The Fumaroles of Montecorvo


We tell about the walk to the Typhoeus’ mouth for many reasons, for first is to commend the efforts of those who have voluntarily devoted themselves to the restoration of a stony walk, abandoned for years. Thanks to the dedication of these men, I was able to enjoy a sensational experience. As always happens to me when I come to the land of my island, uncertainties and concerns that dim, sometimes, my peace of mind, leave the stage defeated by comparison with my origins, my identity.

Let me digress but I would like to invite you, travelers and the inhabitants of this island, to follow it in the most remote places to get to know and appreciate it, but also to live an experience that teaches respect for the earth and better perspective of our lives.
Often I recognize how everything would be easier if we learn to “go along” rather than “oppose” the life like the vegetation of this land that despite adversity, has grown lush and strong on fire stones. Arime…. land of fire is here that begins the walk to the entrance of Arimei Gardens, is the point where the paved road gives way to a dirt path. But it is also the point where you can appreciate, welcomed, the commitment of a family of entrepreneurs, that wanted to recover the agricultural past of “glory” of Ischia carefully restoring the cellar with its wine vats and the surrounding vineyards.
The scenery is immediately breathtaking, because I have lived at sunset when the sun threw its rays on the bare rock of the fumaroles and they responded with incredible colors .... fire in all its forms and colors. Fire behind me and focus on the horizon ... “I had not even started walking on the path and I was already lost in its beauty”. The parracina and stone houses, ancient water cisterns, vineyards, olive trees, alfalfa, wild fennel, also the fire that ravaged this side of the island just a few weeks ago, stopping in front of so much beauty. The trail functions as “gas ring”.
The oak forest is preceded by a picnic area for parking, from which admiring all the western side of the island, from Punta Caruso to the mountain of Panza with the romantic feel of the lighthouse at Punta Imperatore.
Immediately after, tufa stone steps and boulders of lava rock stealing the show and you will be enchanted by how everything is perfectly balanced: the rock that splits to frame the top of Soccorso or to accommodate an stubborn olive tree, brambles rich in juicy mulberries ready to be picked up by thirsty people, rural architecture that says blatant its longevity. The stone is the main feature of this promontory. In fact, this great blocks of tufa fallen from Epomeo were baptized by the farmers: Stone Brox, Pizzo del Merlo, Stone Martone. Like in primitive architecture, the old settlements of Montecorvo were affected by the presence of these large boulders, is for this reason that the architecture of stone houses is fascinating: the perfect synthesis of the link between architecture, people and nature.
Intent to reflect on how generous and courteous is the land, and how the peasant culture in this place is full of respect for Mother Nature, we find ourselves faced with a reassuring sign that announces that only 150 “steps” you get to favorite destination: the Typhoeus’ mouth. My thoughts immediately went to the many volunteers from the Pro Loco of Panza, that created those 150 steps preserving even the most trivial clump of heather timidly sticking out of the rock. And so the ascent to the Mouth of Typhoeus is a fun way to “obstacles”: around the oaks or in front of a majestic olive tree (or maybe it was a holm oak).
When the climb becomes steeper and the ground warmer the Mediterranean undergrowth says goodbye and looks lonely the ficus. A plant of ancient and remote origin, but that in this land has found the best conditions to grow wild and arrogant as if to protect, through the blades covered by thorny tissue, the myth of the island of Ischia: Typheous lying in the bowels of Epomeo and his tears flowing in thermal waters. And in Montecorvo thermal waters have taken the form of aqueous vapors.
The last part of this path is made of vapor, the acrid smell of ripe figs, the hot rock, the serene soul and the full moon make me feel a little light because will accompany the return home.   


All photos of the fumaroles of Montecorvo

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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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