Covering 6.69 square kilometres and lying in the southeast area of the island, Serrara has about 3000 inhabitants. Its town is made up of two little villages, Serrara (main centre) and Fontana which sprawl along the strata and the slopes of Mount Epomeo at around 400 metres above sea level. Its economy is based purely on agriculture, with the exception of Sant'Angelo, which lies at the feet of the volcano and is connected to a promontory of the same name by an isthmus. Sant'Angelo, which is most certainly one of the most beautiful and enchanting spots on the island, has become a highly elitist tourist resort.
The names of the places indicate man's presence from prehistoric times, confirmed by archaeological excavations, ranging from the Iron Age, the era of Magna Grecia, the Hellenistic period and reaching up to the Middle Ages. The name Fontana actually dates back to the Middle Ages, coming from the many springs of drinking water available and around which the hamlet must have grown. These springs must have been in the natural quarry of Pallarito which was destroyed by an avalanche around 200 years ago.
The name Serrara is more recent and means "mountainous". It appeared officially together with the town with the foundation of the parish in 1641. Other historical places are Noia, Calimera and Ciglio. The town offers many places of interest to visit, such as the hamlet of Fontana, the parish church of S Maria la Sacra built in 1374, the little church of S Michele at S Angelo, or the hermitage of San Nicola on Mount Epomeo (these last two have both been dug into the tufa rock). Throughout the area of Serrara-Fontana you can find unusual buildings converted to residences and cellars dug into the rock. Tufa is a stone which maintains a pleasant temperature throughout both winter and summer and is particularly suitable for the preservation of wines.
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