I was tired of the stampede of tour buses throughout Italy this summer, so I began looking for a place to try to experience Italy without a bunch of other tourists and bad souvenir shops. I had an extra week of time to spend in Italy and I wanted to find something different. I was done with shopping and seeing ruins, so I set out to find a place to enjoy the beautiful blue seas that Italy had to offer – I wanted to sail! I searched all over for a nice, quiet location with sailing instruction; and with a mid-range budget I never really thought I would find a place that would fit all of these things. However, Google pulled up Le Zagare in Ischia, my paradise in the tourist filled country of Italy!
I exchanged a number of emails with the owner of Le Zagare, Andrea, in order to learn more about the sailing instruction and the island of Ischia. He provided me with an overview of their three day beginner sailing class and offered me a competitive hotel rate for five days with a sea view and breakfast…sold!
I took the ferry from Sorrento to Ischia and then caught a public bus from the port of Ischia to Casamicciola, a small, sleepy town only 5 km away with a nice marina. Andrea told me to get off at the Bar Topless bus stop – assuring me that it had nothing to do with a topless bar! The buses were very crowded as I arrived on a Saturday morning and the island of Ischia is a popular spot. It seemed to be mainly popular with Italian tourists; since I heard very little English around me. This immediately made me excited; for this place must be wonderful if the Italians come here! I asked the bus driver to tell me where Bar Topless was and he made sure that I got out at the right stop. From there I took a short five minute walk (albeit uphill) to Le Zagare Hotel. It’s easier to arrive by taxi from the port, but when traveling around the world for year, one needs to be economical when one can!
After dragging my heavy luggage up to the entrance, I was warmly welcomed in the lobby by Andrea and his wife Kate, who exclaimed, “You must be Sherry!” They immediately offered me a big, cold glass of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Le Zagare means “citrus fruit” in Italian, and it’s a fitting name since they have a lemon orchard behind the hotel. It was also fitting that the hotel is painted a bright, welcoming yellow color trimmed in white – it is so bright and cheery and clean – I knew I had made a good choice. The hotel also has a small pool with a patio space for lounging. Le Zagare is set high on a hill, so the hotel has stunning views of the sea and the town.