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Hotel il Monastero

The hotel

The most exclusive things are not always unattainable or cloaked in opulence; indeed, often the value of a thing lies in its pure simplicity. For a holiday resort this is respect for the cultural context, concern for tradition, and celebrating the nature that surrounds us.  Il Monastero hotel is more than a resort.

It is the landing place and at the same time the starting point for travellers who seek the true heart of the places they choose to visit. And not only because the hotel is located in the Aragonese Castle. But because in every corner and at every moment you are breathing the atmosphere of an ancient convent, a place rich in history and an island in the Mediterranean Sea.  The hotel offers bed and breakfast, but those who wish to stay on for dinner at the Castle can take a seat at the table with a view of the “Cucina del Monastero”, which opens up a not-to-be-missed panorama of Ischian cuisine, thanks to its partnership with “Umberto a mare 1937”, one of the island’s most highly regarded restaurants.

The site

The building that houses the hotel was originally a convent, built at the end of the 16th century and dedicated to Santa Maria della Consolazione.. It has been refurbished and equipped with new facilities, but the simple, essential spaces of cloistered living are still perfectly recognisable. The unmistakable fascination of places created for meditation and spiritual retreat remains unchanged. So although these days in the rooms of the Monastero we live and sleep immersed in 21st-century comfort, we still feel a little more inclined to make space for thinking, helped along by the expansive view from the small windows open onto the sky.

The terrace

A place for reading, chatting, enjoying a drink or just looking out at the world.  From Il Monastero’s large terrace you can admire a view that encompasses Campagnano, the village of Ischia Ponte and the beach of Cartaromana and on to the large green hill providing the backdrop to this scene.

The terrace is also a place for the pleasures of the table: breakfast and dinner are served here under a typical Ischian pergola. Evenings on the terrace are a special delight. The lights of the village of Ischia Ponte coming on as night falls are a sight to behold.. And the castle nights are tender: the soft glow of candles in the iron or traditional paper lanterns certainly won’t distract you from the radiance of the moon and stars.

The interiors

The interiors of the hotel il Monastero pay homage to simplicity and the Mediterranean spirit. Here the architecture of the late 16th century takes the leading role, and we can admire the classic barrel vaults and cross vaults, the essential lines of the whitewashed walls and the distinctive “ischian” materials in a mansion that has been allowed to retain all the beauty of its history. In this poetry of space where volumes and voids are shaped in perfect harmony with the geological features of the island and the Castle, the furnishings are kept simple, though touches of colour are permitted with the handcrafted vases and ceramics and the majolica floors. The artworks on the walls, offer a further invitation to reflect: paintings and drawings by Gabriele Mattera and works by other artists of his circle: Leonardo Cremonini, Raffaele Iacono, Elio Waschimps and Salvatore Basile.

The indoor restaurant

Overlooking the bridge that connects the Castle with the island of Ischia are the Restaurant dining rooms with their round arches and barrel vaults. Sunlight streaming in through the windows illuminates the paintings and drawings on the whitewashed walls. In the evening the atmosphere is welcoming and discreet, the windows affording a wonderful view of  the island with all its lights.

The garden

At the Castle the ancient tradition of the garden between the towers has also been maintained over the centuries. The lavender and myrtle gardens where Vittoria Colonna used to walk and the olive groves and vineyards that supported the large population of the Castle in medieval times have generated the garden of Il Monastero today. A garden of perfumes and flowers, broom, wisteria, daisies, and a vegetable garden filled with the goodness of country produce: aubergines, zucchini, tomatoes, salad greens, fennel, and vines with Biancolella grapes that produce an excellent wine.

A feast for the eyes, the garden of Il Monastero with its marvellous colours is intoxicating with a thousand perfumes, and a treat for the palate with its fruit, vegetables and legumes, all completely organically grown: this provides the basis for the hotel’s cuisine, the “Cucina del Monastero” – wine included. The paths between the flower beds, the grape-covered pergolas, the verdant lawn, and the fragrant walks among the fruit trees beckon us to Arcadian strolls, the stone benches and the belvedere invite us to linger in the shade or relax with a book.

