seven Aeolian Islands are situated off the north-eastern coast of
Sicily. They vary in character from being rough and untamed places
(like the two most remote islands Filicudi and Alicudi), to being
tempered by residents and visitors (Lipari and Panarea), to introverted
and solitary (Salina), or lively (Vulcano and Stromboli) which,
with timely precision one might say, puff out smoke before relishing
the attention paid to them as they toss small incandescent lumps
of stone high into the air.
Greek mythology ascribes the islands to Aeolus, and suggest that
Odysseus temporarily sheltered there during his travels. There he
would met cyclops Polyphemus.
history itself of these islands is lost in the mist of time, when
tectonic plates moved to create a great chasm in the Tyrrhenian
Sea thereby releasing a mass of molten magma that hardened into
a great volcanic outrcrop, some 1000-3000m from the ocenan floor,
of which only a minute proportion emerges above the water. According
to most recent theories, this happened during the Pleistocene era,
just under a million of years ago. The earliest islands to be formed
were Panarea, Filicudi and Alicudi. The youngest are those which
continue to be active today, Vulcano and Stromboli. Eruptions have
continued over the millennia resulting in a variety of phenomena.
ranging from pumice formation, a material so light that it floats
on water, to the great streams of black obsidian, a glassy and friable
material with edges so sharp as to be used by ancient peoples to
make razor-like cutting tools.
scanty population of the islands, that in certain periods is almost
isolated from the rest of the world, mostly subsists on fishing,
farming (especially vines and harvesting of capers), quarrying pumice
(as on Lipari, although this is a dying trade), and most particularly,
albeit for a short season, on tourism.
sea is clear and warm, its color ranging from cobalt blue to crystal
near the shore; the rocky shoreline nurtures a rich variety of aquatic
flora and fauna: sea anemones, sponges, shell-fish, seaweed, crustaceans
and molluscs as well as countless species of fish, making it a paradise
for bathers, snorkellers, divers and spear-gun-fishing enthusiasts
who seek peace and quiet, far removed from the trappings of worldly
life, may choose to go to Alicudi and Filicudi, or Salina, which
although more populated and crowded by visitors, is still unspoilt.
The same goes for Lipari, Panarea and Vulcano, drawing an ever-increasing
number of tourists every year but still providing the ideal context
for a perfect holiday.
– The main service providers are: Si.Re.Mar (090/9811 312),
S.Na.V (090/9880266), Co.Ve.Mar (090/98 13 181) and N.G.I. (090/98
11 955). These are operated by hydrofoil and ferry, which incur
inversely proportional costs and times. On average, the hydrofoil
(foot-passengers only) costs twice as much as the ferry and takes
half the time. The closest port on the main island of Sicily, which
logically runs the most frequent sailings, is Milazzo. However,
services are also operated out of Messina, San Giovanni (near Reggio
Calabria), Palermo, Napoli and Taormina. Bus services also shuttle
foot-passengers from the port at Milazzo to several of the major
towns in Sicily.
– In addition to traditional hotels, rooms and apartments
are also available (listed by the Azienda di Turismo 090/98 80 095
and in the annually-updated hotel register). Camp-sites are on Salina
and Lipari and youth hostel on Lipari, at the heart of the fortified
facilities – Beware that the only cashpoints in the
Aeolian Islands are on Lipari, in Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Credit
cards are not universally accepted.
trips – The best way to explore the islands is by
rubber dinghy that you can hire at various points on Lipari. Given
the exorbitant cost of hiring one, there is the option of joining
an organised excursion by boat from Lipari or Vulcano (from the
other islands, the boats are smaller and the services less frequent)
which goes to Stromboli (even at night when the so-called Strombolian
explosion can be watched from the sea), Filicudi and Alicudi (in
the same day); Panarea, Salina, or circumnavigate them (Lipari and
Vulcano). The trips usually take in all the islands, making the
most interesting approaches from sea to include a view of caves,
rock formations, bays and beaches; they sometimes include stops
for swimming and for brief visits to the main town. Excursions take
place two or three times a week; they can last a whole day (departing
around 9am and returning between 5pm and 7pm) or half a day (departing
early afternoon and returning late in the evening as for the Stromboli
and sporting activities – The breathtaking clear-like
waters and uncontaminated sea beds of the Aeolian Islands make diving
the most demanded sporting activity as well as an unforgettable
experience. For beginners and those without equipment: Diving Center
La Gorgonia (Tel. 090/98 l206O), Diving Center Manta Sub (Tel. 090/98
11 004) and Sud Est Diving Center (Tel. 090/9812510) in Lipari.
HOUSES – Houses in Aeolian Islands, all similar in
their square shape and white color, are very characteristic. The
white color is suitable for protecting against the sun’s heat.
They are usually accessed through a portico or a covered terrace
(the ‘bagghiu’) bordered by two or three columns (the
‘pulere’). The roofing, usually made of reeds, also
protects against heat and humidity (this especially at night). The
home roof is terraced to collect rain water.
