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Thomas Hoby

The travels and life of Sir Thomas Hoby

Beeing at Amalfi the Marquess understanding we had not as yet seene the yland of Ischia, willed us in anie wise not to depart owt of the countrey untill we had seene yt : for he assured us it was on of the strongest places and worthiest to bee seene of all Christendom : and overnight cawsed a letter to bee written unto the captain of the towne (which he sent me in the morning) to shew us the same, as cumming from him, for he is nige of kinn unto the Marquess of Pescara, to whom it belongethe. So we made this jorney to Ischia by seea, which is xviij miles from Naples : where after owr arrivall, presenting unto the captain this letter from the Marquess, we were lovinglie receaved and gentlie entertayned. There went with me thither Mr. Stradling, where we laye that night. The next daye we were shewed the situation, strengthe, fortification and ordre of the towne of Ischia.
The maine yland is xx miles in compass, full of great hilles and villages, the towne is seperated from the maine yland and is an yland of it self, saving that on the side towardes the maine yland it hath a bridge made of a heape of stones within piles to go in and owt at. The towne standethe upon a rocke and the castle on hige upon the verie topp of the rocke. Beside the castle, there is a litle privie staiere cutt owt of the stone to go upp and downe at yf neede bee. At the entrie into the towne we must passe iiij or V gates, and somme of yron. After we are passed the first gate, we go throwgh a vawte or entre that is cutt owt of the rocke for passage, in the which we continue untill we cum a hige upon the rocke where the towne standethe, where there is a verie open aere to looke all abowt both by seea and by land. Within the towne there be iiij or v larg sestornes cutt in the verie rocke to receave and keep the raign water within them, which by pipes and conduictes is convayed into them. And indeede in all points we found the towne no lesse then the Marquess had said. Three miies from this towne, there is an other yland adjoining to yt, called Procida, which is nothing so big as this, nor the towne so faire, nor so strong. When we had seene whatsoever was worthe sight in the towne of Ischia, we departed towardes Naples again in a vessell, owr leave first taken of the Captain, who had so gentlie entreated us at owr being there. And thus on neytherside of Naples was there anie thing left unseene that was worthie to be seene.