The soul trekking on the perfect island


pelara* ... Near is Ischia, and Ischia is perfection ... The beautiful island laughs playfully in the waves and draws almost by enchanting laces the spacecraft growing at its banks, which appear all around surrounded by a dark lava on which foams noisy tide. If the sun shines on the island from the sea it can also clearly distinguish the forms and species of individual trees. And it is especially the tree of peace, the olive tree, which with gray foliage and dark-green branches standing out on the brown background of the tuff ground forming a pleasing harmony of colors in a thousand fine gradations of colors.

There is not country, where human dwellings, the houses of tenants and villas appear so clean, the colors so clear, as this island, where the air is always pure.* (These and subsequent italics are taken from: Italia viaggio pittoresco, dalle Alpi all’Etna, C. Stieler, E. Paulus, W. Kaden - Fratelli Treves editori 1876, dal cap. “Le tre isole sorelle”, pp 501- 504). The paths of Ischia are a secret plot sometimes hidden by the wild vegetation and time inexorably that erases traces giving the nature its disordered order of things ... I think of my father, of deep love p’a Muntagn‘, the tuff cone that was experienced as almost alpine summit by the island’s inhabitants. The inhabitants of the villages “above” (mer ‘e copp) and below, along the coasts (mer’ and vasc) met as belonging to worlds or even different ethnic groups due to their barter and exchange (‘u cala cala). [...] We look at Epomeo, pyramidal summit where culminates the Island of Ischia.

The fields of the latter relaxing in a shade of dark blue along the sides of the majestic mountain towering in its midst, and numerous villages in nicely shine among the dark patches of trees, pleasing and seductive spectacle. Sleeping in the stone houses Until a few years ago my father loved, in the days preceding the feast of Santa Maria al Monte (on September 12) to be accompanied in Serrara, up to the woods of Frassitelli and Falanga. He carried a bag with a few things, he walked on the street, I watched him until his “dark forest” and never turned back. He spent two or three days in the woods, sleeping in the old “stone houses” (cellars and folds carved in tuff rocks), strictly alone, looking for his long time, to find himself ... On the morning of September 12he went to the church of Santa Maria del Monte where he physically met his world of suffering and old loved people, his people. It proceeds under thick undergrowth of chestnut and fig trees, and among the branches you can see the sea of deep blue, similar to that of the sky, always staying further back, then, sometimes a light fog ... The “theater” of the eye is lost between the greenery and the blue of the sky, from afar you can see the cobalt blue sea.

The forests of the smaller islands or those near the coast have the smell of the sea that blends with those of mosses, the chestnut trees, the resin of pine trees, the sweetness of the figs blacks kissed by the sun, here the traditional forest alternates with Mediterranean maquis. In the dense forest the wind stirs the rustle of leaves as an ancient reminder of the eternal voices of men who lived these slopes, exposed to the sun and the winds noon and the west were covered with vineyards for the most part and, being inclined territory, could only be redrawn terracing defined by parracine (drywalls), built with great skill by skilled masters: choose the right vreccia (volcanic stone), observe all the faces, redraw it as necessary with an ax and put it there, in its place, in a perfect joint, or in the one place on earth for which that stone was born, originated by volcanic lapilli of Epomeo or the various eruptive vents. In the territory of the island thereare more than 12 cones with craters, and how children around their father, they are similar to a crown of the Epomeo crater; for so that if you climb the slopes of it, you walk on all sides in the midst of brown slags, lava blocks are the materials that shall endeavor for the construction of walls that enclose many gardens, where the population with assiduous diligence everywhere cultivating grapes.The land is life He lived on earth, every possible angle and properly exposed was cultivated with everything you could grow in the right season. Then there was the forest, secret safe with treasures: the berries of Rustine, the capenir (“black heads”: porcini mushrooms) and all the variety of mushrooms not always perfectly edible (first boiled, to eliminate the poison); wild asparagus, herbs, chestnuts and timbers.

