Mount Epomeo

il monte epomeo d'Ischia

The Island of Ischia offers everything that can make a travel experience unique. There is the sea, with beautiful beaches and wonderful thermal parks, there is nature with the must-see “Giardini La Mortella” and “Giardini Ravino,” and there is the mountain, which offers hiking and trekking trails rich in breathtaking views. And yes, because despite being a small island, only 46 km2, Ischia has a mountain that is 782 meters high, Mount Epomeo. Excursions to Ischia, however, are not only on Mount Epomeo but everywhere because the island is covered with abundant vegetation, consisting mostly of woods, vineyards, and Mediterranean scrubland. And it is precisely the forest formation, which in the past formed a single green cloak, that struck the ancient peoples who landed on the island, starting with the Euboeans, who founded the first colony in Magna Graecia, calling it Pithecusa, and later renaming it “Green Island”.

Ischia offers many itineraries for excursions, as it is rich in trails, sometimes even unexplored, through which it is possible to get to know the natural and cultural peculiarities of the island’s territory up close.

Currently, not all paths are well mapped, but the possible excursions to Ischia are still numerous: it is possible to reach the Punta Imperatore lighthouse; Piano Liguori with its rural landscapes and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples; the summit of Mount Epomeo; Santa Maria al Monte and La Falanga; the Zaro forest; Pizzi Bianchi; Piano San Paolo with its springs and marine fossils at 400 meters; Capo Buttavento with fantastic views of Ischia, the nearby island of Procida, and the Campi Flegrei; the canyons between Serrara and Sant’Angelo; the Maddalena Forest Park area and the Lizard Trails.

Also, not to be underestimated are excursions with expert guides; there are several on the island. Some of these excursions allow you to relive traditions, such as ice collection in the village of La Falanga or the breeding of Ischian rabbits, which inspires the island’s most renowned culinary recipe (Ischian-style rabbit).

Undoubtedly, the place that is best suited for excursions to Ischia is Mount Epomeo. It apparently seems rugged and unreachable, but it is only an impression. The lush vegetation mixes with the green tuff, recreating a place full of pure energy and perfect corners for meditation. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy an incredibly evocative panorama, where all the points that determine the outline of the island of Ischia are visible, but also Capri and the Sorrentine peninsula, the Campi Flegrei, the Domitio coast, and, on clearer days, even the islands of Ponza and Ventotene.

The easiest way to reach Mount Epomeo is to start from Fontana, covering a height difference of 400 meters for about 3 km. The path, which becomes steep halfway, is very particular and seems not to feel the passing of time, so much so as to evoke old traditions, such as the use of pack animals to reach the top, riding mules, donkeys, and horses.

There is also a path that relives tradition. The starting point is in the square at the foot of the mountain, near the souvenir shop Miscillo. From here, you ride a horse to reach the top of Mount Epomeo. The route is very suggestive; you cross the chestnut forest, whose dense foliage shelters from the hot summer sun’s rays. Along the way, you can admire silver poplars, oaks, and colorful broom plants. Then, you arrive at the Church carved into the tuff, the oldest on the island, dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Bari. Next to the church is the hermitage renovated by Giuseppe D’Argouth, at the time captain of the Aragonese Castle. In this old building, the captain withdrew, voluntarily excluding himself from society, to lead a life of prayer, after surviving an attack by enemy soldiers, along with his comrades-in-arms.

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