Standard room

The standard rooms are located on the terrace floor of the hotel Il Monastero. They therefore open onto a the big panoramic outdoor space fitted with small tables and comfortable wooden benches.

The interior of the standard rooms is characterized by their beautiful 16th-century ribbed vaults, the floor in rustic Campanian terracotta and a few pieces of dark-wood furniture that recreate the monastic atmosphere of the old religious residence.  Although furnished in this austere style, they are equipped with up-to-date comforts: each with an en suite bathroom with shower and air conditioning.

Rooms with seaview

The rooms with view of the sea are located on the first and second floors of the former convent of the Clarisses. They have a magnificent view of Ischia, its sea and the Castle architectures, like the beautiful cupola of the Immacolata church.  They also overlook the hotel’s terrace-belvedere. The first-floor rooms are characterized by a typical seaside atmosphere, with their ribbed vaults and floors in white and blue majolica tiles with geometric designs. The second-floor rooms tend to convey a more countrified atmosphere, with their timber beams on the ceilings and Campanian terracotta on the floors.  All rooms with a view of the sea have an en suite bathroom with shower and air conditioning.

Superior room

There are three superior rooms in the hotel Il Monastero, each with a special view of the sea and the island.

Room number 8 is the biggest of the three and has a private balcony overlooking the sea and the north-west coast of the Island of Ischia. This room perfectly respects the old layout of the rooms in Ischian homes. The bathroom is in fact located outside the room and reachable by a small flight of stairs. But, in contrast to the past, the bathroom is large and fitted with every comfort.

Room number 9  is located on the raised ground floor and consists of a wide  space covered by a barrel vault.  It also has a wonderful balcony romantically overlooking the wild rocky flanks of the Castle and the sea to north-west.  Its bathroom has a particularly large and comfortable shower.

Room number 21 is on the second floor of the convent and combines the beauty of the interior with a breathtaking view. With one glance from its balcony you can behold a landscape which goes from Ischia Ponte to Porto d’Ischia, from the sea horizon to the Campania coast.

Suite l’Altana

This suite has been recently refurbished and represents the most charming and exclusive place of the whole hotel.  Wide spaces and incredible perspectives enchant whoever enters it.  Holidaying in the Altana is the most beautiful thing that can happen in the Castle for many good reasons, one of which is that from the two large private terraces of this suite you can look over the entire island.  Floors are completely covered by hand-made terracotta typical of the 18th century Campanian style, and the ceiling has oak beams that accurately reproduce the residence’s ancient wooden roofing.  Its fittings are basic, but the atmosphere is intimate and dreamy.  Also the two wide bathrooms conform to this retro style, as they are coated with handmade majolica tiles and, so as not to spoil your enjoyment of the breathtaking landscape,  the shower stall of one of the bathrooms has a fantastic view on the sea. It is also possible to dine by candlelight on the terrace with exclusive service and have preferential access to the garden and to the solarium terraces.

From Ischia or Casamicciola harbours to the Castle by car

From the harbour of Casamicciola take the road on your left till you reach the city of Ischia.  After the highway SS 270 you will find some traffic lights: take the road going down on your left, go along the whole via Michele Mazzella till Piazza degli Eroi, then turn right – via Sogliuzzo – for Ischia Ponte.  The Castle is at the end of the main road which passes through Ischia Ponte.

From the Ischia harbour to the Castle without car

From the Ischia harbour you can take a bus – number 7 – at bus terminus in Trieste and Trento square, a few metres from the harbour.  You can buy the ticket at Eavbus office or on board at a higher price.

You can also reach the Aragonese Castle by taxi, and we suggest you to fix the price with the driver in advance: the distance is about 2 km.  If you have no luggage and you like to walk, you can reach the Castle on foot, through Ischia high street, or skirting the beaches: it is a beautiful walk