I cannot say or emphasize it enough if you are going to Italy please please PLEASE learn at least enough of the language to communicate! I studied for 6 months before our trip so I was not fluent but it made for a wonderful experience to be able to communicate. Some of the worst behavior I have ever seen was from frustrated American tourists who fully arrogantly expected the Italians to speak flawless English while they themselves did not bother to learn a word of Italian. I have found that if you show the respect of at least trying to speak the language, no matter how badly mangled you will receive a warmer reception than those red in the face who think that yelling is going to get their point across. Remember we're visiting their country, why not learn a little bit before you go? That said, in the cities English is more prevalent but where we liked to eat in the family run trattorias the only English you would hear was, "No speak English!"
From the peasant table to the gourmet cuisine, the triumph of the authentic tastes of fertile land and rich sea, real taste?s treasures!
It is not possible to know if it is because of that mountain that climbs towards the sky giving the idea of an island-not-island, or because of the misture of land and sea that Ischia has kept that primitive and wild feeling that now meets modernity . For all this reasons this island is a priceless place, especially for the taste. It is an land island.
Staring from the rabbit, always cooked in terracotta baking-pan with a clove of garlic, wine, little tomatoes, lard and local spices: poor ingredients for an old and very savoury dish.
BUCATINI WITH RABBIT SAUCE
Indivisible from the ischitanian rabbit is this very savoury main course that is served with the very simple but very rich rabbit sauce
In latest years the pit rabbit became like a totem for the island. The rabbit is bred after the old manner. It lives its natural state: wild, in woods and mountains, and grows up (as for many centuries) in pits and only feeds with wild grass.
Appetizer or main course(if served with mozzarella cheese), the caponata directly originates from the typical ?insalata cafona? (peasant salad). The peasant used to eat it for lunch, in the countryside, during the working time. Nowadays there are many recipes, the oldest one combines little tomatoes, onion, stale bread or ?freselle?, salad and wild grass.
Fish in Ischia does not betray.
There are many ways to buy it fresh, directly in fish-shops or at the ?paranza?(trawler) when fishermen come back from the sea after the beating.
Typical of the island are macaroni with sea food, linguine with sea-urchins and different species of local fish served in many ways: marinated, cooked in the oven, with spaghetti. The paranza fry is very famous: a lot of fried little fish of different species depending on what fishermen found.
On Saturday night there was usually a party in the Panza city centre featuring music and entertainment. It usually started about 9 and runs until midnight. It's a very nice way to spend an evening.