Ischia is the biggest island in the Gulf of Naples. Divided in six municipalities, it unfolds on a surface area of 46.5 square kilometers, with 35 kilometers of seashore. The climate is Mediterranean, although thanks to the particular geological configuration, it ranges from maritime to undulated or premontane.
The first city on the island was built around 770 A.C. by Greek colonists who came through the Eubea, and gave it the name of Pithecusa. Still in Greek times, Inarime was also called "land of fire‚ÄĚ by some, "land of springs‚ÄĚ by others. For a long time it was under the domain of Cuma; then, Ischia became part of the government of Neapolis, still keeping its Greek imprint, as Neapolis was not subject to Rome. Then it became property of Naples, and throughout the Medieval times it suffered all sorts of invasions and devastation by barbarians and Saracens.
The island was under Swabian, Angevin and Aragonese domain, who provided their share of splendor and miseries. Under the Angevin and Aragonese rule, the Castle knew its golden days, but it was also the scene for the permanent clashes between both dynasties, which alternated the rule over the island.
Under the Aragonese domain, with Mayor Costanza and her grandson Vittoria Columna, Ischia, and especially the Castle, became a cultural center visited by all the Renaissance geniuses, if not in person by sending their work to Vittoria, with whom they corresponded profusely. In the '50s, the island became a fully-equipped and developed tourist center, envied worldwide.
As for the final name, ‚ÄúIschia‚ÄĚ, it is probably derived from the term ‚Äúinsula‚ÄĚ (island), through the following word inflection: issla, iscla, ischia. A recent interpretation, however, claims that it is an Arabic word meaning "on the left", since the island appears on the left hand to sea travelers.