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mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

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mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

Last May I finally spent a day in Ischia going to the castle, having lunch, and doing a bit of shopping. It was very quiet and I did not encounter many people. I liked the vibe as it seemed a little more "old world" and a scenic island to explore.

Please note I love staying in Capri & Positano and know that Ischia is quite different. I'm considering staying a few nights in Ischia this year which means I might not stay in Capri, but this is my concern which some might consider "controversial".

If spending more than a day there how German oriented is it? Does it make a difference on the time of year or which village I stay? I didn't experience a heavy German presence, but most of my time was spent alone in the castle which had hardly any people and I ate at an off time so again not a lot of people.

I have nothing against the German culture, but it would probably drive me crazy if I heard just as much German as I did Italian while choosing to be in Italy.

In Sorrento I'm not always thrilled about the English pubs and fish & chips in the restaurants, but I find it more tolerable while being in Italy since I speak English.

I've read many posts and people say they loved staying in Ischia, but those posts don't answer my questions. Perhaps those people don't mind the area catering to German tourism on their Italian trip so it doesn't affect whether they loved Ischia or not. I've had some Americans tell me it was very German oriented and have also read that as well, but not sure if time of year or location does become a factor.

I'm not looking for statistics, but honest answers from people who have spent time there. My concern is that if I stay and travel around the island I will encounter more of a German oriented atmosphere which I prefer to experience when I decide to spend the vacation in Germany not while in Italy

Edited: 5:54 pm, March 29, 2013
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1. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

I styed on Ischia for 3 days in May 2008, and I took a day trip to Ischia in Feb 2007. At Negombo spa all of the employees were German but theri English was excellant. In 2008 I did not notice any more German tourists that I ususally see in Rome. Ischia was thoroughly Italian.

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2. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

That's interesting that the employees were German and not Italian. Even in Sorrento where it's very British oriented I've always noticed the employees to be local Italians. Were the guests at the Spa mostly German tourists as well or were they Italian tourists?

I've never felt like I was in anything, but an Italian city while in Rome. Of course it's all different types of tourists, but I never felt it to cater to one culture more than another.

Thanks for your input.

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Sorrento
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3. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

Now Lago di Garda on the other hand.....

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4. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

We spent a week in Ischia several years ago.....in September. We had heard about the "heavy German" presence before hand as well. The employees at the hotel spoke German in front of us as we checked in. The "front of the house" of the hotel was primarily German, but not the cleaning staff. We also stopped at a travel agency to inquire about a couple of tours and we're told they were a German Tourist Agency and only catered to Germans.

But in all, I did not notice a "heavy German" presence at restaurants or when walking the streets in the evenings window shopping. This past May we spent a week in Tropea in Calabria. The first afternoon we stopped for lunch on an outside deck of the restaurant...it was full...and every single person at every table was German. We found it that way the entire week.....but only in the afternoon. In the evenings the restaurants were empty and the streets were deserted.

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5. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

"Were the guests at the Spa mostly German tourists as well or were they Italian tourists? "

In Feb there were not many people there. The guests were other Americans, Scandanavians, and Germans. No Italian guests. The Italians at that time of year think it is too cold to go to the spa. Those of us fron cold climates enjoy the winter in Italy

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

At a restaurant that we frequent in Rome near the Colosseum it it often predominately Germans eating there. We think it it the grilled meat and potato entrees that draw them (we don't go there for that).

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6. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

Thanks everyone for the replies.

I've never heard of a Tourist Agency only catering to one nationality in a tourist location. pghguy I'm curious if you enjoyed Ischia overall since you didn't comment one way or another.

MichaelSeattle I'm not sure what your comment means as I've only spent time on Lake Como.

lupaling thanks for sharing your pictures.

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7. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

While I did note you weren't looking for statistics, it's a much harder story to tell without a few!

This little graph is based on the most recent I've seen, for 2010 - with Italians that year over 80% of the visitors by number of arrivals, and 75% by nights stayed....

www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/133250480

But, of the 20% foreigners, by far the most are German - as they've been since perhaps the late 1960s, although numbers have fallen markedly since those days....

