Castello Aragonese on the Volcanic Island of Ischia

Located in Italy, at the end of the Gulf of Naples, Castello Aragonese is a medieval castle that is quite unique in its own way. This castle is on a tidal island of the volcanic island of Ischia. To be more specific, it is on a rocky islet whose formation goes back to a volcano eruption 300,000 years ago. While former castles and watchtowers existed before it, since the medieval times Castello Aragonese has towered over this islet. Moreover, the castle and the islet are connected to Ischia, the main island, by a 200-meter bridge called the Ponte Aragonese.

Castello Aragonese

The name of Castello Aragonese comes from Alfonso I of Aragorn. Alfonso was also the one who built the stone bridge that connected the castle to Ischia as well.

Castello Aragonese from below

Ischia and the castle have a really rich history, to say the least. The first mention of a castle in the islet comes from the 5th century BCE, Hiero I of Siracusa. In the beginning, Hiero built two towers to observe and control the movement of enemy ships. After some time, the island was occupied by the Parthenopeans and then the Romans. The current version of Castello Aragonese is mostly a product of the former Kingdom of Sicily and its ruler.

Castello Aragonese bridge to mainland

One of Alfonso’s biggest contributions to the castle was to modernize the connector bridge. Before the Aragorn King, the bridge was from wood and it was very unstable. Moreover, pirates constantly roamed the sea and attacked it. Therefore, Alfonso turned the wooden bridge into a stone one which is still in use.

Castello Aragonese and the sunset

However, Castello Aragonese was not just a castle. It was a town on its own with nearly 2000 inhabitants living together. The island was home to many churches, military garrisons, convents, and abbeys. Naturally, as time passed, the castle lost its significance and was in ruins for a long time.

Castello Aragonese at night

In 1912, a lawyer from Italy bought the castle in ruins and the land from the Italian government and the army for a big sum. After the acquisition, the lawyer worked tirelessly to renovate Castello Aragonese. Today, thanks to his efforts, the castle is one of the most popular places in Italy.

the castle interior
the castle interior walls
the castle ground