Chefs in the know make use of food’s natural colors to create beauty in each dish. This one, which includes a paper-thin, purple potato chip and bright green peppers, is a perfect example of this treatment.
You can not go to a restaurant of this caliber in Ischia and pass up the chance at tasting the chef’s take on a pasta dish. The orange zest is an homage to the island’s citrus riches and provides beautiful color and a refreshing taste with the included fish.
A refreshing palette cleanser between the meal and dessert was a special treat because it was a far cry from the bowl of store-bought sorbet that most of us are used to eating.
This dessert was almost too pretty to eat. Almost!
The G7 interior ministers are gathering in Ischia, Italy, the Neapolitan island that is home of my ancestors and husband, Oct. 18 to 20, 2017. Reports indicate that these world leaders will be discussing counter-terrorism efforts. Specifically, they will talk about cybersecurity and combatting online recruitment on the part of terrorists.
On a Lighter Note at the G7
But what’s more interesting to someone like me, with ties to the island, is what a high-profile gig this is for the natives. Hotels, restaurants, and local politicians are rolling out the red carpet, practically literally. Ischia Porto’s mayor established a defined path to welcome G7 guests upon arrival at the port. Security is in full force. News reports indicate that schools will be closed during the height of the meetings. Journalists are beginning to arrive and take stock.
Good for a Laugh
One of the funnier reports I read comes from La Reppublica Napoli. It published a photo of a fruit stand in Ischia. Attached to the tomatoes is a sign that reads, “Nun facite guaie cu stu G7.” This more or less translates to “Don’t make a mess at this G7.” While this gives me a giggle, I think the message has two audiences actually.
For one, the fruit seller is warning natives to be gracious and responsible hosts. Having this assignment is a chance for Ischia to get some publicity. The place is beautiful, but few people outside of Italy and some other select areas (parts of Germany and Europe, Russia, Ukraine) know about it. Americans, in fact, are much more familiar with neighboring Capri.
Second, the sign is a message to protesters, who are expected to descend on the island, too. In speaking to natives, I know that’s a concern.
Italy holds the G7 presidency at the moment. In fact, it welcomed the G7’s prime ministers and presidents, including U.S. President Donald Trump, in Taormina, Sicily earlier in the year. As an outsider looking in, I can’t help but imagine that Italy is trying to flaunt the beauty of the south. The mezzogiorno as it is sometimes called is notorious for its economic challenges, crime syndicates, and political corruption.
Lately, there has been more of a trend toward undoing some of that ugliness. Some leaders want to put a spotlight on the positive aspects. Instead of calling for secession, some Italians want to show the promise of the south. Just to look at the splendid sea, lush vegetation, and rich history is to see what could be. For at least the next few days, it is Ischia’s turn to shine on the world stage. That can only be a good thing. After all, to know Ischia is to love it. Perhaps no one recognizes this as much as I do.
Bagno Corrado is where my husband, son, and I go to the beach in Ischia, Italy. We rent chairs and umbrellas from the owner, and then we have lunch or dinner at the quaint beach eatery. The place is simple – a small kitchen with a deck for diners to eat and take in a view of open umbrellas as far as the eye can see. During the summer, you can actually have dinner there, too, on some nights.
It’s one of my son’s favorite places because he loves the chicken cutlet and fries. We kind of can’t go to the beach anymore without taking him there. But today we’re going to show you the showstoppers of the kitchen. Sample the dishes that make this unlike any beach grub you’ve ever eaten. Promise.
From Your Table
The deliciousness begins with the natural wonder all around you. There’s the perfume of the sea, the beautiful people lounging on the beach, and the air of relaxation.
Earth and Sea
One of my favorite dishes from this latest trip to Ischia was this long pasta with porcini mushrooms and clams. The combination of the earthy mushrooms with the sweet seafood was unexpected and delicious. It also brings together two of Ischia’s culinary treasures. My people have been foraging for porcini in the hills of Ischia for generations. And the clams of the sea are the freshest you’ll ever taste.
In the heat of August in Ischia, you don’t really want to eat a heavy meal of pasta. In those moments, a dish like this seafood salad is a welcome respite. With a touch of olive oil and lemon, these mussels, clams, octopus, and more are refreshing and light. I can’t stress enough how friggin’ good the seafood is here.
A Little Mussel
Mussels and toasted Italian bread in this slightly spicy tomato broth is a little piece of heaven on Earth. A good friend of mine once visited Ischia and ate these shellfish in these soupy sauces. Her reaction was that she’d like to bathe in it and drink all the bath water. Indeed, I can’t argue with her. It would be divine.