(As an aside, try getting an auto-translate of this article, for an idea of the background - it mentions Gernot Walde, creator of Poseidon, and several other people key to the island's links to Germany)

…ischia.it/i-personaggi-e-la-storia-dellisol…

(And I've always considered that they'd been very good for the island - coming for, and respecting, what it was... revelling in the spas and walks etc... with some extremely wealthy individuals behind efforts to ensure local traditions were preserved. And relations are closer than that - the island newspaper once reckoned that 6000 of the islanders (10%) were in families with at least one German inlaw! So yes, German beer in many bars [though why wouldn't you?], few establishments that won't have someone speaking that language on their staff, but generally very few horrors imported!)

.

.

Back to 2010.... quite a way down the list, less than 5000 Brits and under 4000 Americans - many of the latter returnees from Ischian communities abroad, New York and in particular Los Angeles (twinned with the city of Ischia)... for, and with, whom Ischia Ponte annually stages this event, in commemoration of all those who left...

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/emigrants

.....................................

Depends somewhat when you visit; this spans 3 earlier year - Ischia's visitors by month....

www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/122604639

... although the situation has felt much the same since then as well!

The temperatures, general "busy-ness" and fairly absurd prices of high summer tend to see that period being left to Italians - with visitors from abroad coming more (and making up a larger proportion of those here) in "shoulder" months such as May, September and October.

But a look at May suggests a daily average of 4000 foreigners (mostly from Germany) with 7500 Italian holidaymakers - and of course Ischia's own 60,000 residents!

Only you can tell whether perhaps 3,000 of a single nationality, out of the 70,000 people around, would be objectionable?

If still wary, the island's western side - from after Sant'Angelo and round to just beyond Forio - probably sees most of the foreign trade... no great surprise, as that's also where the majority of the hotels are! But whereas a few years back you might have found signs, menus etc written in only Italian and German, that's been changing very quickly - with the arrival now of more and more people from Russia and the countries nearby..

Overall though, the Ischia Ponte / Ischia Porto side is probably the place if wanting a wider mix - with recent Mays here looking something like:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/mayisch

Peter

PS... LL didn't respond to the comment about her "At Negombo spa all of the employees were German.." - however we've several local friends who work there, so that's most certainly not true - although I imagine she had intended to write ITALIAN ???

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8. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

Thanks Peter. The article was very interesting and I love the pictures. It's nice to learn the history of how the tourism evolved over the years and I now have a better understanding.

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9. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

Only half in jest - in reply #4 of this - my favourite explanation of who goes where and why...

tripadvisor.co.uk/…33298747

Perhaps though such "rules" applied only to the package tourist - as individual British families, Camilla's for example, were evidently taking their holidays here:

telegraph.co.uk/travel/celebritytravel/68262…

Peter

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10. Re: mean no disrespect or judgement with these questions...

We did enjoy Ischia. Being slightly out of season, September, there were few other "tourists". Although it was still certainly warm by our standards...it was like others were rushing autum. Store fronts were all showing winter clothes. Other tourists or locals, who seemed to be Italians, were dressed in clothes that I would associate more with fall here in the states.

The pace/vibe was very relaxed which we really liked. We aren't ones for trying to fill each day with a new adventure or activity. So Ischia was a nice fit. We did a few tourist activities...boat trip around the island with a couple of stops, the castle, a trip inland. But mostly it was wandering around enjoying the slow pace. We had a large balcony and the hotel had a pool...so days at the pool (not many other guests using the pool) and evenings before and after dinner on the balcony with a bottle of wine. The balcony had a direct view on the castle and a couple of nights there were fireworks over the castle. Enjoyed several of the restaurants along the water front. the one a recall was the Pink Panther (Pantera Rossa????). The owner was very pleasant and accomodating. Seven days for many may be too much if looking for new, exciting adventures and trying to fit in a new city/town every day. There was certainly other things to do from the spas and mud baths, the beaches, the wineries to keep busy if you want to.

I am really glad we went to Ischia. It was off the beaten path. Really hated the "day trip" we made to Capri sometime before we visited Ischia. I have come to the conclusion that for the most part...day trips into heavily visited tourist places are not worth it. Could not get away from the crowds. Same experience at Cinque Terre. Better to spend time and get into the pace/vibe.

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