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Casamicciola Terme offers the traveller a greater taste of the ancient isle’s modern spice. Although people have appreciated its appeal since early Greek settlement, a volcanic eruption in 1301 damaged many of its monuments and historical buildings, halting its migratory flow. Casamicciola Terme’s natural beauty and bountiful gifts, however, have prospered and over the years led to its inevitable resurfacing, with fresh appeal to ancient themes.
The area for instance boasts a modern helipad and the main town centre, Piazza Marina, was also recently restructured. In this exclusive, modern environment, its devoted visitors reap the benefits of the numerous first-class thermal centres and repose in the soothing ambience of its classic hotels.
The Manzi is one of these exceptional hotels. With an illustrious past, this property was originally built in Pompeian style. Renovated in the 60s by Italian editor and filmmaker, Angelo Rizzoli, it was turned into a modern hotel. During his stay at the Manzi Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italy's magnanimous renaissance hero, soaked the wounds of his battle to liberate Rome. He was helped along by a new digestive liquor, Sambuca, created by Luigi Manzi, son of the proprietor.
Whether a thermal dip worked for Garibaldi or not, Casamicciola became so well known for its rich sources of natural mineral water that in 1956 the word 'Terme', Italian for thermal springs, was added to its name. The term Casamicciola itself is said to come from "casa di Nizzola" – the house of Nizzola – where Nizzola, an old woman, bathed her feet in the water springs and was cured of all ills.
The most noted Casamicciolan springs are the Gurgitello and Bagnitiello, while others have names of precious treasures, such as 'Oro', gold; 'Argento', silver; 'Occhio', eye, all suggestive of their valuable curative properties. Along with the long list of natural thermal springs of the area, is that of celebrated personalities who have, in their time, visited them: Ludovic I, prince of Bavaria; French author Alphonse Lamartine; Henrik Ibsen, the Norwegian dramatist and Arturo Toscanini, the Italian music conductor, to name just a few.
In the district of Casamicciola Terme, the Castiglione thermal park is an obligatory point of call for its hillside gardens, pools and restaurant overlooking the sea. The woodland backdrop offers the chance for tranquil walks while Magdalene Forest takes you to the edge of Mount Rotaro's crater, the only remaining volcanic mouth on the island. Trekking through this unusual terrain two rare species of plant, Cyperus polystachyos and Pteris vittata, can also be found.
For true nature lovers and wellness enthusiasts Casamicciola Terme offers the ideal combination of open-air excursions and the authentic Ischia rejuvenating experience.
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