Stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) 2013 edition is a 17.4km Team Time Trial (TTT). This is the only team time trial stage in the race. The course will be from Ischia to Forio (Ischia is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea).
DATE: May 05 2013, Sunday
STAGE TYPE: Team Time Trial (TTT)
START-FINISH: Ischia (4m) > Forio (7m)
LENGTH OF THE COURSE: 17.4 km
Ischia is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It lies at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, about 30 km from the city of Naples. It is the largest of the Phlegrean Islands (wiki).
Ischia is really a beautiful island with its historical castle (Castle Aragonese/Castello Aragonese), nature and beaches. Main sights are Castello Aragonese, Gardens of La Mortella, Gardens of Villa Ravino, Villa La Colombaia, Maronti Beach, etc.
Castello Aragonese (Aragonese Castle) is a medieval castle next to Ischia (one of the Phlegraean Islands), at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, Italy. It was built in 474 BC by Hiero I of Syracuse, tyrant of Syracuse in Sicily from 478 to 467 BC. The castle stands on a volcanic rocky islet that connects to the larger island of Ischia by a causeway (Ponte Aragonese). The rock was then occupied by Parthenopeans (the ancient inhabitants of Naples). In 326 BC the fortress was captured by Romans, and then again by the Parthenopeans. In 1441 Alfonso V of Aragon connected the rock to the island with a stone bridge instead of the prior wood bridge, and fortified the walls in order to defend the inhabitants against the raids of pirates. Around 1700, about 2000 families lived on the islet, including a Poor Clares convent, an abbey of Basilian monks (of the Greek Orthodox Church), the bishop and the seminar, the prince with a military garrison. There were also thirteen churches. In 1809, the British troops laid siege to the island, under the French command, and shelled to destroy almost completely. In 1912, the Castle was sold to a private owner. Today the castle is the most visited monument of the island. It is accessed through a tunnel with large openings which let the light enter. Along the tunnel there is a small chapel consecrated to John Joseph of the Cross (San Giovan Giuseppe della Croce), the patron saint of the island. A more comfortable access is also possible with a modern lift. After arriving outside, it is possible to visit the Church of the Immacolata and the Cathedral of Assunta. The first was built in 1737 on the location of a smaller chapel dedicated to Saint Francis, and closed after the suppression of Convents in 1806 as well as the nunnery of the Clarisses. Source: wikipedia