The island of Ischia, in the Bay of Naples, has long been a refuge for artists, musicians, writers and screen personalities. Immediately after the second world war William Walton came to live on Ischia with his Argentinian wife Susana. Their home, La Mortella – the place of the myrtles – is set in exotic tropical gardens renowned throughout Europe. Originally designed by the landscape architect Russell Page , they were opened to the public in 1991 and today can be visited between April and November. The house is built on the side of a volcanic hill and includes a Recital Hall and the Archive. Created in 1990, the Archive contains Sir William’s letters, photographs, manuscripts and memorabilia. It offers an important resource for both students and enthusiasts, and part of the material is today on permanent exhibition in the Museum.
In the Recital Hall, two Seasons of chamber music concerts are staged, one in Spring and one in Autumn. Young musicians sent from Italian and foreign Schools of Music perform more than 70 weekend concerts, all open to the public.