Ischia’s sea meets its most exciting potential when admired from Mount Epomeo, the island’s highest mountain at 789 meters. Here the mountainous soul of an island rising in the hills explodes. Walking to the summit and observing from the highest point on the island the 360-degree view of Ischia and the entire Bay of Naples is an exciting and unforgettable experience, from sunrise to sunset.
Geologically speaking, Mount Epomeo is a volcano-tectonic horst, sandwiched in the center of a complex system of active faults, whose uplift process began about 100,000 years ago. The entire island of Ischia has been affected several times in the past by intense volcanic activity, both effusive and explosive, which has caused the rise of the crustal surface in the area of Mount Epomeo, characterizing what is the current conformation of the island.
Along the sides of the mountain rise the six municipalities of the island of Ischia – Ischia Porto/Ponte, Casamicciola Terme, Lacco Ameno, Forio, Serrara Fontana and Barano d’Ischia – connected by walkable paths that link the entire coastline in a pathway full of charm.
The path leading to the summit of Mount Epomeo
The path that leads most quickly to the summit of Epomeo starts from the small square in Fontana, and is about 1 hour long. Trekking and walking experiences are available here on a daily basis.
Crossing a driveway leads to the mountain trail proper, surrounded by nature among cultivated terraces and a forested area rich in chestnut trees. From here the scenic path narrows progressively as the ascent proceeds, at first becoming a mule track sunken between earthy walls, then narrowing further until it takes the form of a narrow gully carved directly into the tuffaceous rock. Arriving almost at the top, it will be beautiful to observe the view from two terraces. One of these is overlooked by a small church from 1459, carved into the tuff, dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari. This was once a hermitage that became famous because Joseph of Argut, governor of Ischia under Charles of Bourbon, retired there after chasing two deserters there. On the other terrace, however, overlooks a tavern, also carved into the tuff.
From here the highest peak of Mount Epomeo is just minutes away, continuing on a path carved entirely out of the tuff. Breathtaking and incomparable scenery can be admired from the summit tip: in the lower right you can recognize Casamicciola, Lacco Ameno with its famous “mushroom” enclosed by Monte Vico, the bay of San Montano and the lava flow of Zaro, towards the left Forio with the typical little church of Santa Maria del Soccorso; in the distance, when the weather is clear, one can make out Vesuvius, Capri, the Sorrento Peninsula with Monti Lattari, Naples, the Campi Flegrei with Monte di Procida, and peering closely with climatic favor even Ponza, Ventotene and Gaeta.