The Aragonese Castle
Ischia’s most visited and photographed monument. The Aragonese Castle.
Ischia’s most visited monument is undoubtedly the Aragonese Castle, an islet that dominates the village with its imposing mass and is linked to Ischia Ponte by a wide causeway. The Castle, which is privately owned today, was fortified during the Middle Ages and transformed into an unassailable citadel where the people of Ischia went to live to escape Saracen raids.
Houses and several churches were built on the Castle, the land was cultivated and animals were raised there. Numerous noble families lived there, including the family of the Castle governor who was often also the lord of Ischia. Vittoria Colonna’s husband, the Marquis Ferrante, belonged to the D’Avalos family, the most famous house to occupy the Castle. Vittoria was widowed early on and created an extremely important cultural circle on the Castle.
When visiting themonument you can see the ruins of the cathedral of the Assunta, where Vittoria and Ferrante were married in 1509, the Poor Clares' cemetery with the stone draining seats where the nuns’ corpses were placed, the frescos by the school of Giotto in the crypt, the church of San Michele a Pantaniello and the church of the Immacolata, with its beautiful dome clearly visible even when looking at the Castello from afar.
The island is also home to two cafes, a restaurant (only open in the evenings) and Il Monastero hotel. During the open season it hosts art and photography exhibitions and a whole range of cultural events, including a film festival.