I usually let my intuition guide us to where to go on trips. Again, I was delighted with my discovery…not knowing what to expect, going blindly into the journey with Gerald, visiting a place that drew me on a map, without knowing what we would find.

I think I am a true adventurer…I like to go off the beaten path and not where all the crowds go. Gerald is a wonderful travel partner because he trusts my gut as I have proven my expertise in feeling out places in the past.

Visiting the Medieval Argon Castle off the island of Ischia (Italy), was an amazing experience. I want to live there please! Ischia is a volcanic fishing village Island in the Gulf of Naples. It is known for mineral rich thermal water that bubbles up in hot springs. I loved the ocean atmosphere, fresh food and lovely people. At the privately-owned castle, we had freshly squeezed blood-orange juice and saw the remains of the sun temple and ancient crypt of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption with its precious frescoes.

The castle’s current name originates from the dynasty that most influenced the characteristic appearance of the island: Alfonso I of Aragon in the 15th century AD. The pre-existing Maschio Angiono, constructed with mighty defensive walls, led to the digging of a tunnel in the rock for pedestrian access. The third generation of the Mattera family now takes care of the Castle, guaranteeing the public access 365 days a year, carrying out any necessary maintenance and restoration work and promoting cultural events which bring it to life. The lawyer Nicola Ernesto Mattera’s initial intuition to buy the island in 1912, is still found today in his heirs, the complete enthusiasm and confirmation of the righteousness of an act to save the energy of art and the castle, that, seemingly inexplicable at the time, has ensured the rebirth of a protagonist of the History of the island and the entire Kingdom of Naples. a wonderful placebo visit and enjoy. In 1967 the Castle was proclaimed a national monument by the then Ministry of Public Education. Some of the heirs of the first buyer, in particular Gabriele Mattera (1929-2005) with his wife Karin and Antonio Mattera (1927-2013), passionately dedicated their lives to the restoration work of the manor by promoting cultural events and carrying out restoration works. In the years between 1965 and 2003, the Castle was reborn: from the mass of ruins overgrown by brambles, every year the Castle regains some of its architectural dignity while retaining the romantic charm of the signs of its history; the restorations are carried out with great sensitivity and taste, always in keeping with the “light hand” method that preserves the patina of Time and the Spirit of the Place. During these years, the restorations took place at a relentless pace, ensuring the opening of the highest part of the Castle to the public by the late ’90s.

So amazing that there are still people who share their assets and wealth with ordianry everyday people to enjoy.

Photos by Jayni Bloch 2019 and Historical Information gained from the website https://www.castelloaragoneseischia.com/en/the-history-of-the-castle?fbclid=IwAR11zQZKHsVUljPndmfGvgUsLY2RvBvIh6XxuXWEfxjUDk5I0F8WnhaMego

 

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