Island of ISCHIA
The island of Ischia is the largest island in the bay of Naples and is considered by many to be the most beautiful of Tyrrhenian Sea. The island is a 10 km from east to west and 7 km north to south. It has a coastline of 34 km and covers an area of 46.3 sq km. It has a permanent population of approximately 60,000. Up to million tourists flock to the island for its volcanic thermal spas and as well for its beaches and food. Ischia is one of the most important vacation destinations in southern Italy, thanks to the island's exceptional environmental resources (it is known as the Green Island), which have stimulated the development of a highly advanced hospitality industry, with fully qualified services, hundreds of hotels and other accomodation facilities and potential for total vacations that can satisfy domestic and international demand. Ischia is an area divided among six municipalities, has origins as old as the island's history. About 770 B.C. Greeks from Eretria and Chalcis founded Pithecusae, the first Greek colony in the West, on the promotory of Mount Vico. Later, the ancient Romans arrived and discovered the extraordinary properties of the hot springs so abundant in this island, with its volcanic heart of fire. Deep in the subterranean strata of Ischia is Europe's largest concentration of thermal aquifers. This wealth of thermo-mineral waters was first used for therapeutic purposes on an organized basis in the 16th century and has progressed constantly as a result of medical and scientific research and advanced technology. Spa establishments and parks constitute half of the island's tourism services. They have made Ischia world-famous as "The Island of Well-Being," visited by millions of people, young and old, families and individuals, celebrities in the world of culture, entertainment and the arts. All are attracted by the irresistible fascination of an island that offers nature and culture, tradition and modernity, history and myth, all within the framework of a breathtaking landscape, picturesque architecture and the smiling hospitality of the islanders.