- LIPARI CITY
is the main town on the island. Clearly visible, as you approach
the island from the sea, are the top of the town, the fortified
city with behind (visible if you come from Marina Lunga) the former
Franciscan convent, now Town Hall. Far below at its feet sit the
two bays of Marina Corta, watched by the small church of the Anime
del Purgatorio (once isolated on a rock, now linked to the mainland)
and by the 1600’s church of San Giuseppe, and of Marina Lunga,
the larger of the two inlets. On the last night of the festival
of St. Bartholomew on 24 August, Marina Corta is illuminated by
a magnificent display of fireworks, set off from the sea. The lower
part of town or città bassa, with its main street Corso Vittorio
Emanuele lined with charming shops and restaurants, provides the
perfect context for the traditional passeggiata (walk).
– This is how they refer to the citadel, a structure constructed
on a Greek acropolis before being surrounded by walls in the 13th
century. In the 16th century Charles V had it reinforced after the
town was sacked by Barbarossa. It is best approached from piazza
Mazzini, by the most ancient route: past the fortifications and
the Greek tower (dating back to the 4th century BC), with its great
medieval portcullis (12th-13th century), lies the heart of the citadel.
On the right is the Chiesa di Santa Caterina, with beyond it, an
archaeological area which has been excavated to reveal superimposed
layers of dwellings (huts), buildings and roads from various periods
spanning the Bronze Age (Capo Graziano culture) through to Hellenistic
and ancient Roman times. Behind sits the Chiesetta dell’Addolorata
and the 18th century Chiesa dell’Immacolata. Left of these,
in the centre, rises the cathedral dedicated to the patron saint
of the Eolian Islands, Saint Bartholomew: medieval in plan, it was
rebuilt during the Spanish domination, while the façade dates
back to the 19th century. The adjacent cloister is Norman. Opposite
is a flight of steps dating from the early 20th century; to build
it some of the ancient walls had to be demolished.
Archeologico Eoliano – The collections are accomodated
within several different buildings, displayed in sections relating
the history of the islands from the Prehistoric to the Classic times.
Special sections are devoted to marine archaeology and vulcanology.
Most of the relics are from excavations undertaken since 1949. At
the entrance to each room are explanatory panels of two different
types: the first type, more detailed, is for visitors who wish to
complete a thorough tour of the museum; the other, red, provides
the basic facts pertaining to the successive development of cultures.
section on Lipari Prehistory begins with a room entirely reserved
to obsidian, the glass-like volcanic stone which has been so prized
for its strenght and razor-sharp cutting edge; although fragile,
it was widely used and exported in Antiquity for making tools. The
Capo Graziano culture (1800-1400 BC, owing its name to an area in
Filicudi island) and the ensuing Capo Milazzese’s (from Panarea)
marked a period of high prosperity for the islands (room 5 and 6),
characterized by a demographic and commercial increase. Evidence
for this is provided by the presence of large Mycenean vases likely
traded here for raw materials. The following epoch (13th- 9th century
BC), known as the Ausonian period, after the people that, according
to historian Diodorus Siculus, arrived from the Italian mainland,
is classified according to various criteria: there are many one-handled
bowls with horn-shaped appendages (probably intended to ward off
evil spirits) which, later on, evolve into stylised forms of animal
heads (rooms 7 and 9). Room 10 onwards is devoted to the Greek and
Roman ages. After being long abandoned, the acropolis at Lipari
was colonized by people from Knidos and Rhodes (6th century BC).
The lid of the Bothros (votive pit) of Aeolus, with its stone lion-cum-handle
(room 10) is particularly striking. The cult of Aeolus seems to
have been shared by both established residents and colonizers. The
other glass-cases contain the “offerings” found in the
buildings opposite contain rooms devoted to the prehistory of the
smaller islands and to vulcanology (building at left); the geological
evolution of the islands is explained through boards, diagrams and
chronological display continue in the building north of the cathedral
(the nmbering of the rooms has been inverted in the first three
rooms: Room 18 leads through to room 17 and then 16 before continuing
with 19, etc.). The reconstruction of the Bronze Age necropolis
(12th century BC) is particularly interesting: this compares burial
after cremation (12th century BC) – when urns containing the
ashes are covered with bowls and placed inside small pits dug in
the ground (room 17), with information burials (14th century BC)
– when large pithoi or jars (containing the curled-up body
of the dead person) were simply interred in the ground. Trading
vassels encountering storms at sea often came in to shore to find
shelter; on their route were two notable black spots renowned as
being highly dangerous; Capo Graziano (on Filicudi) and the area
known as Le Formiche (the Ants which consists of treacherous rocks
hidden just below the surface just off Panarea). From these two
places have been retrieved the shipwrecked cargo of some twenty
trading vassels that comprised large numbers of amphorae of various
types, of which the museum has a vast collection (see Marine Archaeology
section). The grave goods, dating from the 6th-5th century BC, include
an unusual array of rather coarsely modelled clay figurines (room
21), which are of particular interest in that they re-enact different
domestic tasks; a mother washes a child, a woman intent on making
soup in a bowl and another grinds grain with a mortar, on the edge
of which perches a cat. Among the fine examples of red-figure ware,
made in Sicily or mainland Italy, emerges one depicting a highly
unusual scen (360 BC): a naked acrobat balances in a hand-stand
before Dionysus and two comic actors with exaggerated features.
