Barano is a municipality (or "comune" in Italian) on the southwestern coast of the island of Ischia that stretches over an expanse of hilly countryside backing the large Maronti beach. Over the centuries, landslides have created a series of canyons that offer breathtaking scenic overlooks and lead to thermal springs like Cavascura, Olmitiello, and Nitrodi. The first inhabitants of this area of the island were ancient Greeks, who settled here from 770 BC.
You can easily reach Barano from the two major ports on Ischia: Ischia Porto and Casamicciola Terme. Ferries from Naples (Napoli), Capri, and other mainland ports dock here. The fastest way to travel between the port and Barano d'Ischia is by taxi; fares begin at about EUR 10 and it takes about ten minutes to reach the town.
You can also take the bus to Barano, either the "circolare destra" or "circolare sinistra" route. Buses leave every 10 or 15 minutes and stop at other island towns like Forio, Ischia Ponte, and Lacco Ameno.
If you are bringing your car to the island, remember that you can embark vehicles all year round on Ischia (though only non-residents of the region of Campania can bring vehicles from April to September). In the high season summer months, especially July and August, traffic can be snarled and parking hard to find, however.
The center of town is located inland, but the town and area surrounding Barano are known primarily for its large Maronti beach, which stretches over three kilometers of sand and is home to a number of beach clubs and free public beaches. You can enjoy water sports, dine in a number of cafès and restaurants, or take in the thermal springs just behind the beach; Ischia is famous for its hot springs and there are a number of thermal parks on the island.
The Pine Grove at Fiaiano
One of the largest wooded parks on Ischia is located at Barano: the Pineta di Fiaiano, or Fiaiano Pine Grove, which covers eight hectares of Mediterranean woodland and overlooks a view stretching from the Castello Aragonese to Procida, Vivara, and the Flegrea Coastline. The Indiana Park is located inside this wooded area, a treetop adventure park with climbing ropes and panes, rope bridges, and itineraries for children and adults.
Take bus 6 from Ischia Porto.
The Fountain of Nymphs at Nitrodi
The Nitrodi spring that runs from Olmitiello to the Maronti beach has been known for its therapeutic benefits since the third century BC, as shown by the number of votive inscriptions depicting Apollo and nymphs found here and now displayed in Naples' National Archaeological Museum.
There are thermal showers and basins where the waters run in their natural state, with no treatments or additives. Yoga, meditation, and stretching classes are held here, and you can also book massages, private baths, or other treatments in the adjacent spa.
If you are interested in art and history, pop in to visit the Chiesa di San Giorgio in the Testaccio district and the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, built in the 13th century and home of a belltower and statue of the "Addolorata". Located in the hamlet of Buonopane, this church is especially known on the island because each year the "'ndrezzata" is performed in the sacristy, a traditional island dance that dates back centuries.
Three things to do in Barano
- Spend a day at Maronti beach
- Have lunch along the coast at Sgarrupata
- Relax in the thermal baths of Nitrodi.
Though its old town is set inland, Barano today is famous for its large and well-equipped I Maronti beach: the kilometers of sandy coastline that has both beach clubs and free public areas where visitors can practice water sports, relax at the beachfront cafés and restaurants, or unwind at the thermal baths just behind the beach.
- Cavascura: thermal baths dating from Roman times where you can rejuvenate with therapeutic muds, baths, natural saunas, and massages. You can easily reach the baths by taxi boat from Sant’Angelo (EUR 3) or on foot from the Maronti beach (around 15 minutes). To get to the baths, you need to walk through the canyon carved from the rock for a few hundred meters.
- Olmitiello: a thermal spring that runs directly out of the tufa rock cliffs that is known to be therapeutic for skin conditions. You can reach the spring by following the stream that runs through the center of the Maronti beach upstream through the hills.
You can reach the Maronti beach via bus routes 5, 10, or 11.
La SgarrupataThe Barano coast descends steeply to the sea and is home to a number of the most beautiful hidden spots on Ischia, including the Sgarrupata beach, a stretch of pebble-and-boulder coastline with crystalline waters that is difficult to reach by land and is home to the excellent La Pace fish and seafood restaurant. The path to the beach starts at the Chiesa della Madonna di Montevergine in Schiappone, but is only recommended for those who are physically fit and do not suffer from heights. Otherwise, take a water taxi from Sant’Angelo.
Barano d'Ischia is ideal for those who want to explore the island's beaches and countryside, as it's set just a bit off the beaten path and is not as crowded as other towns on the island. You need to have a car or scooter to get around the island if you book a hotel or holiday home here, however.
Book a Barano d'Ischia hotel if:
- you are traveling with young children (opt for lodgings near the Maronti beach!)
- you are a hiking buff
- La Pace: an excellent seafood restaurant on the Sgarrupata beach, far from the crowds and with stunning sea views.
From the mountains to the sea
The beating heart of Ischia
Where thermal waters reign
At the foot of the Castello Aragonese
The smallest town on Ischia