Nitrodi spring is located in Buonopane, part of the municipality of Barano d’Ischia, in one of the most fascinating and least contaminated corner of Ischia which is still similar to that one frequented by the Romans two thousand years ago.

Numerous votive reliefs discovered near the source in 1757 and now preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples attest that the sources were visited for therapeutic purposes since at least the first century BC.

The name of this feature comes from the source “Nitrodi” nymphs which are devoted some of votive reliefs. It is believed that the Greeks already knew and visited the source (we speak of the eighth century BC.), and the recent discovery of the ancient mouths carved into the stone are further evidence to support this hypothesis: it seems the Greeks built a temple dedicated to the nymphs of Apollo and in the vicinity of the source, returning the healing properties of the waters and the protection of divine intervention.

Since 1588 dr. Giulio Jasolino in his book “De’ Rimedi Naturali che sono nell’isola di Pithecusa oggi detta Ischia” thus described the therapeutic properties of the source: “It refreshes this water, tempers bowel and does all those things which can do, and uses to bath in fresh and drinking water, and are the women, however, of the place of good habit of body, and beautiful, because every day they are in that water, to wash clothes, and every day use it. This is more useful to daughters, and children and to other natures, drinking it, and using it in the bathroom. The house is small, as well, partly due to the amenity of the area, and air, and still partly for water, has many old men, who spend ninety. Neither this will be to anyone wonder why men all over the island and women live a long time; but this place certainly passes, and surpasses all others ones”.

In 1847 Dr. Venanzio Marone instead wrote that the water of Nitrodi is to use for medical purpose. It is diuretic, cathartic, and etc.., you could still be used for outdoor use in recent rheumatic affections, and in that capacity may be able to benefit the most natural remedies of those cold and wet places, which are more prone to rheumatism and also because are found in a very distant from the waters of the island.

Great entrepreneur Angelo Rizzoli in the 50s attempted to create a modern spa complex for drinking cure by commissioning a study at the University La Sapienza of Rome, prof. Massimo Mancioli. Rizzoli failed in his attempt but the Mancioli’s study was carried out and showed the characteristic of healing of the Nitrodi water that promotes and regulates urine output, improves the functional capacity of the kidney, resolves or improves gastritis and gastroduodenitis, it is excellent adjuvant in gastroduodenal ulcers, possesses qualities of healing in the skin heals ulcers varicose veins, wounds, fistulas, boils and makes the skin healthy, pure, smooth, bright.

After the official recognition of the healing properties by the Ministry of Health, in 2003, the municipality of Barano d’Ischia has taken steps to transform the area around the source in a pretty plant equipped with showers, fountains, changing rooms and a solarium into an important work of development that has seen retrieve the green surroundings through the creation of interesting routes of hydro -therapy in a park that recalls the sacred grove to the Romans. The park now extends over 3000 square meters is equipped with the utmost respect for nature and the possibility of getting wet with pure water source that is delivered without any chemical additive, relax in the various greenery and panoramic solarium, herbal teas, slush and infusions prepared with the fresh herbs grown on site and try the only cosmetics made with spring water of Nitrodi certified by the Institute for the Protection of Italian manufacturers made with high quality raw materials.

It is not difficult to arrive at Nitrodi: you can be reached by car from Sant’Angelo and Ischia and in its immediate vicinity you can enjoy ample free parking. Nitrodi can be reached by bus lines CD and CS and in summer even with the line 11 from the bay of Maronti.
Along the staircase that starts at the bridge in a few minutes you can reach the beautiful and famous source!

by Francesco Antonio Schiano