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The port of Ischia

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The port of Ischia

In the past the port was a lake, called Suburb’s Lake, of Bagno or Pantariello. According to Pliny, it risen up between the IV-III B.C., from an ancient crater, collapsed because of a earthquake later. It was almost 2 m deep, stretched on 100.000 square meters with a built up area inside, the Tondo, nowadays in ruin. In 140 A.D. prince Marco, the famous Marco Aurelio, asked his master Frontone the meaning of a Island inside a lake and a larger island: Aenaria. Frontone answered: as a large island which protects the islet from the tempests so the King father protects his son prince.
Between the II and III cent. A.D., the ancient lake structure changed because of the Montagnone’s eruption, returning to its original form.
In 1670 it was created a small inlet to favorite the passage of water across the lake. To the South of hill, close to lake, in 1735 a casino was built by the bourbon court doctor Francesco Buoncore. It was a summer house and a luxury Clinique for big names at the same time. They arrived in Ischia to have bath into our Fornello and Fontana thermal springs.
Two important characters in the Lake’s story: Ferdinand IV and Ferdinand II. The lake and casino by Buonocore, were a strong attraction for Ferdinand IV, who prefers to fish. He rented the house and adjoining lands, belonging to priest Pasquale Manso and the lake belonging to Università d’Ischia. In 1815, when the Bourbons come to the throne, Francesco IV took over Casino Buonocore, in this way it become part of the royal properties. Afterward it passed on Ferdinand II.
He was very motivated to be in favour of the port opening. Cutting the lake, he wants to improve the island economy. In this way he could reach easily the Casina Reale, on foot crossing Arso, the small street that leads to Villa dei Bagni. The inspector, Dr Luigi Oberty and the Genio colonel, Domenico Milo, presented the project of the port construction near the lake and the King approved of it on July 19th 1853.
On July 25th 1853 the works began directed by Cavalier Camillo Quaranta. It consisted of the removal of the beach land lowly because of the foul alga that covered the zone. Because of the rudimental equipments, the work was really hard. Finally on July 31st 1854 at 7 o’clock p.m. the first boat went across the lake: the royal steamship Delfino. On September 17th 1854 the inauguration day and a solemn ceremony opened by Ferdinand II. The works went on for years with the lighthouse, cliff and other buildings.

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