Parco Termale Castiglione
HISTORY OF THE SPA
SPA AND HISTORY
THE HISTORY OF ISCHIA AND ITS THERMAL BATHS
The Island of Ischia has a very ancient origin.
The colony of Phitecusae was certainly founded by the Greeks around the middle of the eighth century BC, but was also frequented as a free port by different populations and by artisans from Syria, Egypt, Puglia, Calabria, as evidenced by the many materials found. With the Roman domination another settlement was founded, Aenaria, now submerged due to a volcanic eruption but whose remains are very visible in the bay of Carta Romana.
With the decline of the empire began the looting and raids of the barbarians first and the Saracens later, which led to the beginning of the construction of the castle starting from the fifth century BC. The Castle increasingly became the strategic and defense center of the island, first reachable only by water, then towards the mid-15th century, also through a bridge and a tunnel dug into the rock and commissioned by Alfonso of Aragon.
Theater of the continuous wars between Angevins and Aragonese and of heroic defenses described in poems, dedications and finds, the Castle continued to be the center of power of Ischia for the whole 500 until the arrival of the Turks and the pirate Barbarossa who to take revenge of Alfondo d’Avalos who had defeated him years before in Tunis, in 1544 devastated many municipalities of the island, killing and deporting many islanders.
From the sixteenth century onwards, the history of Ischia coincides with that of the Kingdom of Naples and the various dynasties that succeeded the throne until the unification of Italy.
For years, the focus of the island was agriculture, fishing and some handicraft activities, among which the working of ceramics, developed since the ancient Greek presence, and
the coexistence also with tragic events, such as the Casamicciola earthquake of 1883, to which the population responded with determination and great strength in the reconstruction and a series of migratory waves, especially towards the USA where there are still large communities of Ischia.
Since the mid-1900s, Ischia has become one of the most renowned tourist destinations thanks to the patronage of large industrialists, including Angelo Rizzoli, and to the renewed interest in thermalism and Mediterranean life.
In 1956 Rizzoli produced the comedy “Vacanze a Ischia” which launched Ischia as a privileged location for national and international film productions, such as “Cleopatra” (1963) with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, and “Caccia alla volpe” (1966) with Peter Sellers. up to “The talent of Mr. Ripley”, with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow thanks to whom the island conquered Hollywood in 1997. Since 2018 Ischia has also been the scene of many locations in the series “The brilliant friend” by Saverio Costanzo based on ‘homonymous novel by Elena Ferrante also set partly in Ischia.
For this reason Ischia has been hosting, for many years now, both the Ischia Film Festival (www.ischiafilmfestival.it) dedicated specifically to cinema locations and the Ischia Global Fest (www.ischiaglobal.com) which host directors, actors and producers. internationals in the beautiful frames of the island.