Day 34 June 25, 2023 (Sorrento)

Day 34 June 25, 2023 (Sorrento)

We took the ferry to Ischia this morning and it was a pretty uneventful ride (about 50 minutes) except for the two girls (American) that sat behind us and talked nonstop, and every other word was “like”. Y’all these are college girls and I understand they are young, but it was ridiculous. I can usually block conversations out most of the time, but for some reason my mind focused on their conversation as well as the multiple Italian conversations going on and it was sensory overload. I was so happy to get off that ferry!

Since we had six hours before the ferry departed back to Sorrento, we had plans to visit the Aragon Castle of Ischia. The first fortress was built in 474 B.C. In 315 B.C. some dwellings were built. In 1441 the stronghold was rebuilt. Over its 1500 year history it’s served as a castle, as a refuge for residents of Ischia, and a prison, and now as a museum. There’s a man-made causeway that connects the castle to the mainland of Ischia.

While going through the remains of the castle, there was a little café perched at the top of the castle, so we stopped for a snack (mixed salad w/tuna and little veggie sliders) and a drink. They also brought olives, which I love, so that was a treat. It was a nice break as it was extremely hot, especially with the sun reflecting off the stone of the castle as you walked around. There were some shady spots and some breezes off the water at times, but it was an intense heat. We spent over three hours at the castle (there was a lot to see, plus our snack break) and then headed back into town. The castle is all the way at one end of town and the port is at the other end. It is about a mile walk from one to the other.

After leaving the castle and walking uphill for a while (imagine that, lol!) we stopped for a drink and some water and watched the traffic. I could sit all day and watch the traffic in Italy, it is a show in itself. After our drink, we continued back towards the ferry and saw a little park (shade) so walked through that for a bit. We were trying to kill a little time before we headed to the port for our 5:25 p.m. departure. By the time we got to the port, we were still early and of course I knew I would not make it over an hour without going to the bathroom and in Italy, at least in Ischia, there are no public bathrooms, so you have to go to an establishment and buy something just to be able to use the restroom. (One of my biggest complaints about Italy.) So, we bought a drink, and I was happy, lol!

My happiness ended quickly as we got to the port and after waiting for over 30 minutes past the ferry departure time as there was no ferry, we were told (in Italian) that the ferry was delayed (duh) and we had to leave the line we were in to go to a different line. It was like a herd of cattle racing for the good spot. John and I were just following what everyone else did. I saw a lady that was American, and she spoke Italian, so I asked her what was going on and apparently our ferry was delayed because it had to make an unplanned stop in Capri to pick up people to bring to Ischia. The ferry finally arrives (over an hour late), the herd stampedes onto the ferry (the most unorganized chaos I’ve ever seen) and after having the two college girls behind us in the stampede line (I could only laugh at this point), we made sure they were not behind us as we found a seat. Instead, we get four middle-school aged Italians girls that talked CONSTANTLY and laughed and were loud. The ferry was bigger than the one we came in on so of course it was slower and so I sat through hell for over an hour while my sensory overload kicked in again. We ended up getting back into Sorrento about 7:45 p.m. and had a 20-minute walk back to the room. We cooked dinner in and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Tomorrow is another day…….

Miles walked – 9.32 and most of that was climbing up steps, lol! Ciao!

On the ferry to Ischia, with Mt. Vesuvius in front.
Great picture of our little spot, Marina Grande, as we are heading out
The ferry ride with the nonstop chatter, one of the culprits behind me, lol!
Coming in to Ischia
The Aragon Castle
On our way from the port to the castle. The streets are lined with these beautiful colored trees.
A blast from the past!
On the causeway to the castle looking back towards town.
The castle
Some of the passageways were massive! I guess it had to be as it was a fortress.
One of the catapults used for defense.
Some of the lovely torture contraptions used when you were bad…..
Now for something more pleasant 🙂
Pano view from one of the terraces.
Church of the Immacolata – built from 1737, but not finished due to costs. All the walls are white.
Another pano view from another terrace.
The Nun’s Cemetery – these are walled draining seats on which their lifeless bodies were placed. They slowly decomposed, their humours gathered in special vases and then the dried out skeletons heaped up. Apparently the practice was to emphasize the absolute uselessness of the body and more about the spirit. Sounds pretty macabre to me!
Entrance to the Bourbon prison – transformed from a pre-existing building in 1823.
A view from sitting at the table in the cafe.
Most of lunch – the salad is missing
He was eyeballing our food, lol!
Church of S. Maria delle Grazie – built on previous structures at the beginning of the 16th century and assigned to the congregation of the Ischia fishermen.
On the Footpath of the Sun – one of the main pathways to the Castle.
Church of the Madonna della Libera – built in the 12th century
Entrance to the gentilitial crypt of the Cathedral – built between the 11th and 12th centuries, it was originally a chapel, then transformed into a crypt.
Some of the crypts and frescoes
On the ferry heading back, finally!
Our pretty little port!!!
This picture does not do it justice, but all the balconies are covered with begonias and they are gorgeous!

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