The sweet Ischitan nights are best spent outdoors, enjoying a bit of people-watching from the terraces of the many cafes strategically located on the most picturesque seaside promenades and panoramic outlooks. The elegant cafes around the harbor in Ischia are perfect for aperitivo, but we also like the unassuming Da Lilly, a shack on the rocks, with a simple terrace overlooking the Spiaggia dei Pescatori in Ischia Ponte. La Floreana (tel. 081-999570), at the belvedere of Serrara Fontana, is perfect for a sunset aperitivo (there is also a simple restaurant). Another great place for a sundowner (plus dinner if you like) is the laid-back La Tavernetta del Pirata (tel. 081-999251), which overlooks the little harbor at Sant'Angelo. Other pleasant cafes line the seaside promenade of Forio and Lacco Ameno; we enjoy Bar Franco, Via Roma 94, Lacco Ameno (tel. 081-980880), where you can sit at the pleasant outdoor terrace facing the beach or simply sample their excellent ice cream. We are rather partial to ice cream and highly recommend those made at De Maio, Piazza Antica Reggia 9, Ischia Porto (tel. 081-991870), the best ice-cream parlor on the island; claiming 80 years of experience, the shop makes wonderful creamy flavors. A few doors away is Da Ciccio, Via Porto 1, Ischia Porto (no phone), which makes more creative flavors by adding in nuts, chocolate bits, and so on.

We recommend the concerts of classical music and jazz organized by the William Walton Foundation in the lovely gardens of Villa La Mortella, Via F. Calise no. 35, 80075 Forio Isola d'Ischia (tel. 081-986220; The season runs from April to November; concert tickets include admission to the garden and cost 20€ for adults, 15€ for children 13 to 18, and 10€ for children 6 to 12. If you are lucky enough to be on the island for the Ischia Jazz Festival ( in September, make advance reservations for the scheduled concerts, which usually include some famous international names.

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