Forio, the second major town of Ischia, is situated on the west coast of the island. It stretches between two promontories: Punta Caruso, which lies to the north of Forio, is laced with private villas; and Punta Imperatore (where the lighthouse is perched) which lies to the south, protecting the beautiful bay of beached Citara and Cava dell’isola – considered the most beautiful beaches on the island. The Tyrrhenian sea canvas melts into the metallic green of the vineyards which cover the slopes of Mount Epomeo, creating a scene that is truly magical.
Forio covers 13 square kilometres and has a population of 12,638. It ranges from 0 km above sea level to 700 in the Falanga areas.It is the only town which has preserved its entire historical centre with its tiny streets, churches, sighting towers and monuments – all of which are unaltered from their original construction. The main monuments are: the church of Soccorso (pictured on one of the Italian stamps) dedicated to Santa Maria della Neve; the Torrione (big tower); the church of San Francesco da Paola, the church of Arciconfraternita’ of Santa Maria delle Grazie known as Visitapoveri, the Basilica Pontificia S. Maria di Loreto, the church of San Vito, the parish church of S Leonardo Abate, S Maria al Monte. You should visit the exotic garden of villa Gancia, the garden of Lady Walton; the troglodyte house dug into a mass of tufa and the spa gardens Poseidon and Negombo.
The shoreline of Forio not only hosts the most beautiful beaches on the island, but a secluded cove is home to the hot springs for which the island is famous. The Bay of Sorgeto near Panza, which, due to its natural hot water wells, is the favourite place in any season for a midnight dip on a calm evening.