Nook of Naples: Whenever I'm wandering around Naples close to the sea, I often ask my friends, "What is that island over there?"
"That one?" they point.
"Then that one?"
Three islands sit off the coast of Naples -- Capri, Ischia, and Procida. On a clear day, they're visible from the Bay of Naples as well as from Mt. Vesuvius.
Capri is where you can visit the blue lagoon, the Villa of Tiberius, or enjoy the cafes and restaurants that make you feel you're inside the movie with Sophia Loren and Clark Gable, It Started In Naples.
Procida, while smaller with not much to see, has a stunning panorama of the sea captured in the photo that introduces my blog (above). The island is also where the movie Cinema Paradiso was filmed.
Ischia is the spa island where you can receive all kinds of massages, herbal treatments, or take a bus ride to the lavish Gardens of Poseidon. There, you can linger on their private beach or bathe all day in more than twelve different swimming pools. (Though children are permitted in three pools only, all of which are cold water.)
But a fourth island struts directly off the Bay of Naples -- Nisida. Harder to find by car (you get there by passing an industrial area near the Children's Science Center), Nisida has a causeway monitored by a security guard who always lets people pass. Walking toward the island, Italian yachts line the harbor. You can also see the Italian prison at the very top of the island.
While visitors aren't allowed at the prison, if you have an American military pass, you may go down the causeway, hang a left, and flash your ID in order to get past the gate. Here, a tiny military base has yachts that Americans can rent for day-long sailing. There is also an American yachting club that holds competitions during certain times of year.