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Ischia Guide Italy

History and culture


Getting there
History and culture

Churches, Museums and Monuments
Places and charm

Eating and Drinking
Shopping
Hotels and lodgings

Events
La Dolce Vita

A tour around the island villages
Ischia's best beaches

Directories of Web Sites
Ischia Italy
Ischia Hotels
Downloads
Ischia Guide in PDF format

History and culture

The first human settlements on the island date back to VIII B.C., when the Greeks landed on the island and founded the colony of Pithecusae (today known as Lacco Ameno), on Monte Vico. The colony soon became an important commercial center for the Etruscans, the Phoenicians and the Egyptians who came to purchase goods in ceramics, bronze, iron and other metals that were worked on the island.
After about 5 centuries, the island came under the control of the Romans, who were the first to discover the benefits of the thermal spas.
From the few remaining accounts of the Medieval period, we have learned that Ischia was attacked by the Goths, the Lombards and the Normans and was finally conquered by the Swabians who stayed in power for 100 years. A difficult history and not just from a political point of view: Until 1301, the island was hit several times by the eruption of the Epomeo, the last one in 1301. Once the Swabians had left the island, the French and Spanish fought to rule the island.
Over the next few centuries, the population increased slowly, concentrating their dwellings along the coast. The island was divided into six boroughs: Ischia, with the largest population, Casamicciola, partly destroyed by the 1881 earthquake, Lacco Ameno, Forio, Barano and Serrara Fontana.
The island economy was based on agriculture until the 19th century, which was not intensive but which aimed to provide a living for the people. The exceptions were the lemon groves, the vineyards and fishing.
The economic boom started in the Sixties, when island’s tourist potential first became apparent: artists, poets and actors fell in love with the splendid climate, the crystal clear sea, the luxurious vegetation and the thermal spas that spilled out in many areas of the island.


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