An Ischia Reflection

The Ischia Project started with the intention of presenting a snap shot of the Island's life as it were for the month of May 2014. What originally started off as a photography exploration slowly turned more dynamic. As I started to interview more people I would find others that were excited about the project as well. A question that I kept being asked was, "So who else would you like to talk to," The Island was so well knit that everyone seemed to want to help out with all of their connections.

I originally had the goal of three interviews, but that turned into five, and then quickly ten as the month progressed. Although a good starting point I found that trying to piece together the cultural dynamic of the island through the eyes of an outsider is almost a near impossible task. Talking to a wide range of people you would hear new themes and ideas that required a ton of exploration themselves. I could have went off just to talk about the pizza, the medicinal value of the hot springs, or even the theory of how to cook rabbit. 

Traditionally when I write about a location I like to end with three things that I've learned about that spot. While there is a ton more to say, here is my attempt

Three things I've noticed about Ischia:

  1. Homemade Vino - I loved the fact that many families would have their own plot of land near their property to make their own wine. Each one tasted homegrown and different. Drinking wine in unmarked bottles poured from the makers was awesome.
  2. Traffic - The way that traffic flows around the streets says a lot about a culture. In Ischia there was a ton of honking, but never angry. Honking was almost always done to say hello to your friends. If someone was talking to their friend in the middle of the road, the cars would stop behind but not cause a fuss. They would know the conversation would be over soon and move on. Rushed, but patient and forgiving. 
  3. Muscles on the rock - Lastly, one of the most powerful things I heard about the culture of Ischia was told to me by Brigida Manco. She said that the people of Ischia were like the muscles on the rock by the sea. The locals were drawn to the island and would always find themselves back to it.