Cactus Park on Ischia: A Piece of Arizona in Italy

Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

You are an avid traveler. You can’t stay at home more than a month. Something very strong raises you from the easy chair and sends you to the next continent, country, city…. Traveling is your passion. But your other passion is gardening. You like to plant and to do your best to grow your wards to admire their flowers or fruits. How to connect these two passions? Is it possible at all? The answer is a cactus.

A prickly little bundle patiently sits while you travel, and waits for a whole month without demanding anything: watering, fertilization, weeding, pruning…. All it wants is to see you again. It gladly greets you on your return. You water it a little, tell it about your impressions of this or that corner of the world, its nature, people, and traditions. You even show it your most successful pictures. Your cactus listens, absorbing more and more knowledge about the world it will never see, and one day – once a year or even in several years – it blossoms. Its only flower is beautiful, and this is the modest gratitude of your attentive listener for all your numerous travel stories.

Red flowers of a cactus. Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

Red flowers of a cactus. Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

A cactus with white flowers. Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

Cacti live a long life. It’s possible your prickly favorite will outlive you, and one day, your son or daughter will start to tell it their travel stories. That was the case of Giuseppe D’Ambra and his father, residents of Ischia, an island off the southwest coast of Italy not far from the famous island of Capri.

D’Ambra Sr. liked cacti and gathered an impressive collection of them at his home in Forio, Ischia. D’Ambra Jr. grew up among these funny prickly bundles, but probably had not been in love with them until he became a sailor. In his travels, he visited Arizona, in the U.S.A. He was so deeply impressed by this piece of another world on Earth and especially by its cacti, that he started meticulously to expand his father’s collection by bringing home succulents on each of his sea voyages.

Eventually, the collection became so big that their garden was not able to contain all the plants anymore. In 2005, they bought a neighboring plot of land and established a cactus park which is known today as Giardini Ravino. It is an area of 6,000 square meters that hosts 400 species of cacti and succulents (some of them are almost a century old), Cycads, Palm Musaceae, olives, citrus fruits and plants, and different aromatic herbs. You even can meet a peacock among these botanical rarities. The park is also the site of concerts and art and craft exhibitions, and has apartments to rent. It’s possible to buy natural homemade cosmetics in a shop.

Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

Of course, the natural springs and amazing thermal complexes built on them, are the main reason people visit Ischia, but I encourage you to allocate one day or, at least, a morning for visiting Cactus Park by Giuseppe D’Ambra. Even if you are not a big fan of cacti, you will be impressed by the wild imagination of Mother Nature.

Cactus Park of Ischia: Via Provinciale Panza, 140b, 80075 Forio NA, Italy.
Website: https://www.ravino.it/en

Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

A peacock. Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

A peacock.

Purple flowers. Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

A cactus with white flowers. Cactus Park, Ischia, Italy.

More about Italy:

To Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy, accompanied by Orvieto Classico
A Holy City in Cappuccino Style, Assisi, Umbria, Italy
Mausoleum of Hadrian Turned into Castel Sant’Angelo

30 Responses to “Cactus Park on Ischia: A Piece of Arizona in Italy”

  1. Anne Reilly Says:

    Now I want to visit Ischia even more! I enjoy visiting botanical gardens everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ralietravels Says:

    Beautiful.
    “You are an avid traveler. You can’t stay at home more than a month.” — We used to toast each other “to the next trip,” but now we say “to the trip after next” in order to tamp down the feeling that comes at the end of a trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Margaret Aveling Says:

    Hi Victor We have visited Naples several times & even though I Love Naples, I have always wanted to venture further afield & go to Ischia. This year we are cruising from Southampton to Dubai & I am hoping, weather permitting to take the fast ferry to Ischia. I loved seeing your photo of the Cactus Park.
    Seeing we only have a short time – What would you recommend we see in Ischia? 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      Oh, lucky you.
      What can I recommend to visit in Ischia? Unfortunately nothing, excluding this cactus park and any thermal complex. At least, I don’t remember other interesting places.
      Thank you, Margaret.

      Like

  4. Heide Says:

    I wish I were your cactus so I could hear all of your travel stories, Victor! 🙂 But this one is lovely. What a beautiful thing that the son is carrying on his father’s passion, and finding a way to share it with others, too.

    Like

  5. Flavia Vinci Says:

    I haven’t been there since ages! You brought me back some good memories. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. wordsfromanneli Says:

    I first learned that they have parks for cacti when we were in Arizona, and visited a couple of them. They are amazing. This park you visited in Italy is absolutely stunning. Your photos are, as always, excellent, and you have found worthy subject material for them in this visit to Ischia. Thanks for sharing this beautiful experience.

    Like

  7. thewonderer86 Says:

    They are amazing plants and you capture their beauty perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bama Says:

    I love traveling, but at the same time I also love plants. I used to have high-maintenance plants, but there was one time when I returned from a trip and found out some of them terribly wilted or even dead. From that moment on I tend to choose lower maintenance plants (cacti, succulents, some types of philodendrons, etc) over the finicky ones. Oh how I adore the plants in your photos, Victor!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. MassageFeels Says:

    Thanks for the journey, Victor “) An interesting, fun story – I actually appreciate even more these unknown spots with quirky histories. And always great photos =)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pam Says:

    Beautiful! Very familiar to me!

    Like

  11. Brad Nixon Says:

    Spectacular cacti and photographs. Some I’m certain we’ve never seen here in the American southwest.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. spankynet1 Says:

    What an interesting garden and story.Just before I met Frank, I had purchased a little cactus to liven up my place. I managed to kill it within a month. I might have a black thumb but I love cacti. I love your line, “A prickly little bundle patiently sits while you travel” :).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bestregardsfromfar Says:

    Such a lovely place really well captured. Thanks for the share! Marcella

    Liked by 1 person


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