Pot of Gold
The beauty of eating octopus in Ischia is that almost all the professionals know how to cook it properly. You never chew on rubber here. The octopus is soft and delicious. This one was no exception. Mixed in with the mussels, the octopus was extra special. You felt like you stumbled upon treasure with every bite of it.
Seeing Red, Tasting Red
Tomatoes in the summer in Ischia are the ultimate in juiciness and taste. Team them up with baby octopus and squid and al dente pasta and you have a winner.
A Real Pick Me Up
Tiramisu – the original with espresso – is on just about every dessert menu and mamma’s repertoire in Ischia. This is a unique take that replaces espresso with a pistachio-based cream. It’s addictive and delightful. Made by the owner’s wife, this tiramisu also has heaps of love in it. And it’s adorable presentation never goes unnoticed.
Get Over Here
Pull up a lounge chair on the beach before, after, or even during your meal. (That’s right, Bagno Corrado serves small bites and drinks right on the beach.) What are you waiting for?
Leonardo da Vinci was a true Renaissance man. He was an inventor, painter, sculptor, scientist, architect, and mathematician. Certainly, his work was complex. Life, during any era, is complicated. Perhaps, that’s why da Vinci recognized the importance of simplicity.
This image of a red touring bicycle leaning against the railings overlooking the sea in Ischia, Italy speaks to that message. In an era of hot cars and roaring trucks, a bicycle is simple. In a time when everyone is throwing themselves into the rat race, people wading in the sea or sunbathing on a rock are the picture of simplicity.
Truly, that’s what the sweet life, especially on an island, is all about. What has been devastating to me in recent days is how Mother Nature has attacked that simplicity. The earthquake that took down homes and a church in Casamicciola in Ischia is one example. But now I am watching the decimation of islands all across the Caribbean and Florida Keys, not to mention cities in Florida, all the victims of Hurricane Irma.
Still, there is beauty to be found in this tragedy. Neighbors helping neighbors, political leaders on different sides of the aisle coming together to support victims, the deer and birds roaming among the debris in the Keys are all reminders of peace. They are all part of that simplicity that island life usually brings to people. As a result, you can feel the hope in your being.
Granted, a storm that causes this much devastation causes stress. None of these islands are immune to stress, especially at this time. But Mother Nature giveth and Mother Nature taketh away. In this moment, she has taken away but the giving is just around the corner. A bit of sunshine and some elbow grease may go a long way to making a comeback. The islanders know their vulnerability. But they realize their strength more.
Zi Nannina a Mare in Ischia Italy offers guests a sophisticated menu and incredible island views. I’ve taken you to this restaurant before in this blog. But it’s always a new and memorable experience. It is uniquely Ischitano. The culture there epitomizes the sweet life, spending time with friends and family amid lovely ambiance and over delicious food.
The restaurant is small. There is room for a just a couple of tables inside. You eat outside on the terrace with an overhang or right on the lawn as you see in the photo above. This meal was in mid August, the height of the tourist season. There were many guests on hand. Everyone seemed relaxed. Indeed, that’s the emotion this place brings to you.
While the views are lovely – both during the day when you can take in the scene and at night when the setting becomes more romantic – the food is still the star. Without further ado, here’s a look at the meal we enjoyed.
Flavorful, Unique Combinations
This salad of arugula and calamari in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and topped with shaved Parmigiano cheese is the reason my husband loves this restaurant. So, when he didn’t see it on the menu in August, he asked if the chef could make it, and he obliged. The peppery arugula and sweet balsamic drenched calamari are a wonderful contrast. And the Parmigiano is the cherry on top.
Spice and Tradition
A refreshing and light appetizer, octopus and potato salad is a typical dish. This one was lightly dressed in olive oil and lemon, and the octopus was perfectly cooked. It was soft and delicate, not at all rubbery or chewy.
My husband, son, and I went to Zi Nannina’s days before our departure. That’s why we felt compelled to order some of the more traditional dishes on the menu. It’s always as though it’s the last chance to eat them. When I’m away from Ischia, I dream of mussels and clams on a bed of long pasta just like this.
Saute of mussels or clams is my absolute favorite dish in Ischia. One of my foodie friends, who has visited me on the island a few times, put it best; she says she would like to drown herself in the simple soup under the shellfish. Usually, it consists of olive oil, garlic, some Italian spices and white wine. When you order the zuppa instead of the saute, you’re going to get a a similar sauce with tomatoes. This one was a zuppa and it was spicy with some some hot pepper to give it kick. There’s nothing like dipping grilled Italian bread into this feast and chowing down.
This tiramisu, an ever-popular Italian dessert, was beautifully presented in a martini glass with some coffee to pour on top. I’m not a fan of coffee (not even espresso). I know it’s sacrilege to admit this. Sorry! But my husband thoroughly enjoyed it.
