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  • Testaccio - Comune of Barano
    Ischia Travel Guide


    Maronti Beach
    Image copyright © Francesca Di Meglio. All rights reserved.

    At the foot of Testaccio lies my favorite place in the whole world: Maronti beach. The largest and most popular beach in Ischia, Maronti offers a slew of restaurant and hotel options, not to mention a clear blue ocean for swimming and soft sand for sunbathing. In the hills overlooking Maronti, you're likely to find shacks where the natives throw parties and have cook outs. They also maintain mini gardens there - with everything from lemon trees to tomato plants. The best place to eat on Maronti is Zi Bak, where you can taste the island's famous coniglio or rabbit dish. The Parco Smeraldo Terme, a four-star hotel, is well known among tourists and includes a refreshing thermal water pool that is separated from the beach only by hedges and offers an incredible view. From Maronti, you can get fabulous photos of Sant' Angelo, a small, former fishing village that can be navigated only by foot.

    If walking is your thing - and you have the body of an extreme sport lover - you can take your chances and hike from the tiny, almost unnoticeable piazza in Testaccio through the old roads to Maronti. It is a path that my Nonno Rocco walked everyday of his childhood, but it is one that few people cross today. The rocky, winding roads, perilous staircases and natural hills make it a bit dangerous for anyone with health problems, including coronary or joint troubles. But brave hikers will witness firsthand why Ischia is called Isola Verde or the Green Island. And in the end their reward is resting on the sand.

    The faithful will find many places to worship in this town. One of the churches is San Giorgio, which I find particularly beautiful at Christmas. Live music and a large presepio or nativity scene (which many of my cousins often have a hand in building) are among the reasons it's a must-see at the holidays.

    Next page: Fiaiano

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