SERRARA FONTANA & SANT’ANGELO
The Municipality of Serrara Fontana is the least populated but the highest, reaching 788 metres above sea-level. The area is predominately hilly and its inhabitants farmers.
From the village of Fontana the peaks of Mount Epomeo are accessible, either on foot or on muleback. The most famous village in this Municipality is pretty Sant’Angelo, well known also the beach of Maronti and Cavascura. Other villages to visit are Noia, Calimea, Pantano, Ciglio and Succhivo. Serrara Fontana is the most picturesque area of the island.
The charming pretty village of Sant’ Angelo preferred by many tourists for its tranquillity, is the “Jewel” of this rural district. Serrara’s wild fauna attracts many artists and theatre and show business personalities.
It can be said that the municipality has several “firsts”: it is, in fact, in terms of population, is the least populous of the six municipalities of the island of Ischia is, however, the higher it rises 366 meters above the level the sea. It is also the only municipality on the island that extends from the sea with the village of Sant’Angelo to the highest peak of the island where there is a wonderful forest called “falanga”.
Serrara Fontana was born from the merger of the towns of Serrara (capital) and Fontana, along the slopes of Mount Epomeo at about 360 m above sea level with a mainly agricultural economy.
However, the municipality, also consists of several villages and towns. The most famous is St. Angelo, a small fishing village, is one of the most beautiful and fascinating island and has become a tourist center of the foreground, almost exclusively. Not surprisingly, the so-called Tower of Sant’Angelo, a massive tuffaceous rock tied to the rest of the island by a narrow isthmus, is today the symbol of the entire mountain community. Some of the names of places indicate the presence of man since prehistoric times, is also substantiated by archaeological finds, ranging from the Iron Age to the Magna Greece, the Hellenistic period to come to the Middle Ages. The Calimera village, for example, derives from the greek kalè emera, good morning in Italian, since this is one of the first sites on the island to be irradiated by the rising sun.
In the Middle Ages, however, was the name Fontana, due to the presence of an abundant source of potable water, about which he had to rise to the farmhouse. Source that most recognize the source of quarry Pallarito and was destroyed by a landslide about 200 years ago. The name Serrara, however, is more recent and means “range”. Compare with the village officially with the founding of the parish in 1641. The town offers many interesting things to see, like in the village of Fontana, the parish church of St. Holy Mary, built in 1374, to S. Angel of the church of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in 1923 to high, or Epomeo the hermitage of San Nicola, with the nearby church, both carved in green tuff prior to 1459.
But these are not the only buildings excavated in the tufa, in fact, scattered ‘throughout the town, you can find features and details of buildings used as homes and cellars dug in the rock that has the ability to maintain a comfortable temperature in both winter and in summer.
NOT TO BE MISSED
Culture, Art and More
788 metres above sea level, it offers splendid and unforgettable walks of great beauty either on foot or on muleback – hired near the Parish church in the village. From its peak the whole of the Bay of Naples and the island can be admired.
HERMITAGE OF SAN NICOLA
At the very top of Mount Epomeo, 788 metres above sea level are the hermitage and chapel of Saint Nicola gouged out of the mountain side. The chapel was completed in 1459 and the hermit entombed therein. It also has a statue dedicated to the Saint /1500) and a small chapel dedicated to the Crucifixion.
A beautiful fishing village and a true oasis of peace and tranquillity. The islet “La Roja” (106 metres high) is connected to the village by an isthmus 119 metres long, a watchtower semi-destroyed by cannon fire in 1809 is still visible. Cars are prohibited.
CHURCH OF OUR LADY DEL CARMINE
Of particular interest are the paintings of Our Lady and St. Lucy, but also the high marble altar dating from the 18th century. Splendid views can be had from here.
Looking down from Epomeo, after climbing to the summit either on foot or on mule back, breath-taking views of the hole island and the Bay of Naples can be enjoyed. The wild beauty and silence of Mount Epomeo has attracted hermits throughout the ages. A small chapel dedicated to Saint Nichol was carved out of the green tufa rock by the peasants around the middle of 400 AD. It is still visited by the faithful today. Epomeo, called Monte Forte in 1700 is the highest peak of the island, around 1753 many hermits lived on its slopes, including an ex commander of the castle who along with 12 companions chose to live a solitary life on the slopes of Epomeo using snow dug from the deep crevices as drinking water and lighting alarm fires to warn the population of pirate attacks. From Fontana an asphalted but steep road connects to the mule track which leads to the peak.
Enrico Iacono from Serrara Fontana wrote a passionate and accurate account of the mountain published in the volume “L’Epomeo”, Firenze, 1952.