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BoBo is a French expression, short for Bourgeois Bohème, and it pretty much describes who we are.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Immortalized in Ischia...

We are occasionally accused by family & friends of failing to include ourselves in the photos we take of the exotic places we visit. So we must extend a heartfelt thanks to Google for including us in their Street View of one of the most scenic spots on the Italian island of Ischia.
(That's us between the silver station wagon & the metal gate. Not to be immodest, but you can zoom closer if you'd like)

Here's our shot of the same view- so much nicer without all us messy humans & our vehicles, don't you think!?
It's probably safe to say that Ischia is not on the radar of most North Americans. This idyllic island in the Gulf of Naples is too often overshadowed by it's more superficially glamorous
little sister, Capri.
Ischia, though, is a gem- largest of the 3 islands off Napoli's coast, and home to numerous natural thermal facilities, it has been a favourite vacation spot for decades of Europeans "in the know".

We recently spent a week on the island, reprising a visit about 5 years before. We returned to the same apartment we had previously rented in the tiny commune of Fiaiano, high above the coast.
As you can see from some of our photos, there was an obvious draw- that sensational view of the bay with Vesuvius in the background!
We spent time in the main town, Ischia Porto (above) & the adjacent Ischia Ponte.
Ponte- aka "bridge"- refers to the little isthmus that links the Castello Aragonese di Ischia's small promontory island to the main island.
Castello Aragonese (above) Ischia Ponte (below)
Chapel & outdoor cafe high above Ischia Ponte at Castello Aragonese (above)

We travelled around the island, seeing places we had not previously seen. Below is the charming town square in Casamicciola Terme, a spa centre from decades past located on the north coast of the island. Unfortunately, less than a month after we returned home, torrential rains caused a terrible mud slide that swept down through the town
A short distance away, on the west coast, is the town of Forio (below). In the background is the hillside of the island's highest peak, Monte Epomeo. Forio is the town on the coast below us in the Google image at the top of this post.
The little church of Soccoroso above is dedicated to Santa Maria della Neve & references its sea-faring congregation on its interior. Around back overlooking the endless sea is a heart-wrenching knot of locks. Legend has it that a lock is put in place following a prayer for someone who has gone missing at sea, only to be unlocked & removed following their safe return. Unfortunately, the knot continues to grow.
The original reason for getting spied by Google was a visit to the Giardini La Mortella north of Forio. We were in search of very elusive parking when we came to the overlook & had to stop.

The garden is a spectacular place that inhabits a small lush space in its local hillside valley, then climbs higher & higher up the mountain, offering a small outdoor concert bowl near the top with breathtaking views down over the coast.
Eventually, all roads led back to *la nostra casa* and that killer view!

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