16 May 2011

torniamo ad ischia

Castello Aragonese off Ischia Ponte

Well, I think I've narrowed down one of my most favorite places ever - to a small(ish) island in the Bay of Naples. Ischia, where we visited last summer, had always enticed me, and now entices me even more since experiencing it firsthand. I found a partially abandoned building overlooking the ocean when we were there and tucked it away in the "maybe-one-day-I-can-make-that-a-yoga-studio-and-live-here-part-time" file in my mind.

view back over island from the Castello

There's something magical about this place for me - not only for the pre-Roman history, lush landscapes, natural thermal spas, small castles in the sea, or the dormant volcano which the whole of Ischia rests - but it largely has to do with the pure kindness of so many people there with whom we've come in contact. Plus, since it's a bit more off the grid than at least the main stops like Rome, Florence, and Venice, it feels a bit more authentic Italian and less touristy. Don't get me wrong, it definitely fills with travelers in the busy season, but a lot of the visitors are Italian or at least European. Second to Italian, German is next on the list instead of English. I'm sure you can get around just fine only speaking English (maybe if only as the people seem nice and patient enough to try and communicate with you even with a language barrier). But this is very appealing to me as it's a wonderful place to immerse myself in the language without the immediate "you're a tourist so you speak English" stereotype. This combined with the amazing hospitality we encountered and the breath-taking beauty of the island, it's easy to see why it's a place I've wanted to return.

As I'll be in Italy for a month coming up between June and July - for some further yoga training myself, and to lead two EAT.PRAY.MOVE Yoga retreats, Chris decided to join me for 2 of the weeks. I had one week completely free to travel, so during that time we're headed back to Ischia to explore even more of the island - plus scout out some locations and details for yet another EAT.PRAY.MOVE retreat I just announced today, taking place in Ischia in October.

The retreat will be at Villa Lina which overlooks the Mediterranean from the western coast of the island, I'm so excited to share all the things I love about this place with the guests. We'll be taking day trips to thermal spas, hiking up to Mount Epomeo for views over the entire bay, visiting famous gardens, and lounging at the beach. Plus enjoying daily yoga classes at the yoga space overlooking the sea. Can't wait!

A side note to all my blog readers...thanks so much for the support of the yoga retreats and helping me spread the word! I can't say how much I appreciate it. I'm thankful everyday to be able to do something I love: yoga + travel!


Cassandra said...

Swooooon. xoxox

Em Lo Porto said...

oh how lovely! I am adding Ischia to my list of places to visit in Italy. What a great summer you (and Chris) are going to have. Can't wait to read all about it!

Jenn @leftoverqueen said...

I am so excited for you Erin, that you have been able to combine the things you love! Ischia looks beautiful and I am glad Chris was able to join you for a little R&R

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Glad to hear things are going so well. Auguri!

I still haven't made it Ischia yet, but it's on my list.

Sarah said...

omigosh. It would be a dream to join you on a yoga retreat at any of these destinations. I am just starting to learn about women-only yoga retreats that occur all over the world and more and more, I think I need one. I'm gonna start to bend my will around that - thank you for sharing!