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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Cava Scura

The tender, earthy pyroclastic rocks of southern Ischia island are easily eroded by rainwater though enough compact to make vertical or even overhanging walls several tens of meters high. In this unusual ground water was able to carve the extraordinary shapes of the Pizzi Bianchi (White Needles), and create a stunning scenery. The Pizzi are great as seen from from the dry bed of the stream below, which is called Cava Scura (Dark Pit). As soon as the Pizzi end and the pyroclastics become brown and more compact, the dry stream jumps into a dark tight corridor, a narrow, gloomy meander that goes on indifferent to the fact that we walk quickly: it seems to never end, it envelops us completely with its darkness, the silence, the power.
The narrow ends by Maronti beach (the longest beach of Ischia). Here the Romans dug in pyroclastic rock the rooms and pools of a bath complex fed by hot springs (85C).

This place is so extraordinary, unique I guess.

Name Cava Scura
Area Campania - Isola d'Ischia
Nearest village Serrara Fontana
Elevation loss 160 m
Length 600 m
Highest cascade 13 m
Rock Pyroclastics
Rating3
Shuttle Possible
Explored by Antonio Gebbia, Raffaella Scotti; 2009

 

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I remember ...

Thanks to internet, the news of the exploration of Cava Scura spread very fast, also because the explorers were interested in making some money by guiding groups through the narrows.
I never had been at Ischia island, and that canyon surely would have add interest to a tour ...

The chance to go to Ischia came after a few years. In general the island disappointed me: overpopulated, too many tourists, houses and palaces built anywhere, even on the beach! I went there in early summer, willing to swim in the blue/green sea I saw in the photographs on the web. But trash (probably coming from overpopulated Naples area) and foam (probably local) were floating in the blue/green sea. My only bath in the sea was interrupted by a bout of itching that prompted me to go right back to the shore and then to the hotel, in the shower.

But I went to Cava Scura, and that was enough to make me satisfied of the trip to Ischia island!

Photographs in this website show ultralight ropes (6 mm ropes made of high tenacity fibers). Read multimedia book Ultralight ropes canyoning technique to learn how to use them.

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.