The wood, precious gold that was also used to cover and insulate the “pits of snow”, large circular holes dug in Falanga to gather snow and winter hail used later as ice during the warmer periods.The volcano outlined the contours of the island, giving it a round shape, while other smaller forces with their upheavals adorn the ornamentation. These ones were produced from the cracks, which, after the cooling of the main crater, were opened in the lava masses, pushing the still fluid materials beyond the limits of the primitive form in the sea around the island as well and drawing a crown of cliffs and peaks. The driveway to the edges of the Vatoliere crater (inner and Southern slope) through the hamle of Chiummano climbing to Mount Barano. Arrived at the high, the scenario changes completely: the softened edge of the hill of the inner side becomes a very steep cliff o the back, plunges almost vertically in the Mediterranean vegetation of steep switchbacks up to a cost of rounded stones, and the cobalt blue sea. The wind carries pearls of salt that thin and robust caress the branches of broom, broad leaves of acanthus and impressive agaves with their majestic flowers, the cientanne tree.

The high ridge accompanies the “Path of the  Soul” along the Scarrupata of Barano, descends to San Pancrazio promontory with its green olive groves and then up to the Piano Liguori and finish in the crib village of Campagnano. This landscape produces a kind of blindness, and the traveler hears it, and rather than repaint it with cold and insufficient words, lays the pen as paintings that can be seen, but it is impossible to describe. The flying carpet of the traveler Northeast side of the island is particularly rich in geological formations recognizable by the imposing filled craters and volcanic black stone. La Maddalena wood, Montagnone and Rotaro (Cretaio) are the rounded hills that line the horizon with ancient pine forests and a rich undergrowth of holm oaks, arbutus, heather, fragrant myrtle and lavish ivy. The plumes of papyrus of fumaroles bewilder the eyes of the traveler who is transported between exotic locations in tropical environments. The Fondo Ferraro, characterized by a thick chestnut forest, ending at the village of Fiaiano. From here a lush pine forest on the Arso lava flow (eruption of 13011302) leads to the “Lago de ‘Bagni”, the current port of Ischia.

The paths, the hilly streets carrying the traveler as on a flying carpet between worlds distant in time and space. The words of a letter written from the summit of the mountain of Ischia to a friend will close this description, to which today we would know nothing more to add: My spirit has received the image of a beautiful and pure picture, one of those who, like Olympic sunshine, remain forever among our memories, one of those who, to speak as Christian, resemble a look on the paradise dreamed of the days of our youth. [...] Here you cannot breathe nothing but joy and happiness.
***
The Nemo
Association from June 1 2016 opens a new trekking division making use of the collaboration of experts in addition to the team of operators and guides: Francesco Mattera, a degree in Environmental Sciences, a passion for botany and responsible Subsection CAI (Italian Alpine Club) of Ischia; Agostino Iacono, traveler and connoisseur of Ischia mountain and its history; Stefanie Mayer, passionate of Ischia of adoption who has made the paths of Ischia “his” hill. With them, the staff already present: Gianluca Iacono and Luca Tiberti graduates in Environmental Sciences. The Nemo operators are registered with the National Register of environmental excursion guides (GAE) or the Italian
Hiking Federation (FIE). The excursions are directed to the interpretation of the “things of the mountain”, to its inherent signs, stories, traditions, cultures. The Nemo guides will try to stimulate the soul over the eyes, with the volcanic taste of fresh wine from old wine cellars dug into the tuff, tomato freshly picked, basil and onion, penetrating odor of Land and forest herbs, by listening to ancient stories written in the stones and leaves, while the hands grabbing shrubs and “feel” the earth. The information about the  Nemo Association excursions are available on the website: http:// www.nemoischia. it/index.php/ escursioni-trekkingischia-italy/ For reservations you can contact 3661270197 or send an email to: info@ nemoischia.it.

 


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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
  • Inhabitants: 58.029

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