One of the joys of coming to Ischia is experiencing its untamed rural character, a feeling exemplified by handsome neo-Renaissance villa La Colombaia. It's little wonder, perhaps, as this is the former bachelor pad of flamboyant Italian film director Luchino Visconti.

Born into one of Milan’s wealthiest families in 1906, Visconti received an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay for his 1969 film The Damned, about a wealthy German family that turns fascist. His aesthetically restored home now houses an arts foundation, which includes a documentary library focussing on Visconti and cinema history, as well as costumes, set pieces and stills from his films. It’s also a venue for the Ischia Film Festival and regularly holds edgy and interesting exhibitions.