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  The Romantic Mezzatorre Resort & Spa – Ischia, Italy
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We are on the ferry from Naples approaching our port of call, Ischia: famed for its Thermal Baths, beaches and food.

Why are we here? It’s all because of Angela Silva, co-owner with her chef husband of Romano’s, the cosy Kensington family restaurant: haunt for cardinals, counts, celebrities and cognoscenti of Italian food. We are discussing which part of coastal Italy to visit for our press trip.

Angela chirps enthusiastically, “Go to Ischia – you’ll love it!” We love the restaurant and so we trust her judgement.

Our good friends, discerning architect, Richard Mitzman and his wife international Tarot card reader, Annabelle, recommend the hotel where they had their honeymoon: The celebrated 5 star luxury Mezzatorre Resort and Spa – a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.

Mezzatorre Resort - Spa Tower & Pool
[Click to enlarge pics]

Mezzatorre Resort and Spa Photo Gallery

At first sight the island gives the impression of a water colour rather than an oil painting. A palette of Mediterranean hues, mountainous cliffs dotted with chalky white and salmon pink villas, the coastline fringed by a blue, grey Tyrrhenian sea.

Island hoppers who are ready to flop after visits to Capri and Positano, will no doubt find the magnificent Mezzatorre Resort & Spa in Forio d’Ischia a wonderful nesting place.

Perched high on a cliff, set in 7 Hectares of fragrant pinewood this celebrated Honeymoon hotel and chic retreat draws an eclectic mix of International guests seeking a delightful and restful break in exquisite surroundings with faultless service.

Guest in residence, Jonathan the Seagull


We are in the skilfully renovated 16th Century look-out tower which is the central font of the hotel, in one of the 57 beautifully appointed rooms and suites. Our room is compact but so well designed; a refreshing use of colour – pale blue, white and taupe, a canopied four-poster with immaculate bed linen de rigueur and plentiful closet space – the pretty bathroom replete with Etro fragrant freebies.

The adjacent terrace has heart stopping panoramic views of San Montano bay and the sea between Lacco Ameno and Forio, that even the hotel’s pet seagull, Jonathan, perched on the balcony’s edge, seems happy to ‘stop and stare’ intermittently between his flights of fancy.

Plenty to Wax Lyrical about

The beautiful spa – I opt for the thermal water track. Slipping from one pool to another, jets of water pummelling different parts of the body: pleasantly painful.

Next I brave the Knepp-Therapy; treading through alternating temperatures of warm and ice-cold water to boost circulation– an exhilarating body frisson.

On a lower terrace beneath the tower, we swim in the superb outdoor heated sea-water pool, while some guests boldly plunge straight into the sea from the platform on the rocks.

We breakfast on the terrace at the Chandelier: a meticulously presented buffet. Copious 5 star fayre, even Myrtle juice, and a spectacular view to match.

Lunch at Sciué-Sciué, the poolside restaurant, cold buffet or à la Carte – Spaghetti Vongole & Sea Bass, both delectable and nutritious.

Cool Pool on the Rock

Just a short cut through within the grounds we visit the Columbaia , the villa once owned by Director Luchino Visconti and now a museum dedicated to his work and life. A visual feast of extraordinary photos, films and cinematic memorabilia dedicated to the great man.

Luchino Visconti Gallery

When the 'magic hour' begins, cocktails in the courtyard sipping Bellinis, everywhere is drenched in a golden light. Candlelit dining on the Chandelier terrace, gazing at the fiery orb slowly slipping into the depths of the horizon, leaving a trail of apricot and purple streaks. Dusk, and the stars find their place.

The gourmet menu created by Ischitano Chef, Giuseppe d’Abundo is divine. HB at €55 and visiting guests €85, offers four courses, each with a plentiful choice of fabulous dishes served by the effortlessly attentive headwaiter and his excellent staff.

A satisfying and healthy bean soup, tortelli with prawns and exotic fried stuffed pumpkin blossoms, a main of Ischia style Cockerel, succulent and tender with red onions, cherry tomatoes and vegetables accompanied by a bottle of Casa D’ambra and a small fluffy Saint Honoré for dessert. Refreshing to eat at a superb restaurant truly deserving of a Michelin star. A night-cap at the Gazebo piano bar is a lovely way to end the evening.

Flashpackers in Heaven

After four Halcyon days, we are leaving for the UK. The Mezzatorre arranges a speedy transfer to Naples airport – €200 including hovercraft and taxis and we wing our way back to the UK.

We highly recommend The Mezzatorre Resort and Spa as a romantic tonic both to invigorate and inspire.

A week later and the benefits of our trip to Ischia are palpable. We both feel renewed, vital and frisky. The magical elements of this glorious hotel on this legendary Island have worked their wonders.

Mezzatorre room rates from €300 a night BB including a complimentary shuttle service to the neighbouring town. However, the hotel website has excellent deals that change daily. Special offers also available from online travel agencies.

We flew Easyjet return Stanstead Naples which certainly lives up to its name. Efficient friendly staff, a good flight, practical flying times and ‘easy’ on the pocket at £250 pp return.

See also: Discovering the Treasures of Ischia >

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Mezzatorre Magical Sunset
Mezzatorre Magical Sunset
Many thanks for the support of Adriana Vacca and Francesco Rocca, ENIT UK; Italian State Tourist Board, Manuela Barzan, COM.TUR, the special agency of the Naples Chamber of Commerce and Armando Menella, president of the Ischia Hotel Association and Angela & Romano Silva, proprieters of Romano’s Italian Restaurant, Kensington.

© Philip and Nina Saville, The 2012-15