FTI. 5 | Island of Ischia, volcanic evolution and its M. Epomeo Green Tuff between myth, legends and true stories: geo-environmental values and resources

Sponsored and organised by Regione Campania

The inhabitants of the island of Ischia, for some time, cohabit with the natural phenomena that have shaped the terrestrial and submerged landscape. In fact, the volcanic and seismic events, which have dominated geological history up to a few centuries ago, have conditioned the life of local communities who, in each catastrophe, have adapted to changes, continuing to live in symbiosis and respect for the territory, internalizing this relationship, so much so as to consider the island as a magical and sacred place. Ischia and the island of Tifeo, the giant punished by Jupiter who condemned him to lie in his bowels. The island is Tifeo, which spewing fire, represents the volcanic and seismic power, which causes eruptions, earthquakes, fumaroles and seething spring waters. The features of the giant are perceived by looking at the profile of the island, the contours of the mountains and hills, as part of its body is tuff, lava, clay. Man has used the resources that the island offered him with ancient wisdom and mastery: the local stones for the construction of cave dwellings, churches, towers, houses, dry-stone walls; mineral resources for the commercial activities of the past; healthy waters for thermal waters and fertile soils for agriculture. Ischia, a geologically young island, and therefore a living land, that fascinates for its history, its natural beauties and also because it permeates the values ​​of a past, today, in part, forgotten. The excursion is proposed, without neglecting the main geological and geomorphological aspects, together with the seismicity induced by the volcano-tectonics and recent evolution that characterize it, also through a “translation” of the geological concepts in a simple language, to evoke, promote and enhance the main peculiarities natural and cultural, with the aim of promoting the rediscovery of the true essence of the Ischian territory and of the entire environmental context, highlighting the close relationship between man and territory. The places that you will cross with the route, are sometimes known landscapes; on the other hand, their description has been made representing the landscape in its many facets and its values, leaving the excursionist the opportunity to catch the emotion that the landscape and cultural heritage transmits: the colors and shapes of the rocks, the shades of green and the varieties of vegetation, the scents and flavors of food and the taste of the wine, the atmospheres that emerge in the narration of local legends and in the historical re-enactments of urban centers and rural areas, the secrets and colors of sea, memories of ancient traditions and activities of the past. Therefore, the proposed itinerary will be traveled not only with the aim of the geological and volcanological description, but with the style of the careful and aware traveler of the last centuries, who has traveled, discovered and told the island of Ischia.

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