Fruit and gelato are easy ways to make my belly happy. The heat in Ischia throughout the summer was tremendous, worse than I’ve ever experienced. As a result, a refreshing dish of juicy fruit was the perfect ending to this meal. It was coated in a creamy, sweet sauce that reminded me of zabaglione. It was paired with homemade gelato, my drug of choice. Indeed, the ending was perfect.
Scalinatella a Mare is a restaurant in Ischia, a small island off the coast of Naples in Italy, which sits on the beach. Its name, which translates to Stairs to the Sea, describes its location. Indeed, there are stairs that take you down to the beach in Ischia Porto, the island’s capital, and right into the restaurant. While the dining area is nothing fancy, the food and the view out to the ocean more than makes up for it. Before you go down the stairs, you should take a look at the beach and the glorious sun. This was our view when we went there in early August 2017:
We sat outside on the porch of the restaurant. A lovely sea breeze passed through, which made the meal all the more pleasurable. A family runs this place. The children wait on you, and their parents cook and serve. It really felt like we were guests in their home. This is a great place for tourists to go for a taste of Ischia’s home cooking. Couples will be swept away by the naturally romantic setting, even if their kid is with them.
It’s All about the Food at Scalinatella a Mare
The view is nice. The digs are humble. But the food elevates this restaurant from anything you’d expect to eat down the shore. Beach food in Ischia is way different from beach food in the United States. While this restaurant was not gourmet, it delivered in style and taste, and it matches the food Nonna would have made for you.
To go to Ischia is to answer the call of the seafood gods. If you don’t like shellfish, there’s plenty of other stuff for you. But you’re missing out. At Scalinatella a Mare, we ordered seafood for the entire meal. Neither of us was disappointed. Of course, our son had his usual chicken cutlet and hand-cut french fries. The calamari salad in the photo above was refreshing and whet our appetite for what was to come.
We also sampled this other seafood salad, which included octopus, shrimp, and calamari. Topped with olive oil and a touch of lemon, the salad had pretty tomato florets as edible decorations. This was another refreshing antipasto, perfect for the hot day we had been experiencing.
A Heavy Fork
Italy is all into toast nowadays, too. This version, which is similar to bruschetta, featured warm octopus in a tomato sauce. There was just a hint of spice, presumably from fresh hot pepper. This was quite filling and delicious, which is why we canceled our pasta order. Even with the “heavy fork” my husband and I have when we go out to eat, we had filled up too much in the heat. Honestly, my stomach could have stopped here. But who can resist the mussels that were to come?
These babies get me every time. I can’t resist saute di cozze (mussels) or vongole (clams). Most restaurants on the island offer up a version of this classic. Chefs steam mussels or clams in olive oil, garlic, and white wine. Then, they top the dish with parsley and serve it all with grilled bread. It never disappoints and this was no exception. “Yum,” is all I can say at this vision of beauty.
Golden fried calamari and shrimp were so tempting that we almost did not take a photo at all. Luckily, I remembered in the nick of time. What’s interesting about the shrimp is they are fried without being cleaned first. In other words, the head and shell are still intact and the batter is around it. The belief is that cooking the shrimp without cleaning it gives it more flavor, even if you don’t end up eating any of the fried batter. While it’s more work to clean the shrimp at the table, they are delicate and delicious.
Overall, Scalinatella a Mare in Ischia Porto offers lovely ambiance and home cooking worthy of your attention. Be sure to take a walk in the sand with your beloved to work off the meal.
Ischia, an island off the coast of Naples in Italy, is more than a vacation destination. It’s a state of mind. There is an entire culture built around this little piece of land in the sea. Truly, the sweet life of Italians – as Americans have come to know it – begins and ends here.
The photo above says it all. After all, who can resist the romantic ambiance of a real life castle in the middle of the sea positioned next to bronzed sunbathers and swimmers? There’s even a grapevine and all that greenery. It is the picture of a place that soothes the body and opens the mind to endless possibilities.
A Melody Like No Other
Life’s rhythm is different here. There is no frenetic pace of workers pounding the pavement. Instead, the tourists and natives alike are swayed by the sea. So, their step is gentler, their sense of purpose less directed. The breeze moves them. By the way, that’s not always a bad thing. It takes some getting used to for an American such as I. But once you stop fighting it and let your body relax, you flow like the waves kissing the shore.
Stepping lightly is foreshadowing for the siesta of every afternoon. Families gather for long lunches that they follow with a nap. The force of the sun and the pull of the waves unleashes unbridled passion. You’ll find yourself making love in the middle of the afternoon. Maybe you’ll sleep, too. In the evening, the people return to work. But first they share a coffee with their friends at the bar. After all, there’s always time for espresso.
