With an area of only 2,07 square kilometres it is the smallest municipality of Ischia, but also the most densely populated – about 4,500 residents live here. The municipality in the north-west of the island it famous for its mineral waters and exclusive hotels, but most of all for its history: around 770 BC Greeks from Eubea founded the very first settlement of western Greece on the hill of Lacco Ameno.
The main areas are Fango, Pannella, Fundera and Campo.
The emblem of Lacco Ameno is the Fungo, a mushroom shaped tufa rock off the coast that welcomes visitors to the pedestrian area. The heart of Lacco Ameno is Via Roma and Corso Angelo Rizzoli, which starts at the small port and follows the coastline to Piazza Santa Restituta. This main shopping area is partially closed for traffic. The municipality also includes the hilly inland area of Fango, the lovely bay of San Montano and to the west the promontory of Zaro.
Although the borough is very small, it is a concentration of the island’s only excavations, the most glamorous hotels, a beautiful town centre, beaches, spas and lots of local colour!
Located on the island of Ischia, occupies the north-west and extends from the coast to the foothills of Mount Epomeo. Bordered to the east and west with Casamicciola Terme with Forio.
The name Lacco according to most scholars is derived from the greek Lakkos which means stone. On 18 November 1862 the City Council, chaired by the Mayor Carmine Mennella, asked the King Vittorio Emanuele II, the addition of "Ameno" to the name Lacco.
PLACES TO VISIT
IL FUNGO – The mushroom rock
During a volcanic eruption several centuries ago this rock rolled down the mountainside to its present position a few metres off the port of Lacco Ameno. The emblem of the borough was slowly eroded by the elements to the form of a mushroom, giving origin to romantic legends.
PIAZZA SANTA RESTITUTA
It is the largest square of the borough, situated at the end of the pedestrian area. The town hall, the church of Santa Restituta and the most elegant hotel of the town are situated around a small central park. In ancient time it was the necropolis of the Greek settlers; the first Christian church was built here in the 4 century.
CHURCH OF SANTA RESTITUTA
Damaged by 1883’s earthquake, the church dating to the 14th century has been lovingly restored. Interesting canvases and statues can be seen here: above the altar canvas by Mastroianni of Our Lady of Carmine, St. Augustine and St. Restituta on a boat pulled by angels painted by Balbi. To the left statue dedicated to the Sacred Heart, altar and canvas to the Holy Trinity (18th century), from the 16th century the Virgin of Carmel with Baby Jesus, and a crucifix from 1500.
The Duke of Atri, Carlo D’Acquaviva, built this Villa over the Santa Restituta Square in 1785 on the site of Neolithic and Bronze settlements. Today it is used as the Archaeological Museum of Pithecusa, where findings of the Greek settlement, like the Cup of Nestor and the Crater of the Shipwrecked, are on display. The beautiful park around the villa connects Santa Restituta Square with the main street over Lacco Ameno and is open to public. Concerts and exhibitions are planned for the summer.
MUSEUM AND EXCAVATIONS OF SANTA RESTITUTA
The museum, created by the rector Don Pietro Monti, has its entrance on the right side of the churchyard. It is a very personal mixture between religous objects, historical and prehistorical findings and an underground excavation area.
Entering on the ground floor one arrives to four rooms displaying relics, silver votive offerings, procession crosses, religious ornaments, paintings, nativity figures, as well as medieval ceramics and Neapolitan statuettes from the 18th and 19th century.
Going downstairs one arrives to the four sections of the archaeological area.
The first part is a Greek “industrial” area with a clay workshop, ovens, kilns and decanters, dating from 700 – 200 B.C.
In the second section one can see walls in the Roman style of opera reticulata, but also sepulchres cut into the floor. The
small altar protects relics of St. Restituta. Furthermore sepulchres from pagan and medieval times and roman marble coffins.
The third part is a display of geological effects, instruments, cups and dishes from the Bronze Age, findings from the Greek settlements and tomb fittings.
The last section is the ancient Christian cemetery, surrounded by various tombs and sepulchres often one on top of the other.
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