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Eremo di San Nicola

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Hermitage of San Nicola

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Mount Epomeo and its Hermitage

Dating back to the fifteenth century. It has a chapel carved into the rock, once adorned with marble and tiles, but unfortunately the weather eroded over the centuries, especially in the tufa rock facade facing west, towards the sea, tampering, neglect and abandonment now make it difficult to recognize the cells and the settings where the monks lived.
The church, excavated in the tufa, already existed in 1459, as we learn from a story of Pontano, while the cells of the convent were built in 1587.
It was the noblewoman Beatrice Quadra wanting to make a retreat for nuns, which, however, they could not last long, for the stiffness of the climate, coupled to roughness of the places, and they subsequently found a new, more comfortable seat in the Aragonese Castle.
In the hermitage hermits lived, later known as Fra 'Giorgio Bavaro, who died before his sanctity, and Giuseppe of Argouth (1704-1778), former commander of the garrison stationed on the island, who, to fulfill a vow made to St. Nicholas, threw to the winds his gun and withdrew to live as a hermit with twelve trusted comrades, he became like brothers. Joseph of Argouth provident purchase of land near the church and commissioned numerous works, including those for the high altar.
The first attempts of expansion of the original chapel with the excavation of the tufa rock for the construction of cells and other environments for the communities of Cenobites are dated 1754. Then, more recently, the former convent was converted into a restaurant and inn today, making it impossible to read, for the transformations, the original subdivision. It was possible among other things, with little expense, spend the night in spartan cells peaks on a breathtaking, to be enjoyed at the first light of dawn. Currently the property is closed to visitors only from the outside..

How to reach the Hermitage of San Nicola

The hermitage carved into the peak of green tuff, is located on top of Mount Epomeo, the highest part of the island of Ischia, 789 meters above sea level. It consists of a block tuff excavated over the last 5 centuries by man. The summit is accessible only on foot through a mountain trail, fairly easy. If you are driving you have to leave the parking lot at the end of the driveway, follow directions to the summit of Mount Epomeo, from there through a half-mile trail for about 15 minutes walk, you reach the summit and the lookout. If you not have car, the bus will accompany you at the center of the village of Fontana, through an alley from which you can follow the directions to Mount Epomeo, a distance of 2 km, about 35 minutes on foot. Other trails lead to the summit of Mount Epomeo, a stone from the water and the other by Falanga, but are suitable for hikers and mountaineers.

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