"At IL MONASTERO, light surrounds the entire landscape: first Ischia, then the Gulf of Naples all around and, on the horizon, the Mediterranean and the Campania coast."
"For us, this place embodies a kind of otherness, the ability to have a new perspective on things. The Castle allows you to do just that: set yourself at the right distance."
"Our grandfather, the lawyer Nicola Ernesto Mattera, bought the Aragonese Castle of Ischia from the government in 1912: 25,000 lire for 25 centuries of abandoned history: a fortress, prison, convent, churches and gardens, all in ruins."
"Today, we, the third generation, are the guardians of the history and beauty of this place."
"Here the past is present. It is everywhere. And it's also the foundation for tomorrow."
Since the 1970s, our father Gabriele Mattera (artist and painter) and our mother Karin (German graphic designer, with a different, more modern and international vision of the world, who has been able to give new energy to Gabriele's mission of restoration and revitalisation of the Castle) have carried out many of the most important restoration works.
During these years, Karin and Gabriele also gave life to intense cultural projects, made up of meetings, friendships and exhibitions of Italian and international artists, which we continue today with the association AMICI DI GABRIELE MATTERA.ART AND CULTURE
In the 1970s, a lift was built into the rock. This made the castle accessible for visits and hospitality. Travellers wishing to stay in the former convent were given sheets and candles for the night.
This idea of hospitality, a little naïve and "simple", was the starting point for L'ALBERGO DEL MONASTERO (THE MONASTERO HOTEL).
In the 1980s, LA CAFFETTERIA DEL MONASTERO (THE MONASTERO SNACK BAR) was opened for visitors who wanted to refresh themselves during their visit, and we, the young people, often "served" there.
Over time, it has become a welcoming bistro that changes its menu according to the time of day, offering breakfast, lunch, tea and aperitifs.
The desire to create a kitchen that could reproduce our family's recipes for hotel guests came later, in the 1990s, when we realised that we could tell our story at the table over a meal.
LA CUCINA DEL MONASTERO was born from this idea.
Lo studio (The Art Studio)
In 2020, the castle's bookshop evolved with the opening of LO STUDIO.
What was once our father's workshop has been opened to the public and now offers the works of Italian artists and craftsmen, selected with care and enthusiasm.
The texts in quotation marks at the top of the page are taken from the article/interview "Un castello in mezzo al mare" (A castle in the middle of the sea) published in the book "Dimore d'Italia. Recettes secrètes des palais italiens" (Residences in Italy. Secret Recipes from Italian Palaces) published by Hachette, edited by Alba Pezone.