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IS PARADISE A WILD GARDEN?

This unique site on the island of Ischia is an expression of local plantlife reappropriating the cliff which was once destined to the cultivation of grapevines and olive trees by the skilled hands of countless generations.

Layer after layer, these sloping terrains reveal their volcanic origins and house an array of trees, notably olive trees, eucalyptuses, maritime pines, laurels, locust trees and other such trees known for their staunch vitality. Spontaneous plants make up the majority of denizens in the garden, among them are agaves (called “semprevivi” in the local dialect), mastic trees, helichrysum, wild orchyds, rosemary and herbs carefully selected over centuries for the care and nourishment of people and animals.

Spontaneous plants have adpated to climate change and vary according to the season, adjusting to increasingly dry summers.

Our rationale has been to avoid planting trees and herbs which require irrigation to avert water consumption, with water being both a precious and rare resource on the island. We also seek not to hinder the natural development of plants that innately know how to colonize and spread in their own habitat.

The place name Succellario originates from the thermal spring that flows among its rocks. The spring was already known in ancient times to Strabo (64 BC – 19 AD), and was cited in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia (23 AD - 25th August 79 AD).

The spring was also referred to as possessing “beauty-bestowing waters” both by Giovanni Elisio in 1519 and physician Giulio Iasolino in 1588 in the notable work Natural Remedies of the Island of Ischia.

A path winds its way among the scented herbs from the top of the cliff down to the blue waters of the Protected Marine Area known as “Neptune's Realm”. The views and steep drops enthuse the onlooker. In springtime the air along the path takes on the rich scent of prickly brooms whose yellow hues mimic the colour of the sun. In the summer heat, you may come across a rare wild carnation and be lulled by the sea breeze in the shade of olive trees and locust trees.

Paradise is a wild garden here.

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