Capri may be the best known island in the Gulf of Naples, but if you prefer to go off the beaten track, we suggest venturing to the less touristy and less expensive Ischia.
This 17-square-mile island, located an hour's ferry trip from Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea, is home to a wealth of beaches, natural hot springs and therapeutic thermal spas. Unlike Capri, you typically won't find many tourists here. It's mainly Italians who head to this volcanic oasis year after year.
Like most of Italy, the food in Ischia is one of its main draws. But while Naples and the towns of the Amalfi coast are revered for culinary delights such as cheese and fresh seafood, the cuisine here is decidedly different. One popular local dish is mountain rabbit served with fresh herbs, in a spaghetti or in a stew.
For outdoor activities other than lounging on the beach, look no further than the rolling volcanic mountains that dominate the inland part of the island. And for a taste of Ischia's rich history, visit the Aragonese Castle. This formidable fortress, which dates back nearly 2,500 years, is accessible via a stone bridge from Ischia Ponte.