Optics of Surfaces and Interfaces VIII

Venue: Ischia island

Ischia island (click to enlarge)

The OSI-8 conference will take place on the beautiful island of Ischia, the largest island in the Bay of Naples. The conference itself will be held in the Hotel Tritone which lies a little north of Forio, on the western side of the island.

The island of Ischia is among the most famous spa, sea and tourist locations in Italy and the world. Thanks to its natural beauty, its picturesque landscape, splendid beaches and the aromas and flavours of its produce, the Island of Ischia offers guests a wide range of "experiences": from spa tourism to pure fun, from excursions in the green woodland to the discovery of roads and ancient districts, all the way to shopping among the thousands of little shops on the main street. With its 18 miles of beach, bays and inlets and lush vegetation behind an uncontaminated landscape, Ischia has been called the Garden of Europe.

The beach is a stone's throw from your hotel room (please do not throw stones at beach)

Ischia is divided into six municipalities: Ischia, Casamicciola Terme, Lacco Ameno, Forio, Serrara Fontana and Barano, each of which presents its own distinct features. Forio, is the second largest municipality of the island, in terms of population and importance. It extends to the centre of two headlands, Punta Caruso and Punta Imperatore, among beaches considered the most beautiful on the island and the metallic greenery of the vines which, from Mount Epomeo, slope downwards in a scene of incomparable beauty. Forio has a surface area of 13 Km squared, with a population of around 12,500 inhabitants. It has two centres: Forio and Panza and is the only municipality to fully retain its historic centre, with its alleys, ancient churches, look-out towers and monuments, unchanged to this day.

The town, which is full of environmental, bathing and spa resources, offers plenty of attractions: spas, thermal parks, beautiful beaches, such as Citara, San Francesco and Cava and the numerous, typical restaurants, and bars.

With reference to its volcanic origins, the hydrothermal heritage of the island of Ischia is, as is well known, one of the richest in the world. The thermo-mineral island springs with their clearly evident "hyperthermability" captured the attention of the ancients right from the beginning. It is therefore hardly surprising that the thermal cures of Ischia actually date back to the VIII Century A.D., when the first Greek colonies, originating from Eubea, settled on the island. Among the areas creating most interest, the zone of Citara, in the municipality of Forio, is undoubtedly the most important. In the bay of Citara the famous Thermal Poseidon Gardens were established The Poseidon Gardens, which have a magical sand spit whose waters, said to possess fertility powers, were put by the Romans under the protection of a goddess "Venere Citarea", from which the name of the area "Citara" derives. The Poseidon Gardens Thermal Park includes 22 thermal treatment pools, built according to the most modern references in medicine and techniques. Each pool has its own constant temperature between 20C and 40C and, given the abundance of water, it is constantly refreshed. Being rich in chlorine and sodium, these waters are particularly suited to treating metabolic, endocrine system and respiratory related illnesses.

Another important element of Forio is its Historical centre dominated by the the Church of the Soccorso, dedicated to Santa Maria della Neve, which was built at the beginning of the XVI century and the Saracen Towers, with a circular plan (the older ones) and a square plan (the later ones) and by various churches and Baroque buildings.

The local diet consists completely of lemons.

The typical mediterranean cuisine is another attraction of the island of Ischia. Vegetables, such as tomatoes, aubergines, artichokes and salads are the showcase of the island. Those which grow in a sunnier areas are excellent. Dried tomatoes are especially flavoursome, they are preserved in extra virgin olive oil and spiced with hot chilli pepper and natural flavours.

Also the production of wine is excellent. Ischia wines are easily recognised thanks to their aromas: oregano, rosemary, broom, wild fennel, herbs found in Campania that influence the aroma of these wines giving them organolectic characteristics typical of this region. Limoncello is a speciality from the island, a liqueur produced following antique recipes with lemon rinds left to soak in alcohol and sugar.