80070 Ischia NA, Italia
Mount Epomeo is the highest mountain in Ischia and can be seen from most points on the Island. Standing 789 metres (2,589 ft), it towers above the rest of Ischia and is covered in lush greenery, with a few vineyards also occupying its slopes. Approximately 75 metres (246 ft) from the peak the mountain is covered in white lava. The origins of Mount Epomeo date back to the quaternary period when it was originally formed after an underwater eruption although it is not a volcano in the truest sense of the word, it is more the result of the uplift of magmatic masses from the seabed. The name Epomeo has ancient origins from when it was called Epopon by the Greeks, from the Greek verb Epopeus, meaning "to look around". We know that Greeks and then Romans lived on the slopes of the mountain as early as 2BC. In one of the tufa-stone caves dotted around the mountain a small church and hermitage were built in honour of Saint Nicholas. In this cave, monks and secular hermits from Ischia and further afield, lived in meditation while going about their daily tasks. The church dates back to the beginning of the 15th century while the hermitage was dug around 1587. It was founded by Beatrice La Quadra, a Neopolitan noblewoman who also founded a convent in Castello Aragonese. There are various paths and trails that allow you to explore Mount Epomeo and the surrounding lower peaks. The entry point in Fontana is perhaps the best place from which to start your ascent.