Ischia: The Chic Italian Island Neighboring Capri
The Italian island, long in the shadow of its fashionable neighbor, Capri, is newly chic, but remains deeply authentic, with rocky harbors more likely to dock fishing boats than megayachts.
I fell for Ischia well before I ever visited it in person. In the 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley, the scene where Tom, the main character, happens upon Marge and Dickie, the couple he is pursuing, was filmed beneath the islands Aragonese castle on its golden beach (the Spiaggia dei Pescatori, the beach of the fishermen). The couples beautiful, tanned physiques and relaxed smiles, the perfect sand and tranquil sea, were a cinematic ad to move to Italy, and to Ischia, immediately.
Ischia is one of a trio of islands (known as the Phlegraeans) off Naples that also includes Capri and Procida. Capris size and popularity with day trippers means it can easily feel overrun and overexposed. Procida is the smallest of the three and has never gotten the attention of its siblings (although it too is worth a visit for its pastel villages and artisan workshops).