|Loggia attributed to Antonio da Sangallo the younger
It was a bright, sunny Saturday when we drove north towards Lake Bolsena to attend a conference held in the icy cold main hall of a castle under restoration.
|view from the Rocca
When the drafts (and the long-winded speakers) became unbearable I escaped to the sun filled piazza to wander through the narrow streets of the oldest part of Ischia di Castro, the part the local residents call “di dentro”.
|beyond the Duomo begins "di dentro "
|Farnese lily and laundry crown this portal
Lilies (or iris) carved above many of Ischia’s doorways remind us that this was once a Farnese stronghold.
The huge Rocca Farnese, designed by Vignola, was one of the first “homes” of the Farnese. As they rose to power family members commissioned other Farnese palaces including the fabulous Palazzo now the French Embassy in Rome and the pentagonal palace in Caprarola.
|stairway to the Rocca
Cats snooze in the sun and keys are left dangling in the door locks.
Inside a former bread oven/ cantina we met a bee keeper preparing his beehives.
|wine cask transformed into bar
|a wicker baby carriage pre-WWII
|in the magazzino
Comparable to a cellar or garage, the magazzino is where families store discarded furniture, old bottles, the wine supply and anything else not urgently needed in the home.
Visiting a family’s magazzino or cantina shows what happens in a country where garage sales do not exist. After a few generations the old cast offs have become antiques.
Ischia is one of the less well known of Viterbo province’s 60 towns, each with its own personality and history.
A stroll through the picturesque historic center is a perfect respite from the stress of modern city life.
During summer Ischia becomes more cosmopolitan for many of the modest houses have been purchased as holiday homes by Romans wishing to escape the Eternal City‘s stifling heat.
There is also a small foreign community appreciative of the town's laid back lifestyle and inexpensive real estate.
|shrine connecting two buildings
|Fascist period doorhandles and Cactus Madonna
|Excellent food at honest prices
|entrance to Gigiotto trattoria
|pappardelle al cinghiale
Where to eat in Ischia di Castro? Definitely Gigiotto, on the main piazza.
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