Forio is the second major town of Ischia according to population number and importance. It stretches between two promontories, Punta Caruso (at Zaro) and Punta Imperatore, between the considered most beautiful beaches on the island and into the metallic green of the vineyards which cover the slopes of Mount Epomeo, descending into a scene of incomparable beauty. Forio covers 13 square kilometres and has a population of 12,638 inhabitants; it ranges from 0 km above sea level to 700 in the Falanga areas. It is divided into the hamlets of Forio and Panza with other peripheral villages (Monterone, Cuotto, and Citara).
It is the only town which has preserved its entire historical centre with its tiny streets, churches, sighting towers and monuments - all of which are unaltered from their original construction. The main monuments are: the church of Soccorso (pictured on one of the Italian stamps) dedicated to Santa Maria della Neve, the Torrione (big tower), the church of San Francesco da Paola, the church of Arciconfraternita’ of Santa Maria delle Grazie known as Visitapoveri, the Basilica Pontificia S. Maria di Loreto, the church of San Vito, the parish church of S Leonardo Abate, S Maria al Monte. You should visit the exotic garden of villa Gancia, the garden of Lady Walton; the troglodyte house dug into a mass of tufa and the spa gardens Poseidon.
If Ischia town is considered to be the business centre of the island, Forio is probably the cultural one. In the 1950s it was an international meeting place for show business personalities (Luchino Visconti, Pierpaolo Pasolini, Sir William Walton, Eduardo De Filippo, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton), writers (Elsa Morante, Alberto Moravia, Renato Guttuso, Auden, Pablo Neruda), politicians (Pietro Nenni) and the jet-set (Jackelin Kennedy, Aristotele Onassis) and many others.
The wavy shoreline of Forio allows bathing not just from the beaches but also from other more secluded spots. You can easily get to Zaro or to the only Bay of Sorgeto near Panza which, due to its hot water wells, is the favorite place in any season for a midnight dip.