Friends become family. Family becomes friends. Everyone gets in everyone else’s business, but that’s the way it is supposed to be. Neighbors still help each other. If you stay long enough, you might feel suffocated by their love. If you leave, however, you long for their affection and can never replicate it.
Food That’s Better Than Sex
Your whole world revolves around food when in Ischia or with people from Ischia. For it is food that unites you with lovers and neighbors. It is food that sustains you. You will feed each other endlessly for food is love. Love is food. Biting into the island’s lush vegetation – peaches, tomatoes, figs, and more – is a revelation. It is as though you’ve never eaten before.
Bottomless plates of pasta doused in the finest sauces, shellfish and octopus plucked right from the sea in front of you before arriving at your table, and the coniglio Ischitano (Ischia rabbit) dressed in its glorious simplicity will fill your heart as much as your belly. Indeed, you will feel healthy and indulged all at once. And don’t forget to top it off with fresh, artisanal gelato.
Green hills, fragrant flowers, luxurious spas and hotels, sexy beaches, and pretty people are lovely distractions. Your brain will take a vacation. When you carve out time to sleep, you will restfully doze. You drift away from everyday worries and the person you are in the real world. You become someone else. When you look in the mirror, you see someone you like better. She is prettier, smarter, more capable, and she knows it. The people all around you will look at you differently, as though they are finally seeing you. No matter how hard you try, you can never replicate this experience anywhere else.
Ischia State of Mind
Perhaps, that is why island life becomes a drug for many. You can never have enough of that feeling it induces deep inside you. It has a grip on your heart because Ischia makes you stronger, more desirable, more beautiful, more alive than ever. The earth in Ischia will move you but only in the best of ways for it is a force of nature that never really leaves you.
The Ischia Italy earthquake struck Aug. 21 and registered a magnitude of 4.0. Many of the residents of the island (which is the home of my ancestors and husband and where I live during the summer) describe a loud noise that sounded like a bomb. Seismologists on various Italian news programs explained that this is common when an earthquake hits a volcanic territory. Indeed, Ischia is a volcano.
Damage Was Limited to One Town
After the loud noise, the earth shook and the electricity went out briefly. Many of the people in Barano say they didn’t even realize anything – let alone an earthquake – had just happened. However, the town of Casamicciola faced more serious damage. The natives say that Casamicciola, which is a port town where tourists often arrive, is more vulnerable to earthquakes than the rest of the island.
Some homes collapsed in Casamicciola. Others experienced damage that rendered them inhabitable for the time being. Lacco Ameno and Forio, two other towns, also experienced some damage but it was minor in comparison to Casamicciola. In the aftermath, 2,600 people were left without homes in Ischia. Still, outside of Casamicciola there is little evidence an earthquake ever hit. Life carries on as usual.
A Miraculous Rescue
News that three brothers, ages 11, 7, and 7 months, were stuck under the rubble of their home devastated everyone. The oldest boy had put them under a mattress, and they were able to communicate with the rescue workers the entire time, which lasted through the night and into the next day.
Rescue workers successfully pulled out 7-month-old Pasquale first. Next, came 7-year-old Mattia and 11-year-old Ciro, who was hailed a hero by news outlets for quick thinking that saved his brothers and him. You can view the emotional rescue of the baby on YouTube.
Two Women Lost Their Lives
Tragically, the earthquake did result in the deaths of two people. One woman was outside the church, where she had just worshipped. The quake hit and the church bell fell and killed her. Another succumbed to the rubble in Casamicciola.
Authorities are investigating to determine if the houses in Casamicciola collapsed because they were not properly built. In other words, they want to make sure builders obtained the proper permits and completed construction up to code for protection against earthquakes. Because the 4.0 magnitude was not as big as other quakes, authorities are raising suspicion. The people of Ischia are railing against these accusations.
Asking for Support
Anyone who wants to help the people of Ischia with the rebuilding efforts in Casamicciola can donate to this gofundme page. (I personally can vouch for Dario Pinto, the person who started this fund. He is a family friend and native of Ischia.) In addition, you can visit the beautiful island of Ischia. Many tourists fled in the wake of the earthquake. Others canceled upcoming reservations.
While I understand the tourist’s concerns, I also feel for the people of Ischia. This is their busy season; if no one comes now, they lose serious income. An island reliant on tourism, many of the natives only have six months of secure work. Those who really want to support Ischia amid this tragedy should spend their vacation money there.
In addition, the overwhelming majority of the island is functioning as usual. The damage was limited to one small hamlet of the island. There have been no aftershocks. Natives are making swift, energetic campaigns on social media to demonstrate the sun is still shining. The beach is still welcoming. And you should join in the fun.