Travelling with a baby
Ischia has been pretty much love at first sight, 4pm arrival from Procida spoiling us with gorgeous views of the harbour with pretty colourful houses and lush hills. From Naples port that’s an hour ferry ride – advising Alilauro as there’s outside and inside seating and you can soak in properly the views.
It has been also a while since we have been this charmed with a villa, flat and hosts on our holidays. Ischia Dream Vision has it all: pine and olive trees, bougainvillea flowers, and stunning views over the harbour: picturesque houses by the sea, hydrofoils and ferries going in and out. The brand new flats are tastefully and carefully decorated – stylish but functional, perfect to accommodate people with kids in tow.
The breakfast/living area is huge and the terrace has cute laced white swings, sofas, toys and football table on another secluded terrace.
The swimming pool is cute and rather intimate. Claudia and Francesco made us feel at home as soon as we arrived in the port, we got picked up from the ferry station and transported to this dream place.
The kids were spoilt with toys and lots of attention from both Francesco and his 2 sons who were around a bit – R did not want to leave the place and each day we struggled to visit anything before 3pm.
We spent an afternoon exploring the quaint streets with cute small shops and the most exquisite gelatos and afogattos. We strolled towards Castello Aragonese – surreally floating above the rock and sea.
For someone like me who has not seen it before and loves Magritte, just staring at it has been purely therapeutic. There’s majesty and mystery, this rock and castle rising from the sea must have haunted my dreams in a different life.
We left exploring it for another trip, my sense of wonder still intact. At sunset the colours render warmth to the magic and we kept contemplating over a delicious dinner on Lungomare Aragonese.
Another day we spent it at Negombo – the most beautiful water park I have seen. Overlooking Baia di San Montano, we have been spoilt with therapeutical pools and wonders.
My other half and I have done twice the Japanese labyrinth with ice cold waters on one side and hot on the other.
E was very content about it, R cheekily tried in a couple of places.
The Buco Nero went down twice as a scary but fascinating treat – entering a rain shower / waterfall into a narrow gorge in the heart of the mountain. To R’s delight, the cave is in the trachytic rock of volcanic origins, some great story material. I personally loved most the Maian pools – one almost 40 degrees hot, the other 18 degrees Celsius.
Everything goes numb for a short while but thereafter all parts of the body feel so re-energised and re-vigorated. The waterfalls columns with water at 30 degrees are stunningly beautiful in the middle of these lush green hills, offering a natural massage and alleviating tensions.
Well-being, beauty, excitement and discovery – a zen waterpark, return to magical and adventure, visual lights with contemporary art spread around, rare and unusual plants well integrated with the Mediterranean maquis. No routes, particular order or number of circuits recommended by Negombo team, but rather making your own personal journey around the park for an unique experience.
The beach is equally delightful – a little piece of paradise in San Montano Bay. A lot has been written about the educational aspects of raising kids where things don’t get to revolve around them and how important is for parents to enjoy and be happy – Negombo particularly felt like we are fixing that balance. The kids watching us have a blast, waiting for us to finish the circuits and getting entertained around us in different ways.
The restaurants: with Dream Vision Ischia gorgeous settings, it was difficult for us to have dinners outside. We ordered in on one occasion – Dream Ischia team have best contact details for order in pizza, gnocchi, local salads and bruschettas. For the scenic dinner we settled for Al Pontile on Lungomare Aragonese – gorgeous views over Castello Aragonese and seafood and seafood pasta to die for. We through in all our best strategies to get a break from the kids: ipad for E and feeding cats for R, so we managed almost an hour uninterrupted. Another evening on our way back from Negombo we stopped at Corso Casamicciola Terme – great oven pizzas and nice playground so that the parents get to enjoy the meal in peace.
Three days simply did not feel enough on this magic volcanic island – we are already planning to return!