Thursday, January 19, 2012

Submissions open for Ischia Film Festival 2012

If you are the owner/producer/writer/actor of an independent film or short-film, documentary or music video, and would like to have your shot at being considered in this years Ischia Film Festival, submit your entry to and fill in the online form.

Entries close 30 April 2012. Please don't hesitate to contact me for assistance.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There's something in the water...

Ischia is well-known for it's hot springs, mineral mud and thermal waters. But one thing not known to many - let's call it a well kept secret amongst the locals - is Nitrodi, more specifically La Sorgente di Nitrodi.

In the heart of Buonapane (good bread) a town in the hills of the southern part of the island, the healing water spring of Nitrodi was once considered sacred by Apollo and the nymphs of "Nitrodes".

Brief History (taken from
In 1759 farmers discovered a series of votive images while they were digging trenches for the vines. These stones which are of great importance for the “bathing” history of the Island of Ischia are now at the National Museum of Naples. The twelve reliefs dedicated to Nitrodi’s Nymphs cover a period that went from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD, and they depict just a few of the many people of different social classes that visited the spring. One of the first women to be healed was Argenna, former slave of Poppea Augusta, who dedicated a votive relief to Apollo and the Nymphs hanging it in the sacred woods.

In the 1st century AD the doctor called Menippo “Menippos iatrĂ²s upalpinos” arrived in Nitrodi from Northern Italy. He was followed by two other doctors together with their assistants and students: “Aur (elius) Monnus” and “Num (erius) Fabius”.

A good friend of mine, once a Napoletano who now teaches history in New York, has extensive knowledge about the spring and it's healing powers. From his research he discovered that the Roman soldiers knew something about the powers of the Nitrodi spring and used to visit Ischia regularly after battle to heal their woundss. The healing power of Nitrodi not only assists mending of the skin but has extreme benefits from consumption. It has been known that to drink a glass of spring water a day can help as a diurectic, improve kidney functions, breaks down uric acid, assists in treatment of arthritis, treatment or improvement of gastritis and other gastric problems, helps reduce hypochloridia (condition of lower stomach acid causing indigestion, IBS), an optimal co-adjuvant in treating stomach ulcers, and possesses healing qualities at a cutaneous level: mucous membrane, heals varicose ulcers, wounds, abbrassions, burns, acne, and leaves your skin clean, soft and luminous.

These theraputic properties of the Nitrodi water have been recognised by the Department of Health in Act 3509 since 09 October 2003.

The park itself is owned by the Municiple town of Barano and entrance during operating hours will cost you around 15 - 18euro. These entrance fees allow the upkeep and maintenance of the park, however, by law, the water is not allowed to be kept from the public out of operating hours, and so, you may visit Nitrodi early in the morning or late in the evening if you wish to enjoy the benefits of the water at no cost from the large storm water pipe through which the water is redirected after closing. The water is cold so I would suggest making the payment and visiting on a sunny day, making use of the facilities (which are very basic) and sun beds, change rooms and toilets. The park is divided up into sections so for instance if you are visiting for medical reasons, there are more private cubicles available but I recommend to get there early. The park is open from 10.30am in May and October and from 09.00am from June to September. The park is closed for the months of November through to April, but as I mentioned before, the water is released for your continued use. If you are just visiting out of curiousity, make sure to take with an empty water bottle as there is a fountain tap at the entrance for public to fill up on the spring's drinking water for free. The water does have an acquired taste and can be quite heavy on a first-timer but the benefits are well worth the endurement.

Leave me a comment if you have any other questions?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thermal Spa Resorts

Ischia is a volcanic island making it world renowned for it's thermal spa parks and natural hot
springs. Tiny gas pockets and springs may be found all over the island. Some of those fortunate enough to have inherited land rich in thermal activity from their ancestors capitalized on the opportunity by creating thermal spa parks. Negombo Spa and Giardini (gardens) Poseidon are two of the most popular. Entrance starts at 33euro per person for a full day and from 23 euro per person for a half day (from 13h.00). All parks generally close at 19h00 and are closed for the winter months of November through April, during which you will find both accomodation and inhouse spa treatment available at the Hotel Villa Sorriso.

The thermal parks offer a number of different pools at varying temperatures: Turkish baths, Saunas, Japanese pools, Jacuzzi baths, Jet stream massagers and so on. Each of the above mentioned parks also offer private beach facilities as well as the use of sun bed deck chairs. Towels and robes are available for hire but if you wish you may bring your own. Remember to take along some flipflops or slippers. The parks are also rather relaxed about guests bringing in their own food and drinks so if you can make it to the supermarket just before and take along some water and refreshments (its important to keep hydrated in the heat) and some snacks, it might be worth your while, however, there are refreshment kiosks in the park. The canteen serves up hot pasta dishes, salads, fruit platters, and seafood or meat dishes in a self-service/buffet style. If you can afford to splash out, I highly recommend the restaurant or sushi bar in Negombo. For more information on other thermal parks on the island, please see the Thermal Spa Parks page.

If you would like to experience Ischia's thermal waters in their most natural state then Sorgeto is the way to go. Sorgeto, derived from sorgento meaning spring, is Ischia's public thermal bath. Situated in a cove in the sea water of the Bay of Sorgeto, the springs offer timeout to locals and foreigners alike. At any time of day or night these springs are available for public use and enjoyment and is free of charge access. There are however 230 stairs to be tackled before reaching the springs (coming up, I recommend you take it slowly and stop at the view points to catch your breath and take in the scenery). During the day is a great time to go to immerse yourself in the culture of the Ischitani people. But in the evenings, under the stars, Ischia reveals an indescribable beauty. Note: If visiting Sorgeto, I would recommend going when the sea is at its calmest as it is easier to relax in the water and the temperature of the rock pools are maintained (closer to the cove wall can reach over 60 degrees celsius, and further out the temperatures cool slightly by the sea water). If going at night, take some candles or a torch just to be sure you don't stand in any scorching hot pools.