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G. B. De Ferrari’s considerations on Ischia in 1826

mappa ischia

In 1826 G. B. De Ferrari publishes his “New Guide to Naples and to the environs of Procida, Ischia and Capri”. What follows is a part of the section dedicated to Ischia. The future portyard is still a lake, compared by to the Author to the near Miseno Lake; the sinister use of the “marrazzo” by some inhabitants of the Island is also mentioned. ORIGINAL VERSION

de vasi ingleseHAMLET CALLED IL BORGO AND THE LAKE OF ISCHIA

Proceeding on, the traveler arrives at a small hamlet called il Borgo, a short distance beyond which there is on the right side of the road, a small lake. From an iscription which is still apparent on the entrance to it, it seems that this spot was in 1760 offered by the Comon of Ischia to king Ferdinand for fishing […]. The traveller who has already seen Mare Morto near Miniscola [1] will perceive some resemblance between that and the present lake, both being separated from the sea by a mere neck of land, but this one is far smaller than the other.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE ISLAND AND ITS INHABITANTS

[…] The inhabitants in general are well made, of a fine stature, lively, and more disposed for an active life than most men in southern countries; this deisposition is very likely comunicated to them by the ambient air which they breath, being exposed, continually agitated by winds, and impregnated with nitrous and sulfuric atoms. Their number in the whole island amounts to 24000, four thousand of which occupy the town, a great number of whom, as well ass, of those belonging to Foria and Casamicca, are sailors or fishermen; the rest may be divided into three classes, namely freeholders, manufacturers and labourers who constantly wear their hooks hanging on their side; we have heard respectable persons lamenting such a habit, as this instrument becomes a dangerous weapon whenever quarrels arise among them.

The number of foreigners and Neapolitan gentlemen who go to Ischia, to take baths or stoves, is very considerable. Others repair there merely to see the interesting parts of the Island, and the expense of all greatly contributes to the prosperity of the inhabitants, especially at Casamiccia which contains the most frequented baths and stoves. For the rest natural remedies of this kind may be found in almost every corner of the island, and their different temperatures and effect offer as many means of curing an equal number of infirmities.

The government of the Island with respect to ecclesiastical affairs is trusted to a Bishop residing at Celso; the judicial power is excercised by tho Justices one of whom seats likewise at Celso, and the other at Foria; at leght the administrative authority ends in the respective mayors (Sindaci) who depend on the Sous prefecture (Sott’intendenza) of Pozzuoli

[1]Lake Miseno (click here)

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