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  • Comune of Barano
    Ischia Travel Guide

    My first memory of Ischia is of the sunlight spilling into my bedroom in Piedimonte, in the comune of Barano. My father had rebuilt the house where his mother, Francesca, was born and lived until she was married - and it was our home whenever we visited. I'm in love with a man from Ischia now, but I fell in love with the island long ago in our lovely little abode.

    Even as a child I recognized that the best sleep I ever got was under Nonna Francesca's heavy blanket in that house. My mother would have to open the thick green shutters to wake me up. Beyond the sunlight that danced on my bedroom floor, I'd see the mandarin trees in our garden. We gave up that house many years ago now, but the memories are so fresh that I can still see my father with his shovel first thing in the morning. As he worked the land, he would pass an orange to me through the window. That would be breakfast. There was nothing more beautiful.

    Tourists might flock to Ischia Porto, Ischia Ponte and Forio for a glimpse at the hippest hotels, restaurants and nightclubs on the island. And they certainly will get a dose of glamour and adventure there. But to know the heart and soul of Ischia - and especially its natives - you must go to the towns in the comune of Barano, which include Barano, Buonopane, Piedimonte, Fiaiano, and Testaccio.

    Mine are peasant people from the comune of Barano - and most of the 8,328 people who live within those 12 sq. km. today can trace their family tree to similarly humble beginnings. The island's natural beauty is exceptional for the balance between land and sea, mountain and beach - and nowhere is that more evident than in Barano. I'd like to take you there, even if only in our minds.

    Next page: Barano

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