Had I known more about what the island of Ischia held in store, I would not have passed it by years ago when I visited nearby Naples, Italy. Sigh. Add another destination to the ‘someday’ travel list. It has all the top requirements for a perfect vacation: 1) you have to take a boat to get there 2) it has unique geography and great gardens to visit and 3) it speaks either French of Italian. (in my book, a destination that can check off all three of these will, no doubt, be the consummate retreat.)
“La Mortella” (which is open to the public), was created by Susana Walton, wife of the late British composer Sir William Walton. It features tree ferns, Proteas, Aloes, Yuccas, Agaves,Magnolias, Camellias, Bahuinias, Palm trees, and Cycads. There is also a near constant orchestral concert series that runs in the garden.
On the island is also the Giardini Ravino which has it’s own unique style. Combine the two and you have created a interesting mini garden tour that will provide two very different island aesthetics.
Lady Walton did not however work alone to create this beautiful place. She, in 1956, asked the famous landscape architect Russell Page to provide a design for the layout of the garden that would include the dramatic volcanic rocks. The design of the garden takes advantage of the suggestive natural landscape and its openings towards the Mediterranean Sea.