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    Ischia and Procida

    Two “black” pearls in the Neapolitan archipelago

    Volcanic in origin, Ischia and Procida are the most famous islands in the Gulf of Naples, a classic tourist destination to visit at least once in your life and ideal for a sailing holiday. Ischia, with its six municipalities, is by far the largest of the islands of the gulf: it is called the "Green Island" for its abundant vegetation, due to the fertility of the soil and the mild climate, which make it perfect to visit throughout the year. Mount Epomeo towers over it, a dormant volcano, and the island is dotted with numerous small craters that were active in prehistoric times. Traces of the ancient volcanic activity remain today in the numerous hot springs and fumaroles, present at the coast and on the seabed, and that have made it into a tourist destination as a sort of spa capital of the Mediterranean. The main hotels and cafes are located in Ischia Porto, that was originally a lake formed inside a crater, and from which there is a sandy, 3km long beach, which leads to Ischia Ponte, a small fishing village, where you will also find the island of the Aragonese Castle, that can be reached by a bridge. The mediaeval castle, is a testament to the struggles waged by the island's inhabitants against the furious Saracens’ attacks. Procida on the other hand has a wilder atmosphere. It is the smallest and least polluted of the three main islands in this area (with Capri being the third), and is separated from the mainland by a narrow channel. What remains of an ancient crater is now the small island of Vivara, on which you can find the remains of ancient human settlements, dating back to the Neolithic period. Landing at the small island you feel like you have gone back in time, and you will see the fishermen's houses, variously coloured to be recognisable from the sea. The port area is densely populated and filled with shops and eateries.
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