Sitting on the northern coast of the lovely island of Ischia, Casamicciola Terme is a spa resort, lying between the towns of Lacco Ameno and Ischia itself. The colourful legend has the name coming from Casa Nizola, with Nizola being a Roman woman who lost the use of her legs ... then miraculously regained the same after dipping the palsied limbs into the warm waters of the local stream. A lovely story, and who knows, it may even be true. The modern development of the spa begins in the 17th century however, with the hotwater stream now bubbling up through the local fountain of Gurgitello (a splendidly onomatapaeic name for a fountain). The enterprising locals developed the spa complex of Pio Monte della Misericordia of Naples, and by the 19th century the royalty of Europe were flocking here to take the soothing and healing waters.
A major earthquake in 1883 threw a spoke into the tourist trade, but Casamicciola emerged bigger and better and with a splendid new centre around the Piazza Marina, adding a very pretty harbour in the 1920s. Casamicciola expanded up the pretty green hills of the hinterland and in the 1950s, 'Terme' was added to the name in recognition of the thermal spa. There aren't many old buildings thanks to that earthquake, but Casamicciola is two very attractive towns in one - with the older spa centre and the buzzing harbour front, white boats bobbing on blue Mediterranean waters.