Behind the group, in two panels, are painted the portraits of two
additional actors. In the same glass are three vases by the so-called
painter of Adrastus (king of Argos); the third one bears a very
dramatic scene where, under the portico of the palace of Argos,
Tydeus confronts Polynices, the son of Oedipus, who was exiled from
cult of Dionysus, god not only of the wine, but also of the theatre
and celestial bliss (for those who were initiated into its mysteries)
explains the inclusion, among the grave goods recovered from votive
pits, of statuettes of actors and theatrical masks; the museum has
an extremely rich, varied and ancient collection of such objects
(room 23), which is quite unique. The last section of the museum
is devoted to Lipari’s Hellenistic and Roman epochs (a big
quantity of moulded oil lamps stamped with different kinds of decoration
is held); also displayed are various artefacts (notably ceramics)
relating to the Norman, Spanish, Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Archeologico – On the far side of the citadel on
the right. In the archaeological gardens are aligned numerous ancient
sarcophagi. From the terrazza there is an enchanting view over the
little church of the Anime del Purgatorio, jutting out into the
sea opposite Marina Corta, and Vulcano on the horizon.
of the island – 27km round trip; set out from Lipari
città in the direction of Canneto, to the north.
– This small village set back from the great sweep of coast
is a favorite spot from where to set out for the white beaches,
visible from Canneto, that are accessible by a footpath. The clear
sea is due to the high content of pumice dust. From the harbour
of Canneto, it is possible to visit the pumice quarries near Porticello.
The simplest way, what is also the most picturesque and traditional,
is to go by boat with one of the many fishermen who buzz about the
harbour; the other way is by bus.
di Pomice a Porticello – This lovely bay is lined
by a mass of pumice quarries and workshops; all, save the last and
most northern, are now abandoned. Waste resulting from the extraction
and working of the stone accumulates naturally in mounds of fine
white sand along the shore, which hardens with time. On the beach,
lie small fragments of black obsidian. The scene is strangely compelling:
the sea is of the palest tinges of blue, as clear as glass (revelaing
the pumice-lined seabed), old wooden jetties once used for loading
pumice onto boats are ghostly still. One of the bathers’ favorite
pastimes is to climb the white mounds and cover themselves with
pumice dust to smooth their skin. The keenest kids can then emulate
the children in the scene from Kaos (by film-makers Taviani brothers),
who hurled themselves down the mounds, roly-poly fashion, straight
into the sea (however, the sea is now about a metre away). Dramatic
views of the white pumice slopes of Campo Bianco can be enjoyed
along the road especially at sunset. For a split second, the scene
might evoke some alpine context among tall snow-covered slopes.
little further on is the Fossa delle Rocche Rosse, where the island’s
most impressive flow of obsidian can be admired.
Acquacalda is Puntazze, offering a beautiful view spanning five
islands: from left to right are Alicudi, Filicudi, Salina, Panarea
di San Calogero – Just beyond Pianoconte, take right.
The water of this hot springs have been famous for their therapeutic
properties since Antiquity. Amongst ruins of ancient buildings (alongside
a modern spa which was unfortunately closed), is a domed chamber.
This is likely the oldest thermal complex, and indeed the only Hellenistic
building, still in use today even if it only provides people with
“DIY” therapy requiring them to splash themselves with
water that springs from the ground at a temperature of 60°C.
– This belvedere opens out on a beautiful panorama with Punta
S. Iacopo and Punta Perciato in the foreground. Behind are the faraglioni,
big rocks emerging from the waters, and, in the background, the
island of Vulcano. The Odissey tells that these were hurled by Polyphemus
against Ulysses who had blinded him by thrusting a flaming stake
into his only eye; the hero then escaped with his companions by
clinging to the bellies of rams belonging to the Cyclops. A beautiful
view of Lipari can be enjoyed as you approach the town on your tour.
trip around the island – Departures from Marina Corta. A boat
tour offers the opportunity to explore the island’s jagged
coastline, dotted with arches, boulders and craggy rocks.
is the largest and the most populated of the Aeolian islands. Its
physical relief, with its gentle lowlands, has prompted a number
of towns to spring up both along the coast and inland.
since the antiquity and renowned for its obsidian, the island enjoyed
great prosperity although it was often subject to raids and attacks
among which is the one launched by Turk Kaireddin Barbarossa, who,
in 1544, landed at Porto delle Genti (a small hamlet near Lipari)
and ravaged the city killing or deporting the population as slaves
main moorings on the island are in the town of Lipari, which is
served by two ports: Marina Corta is used by the hydrofoils and
by smaller craft, while ferries moor at Marina Lunga. From here,
it is easy to get to the island’s other towns, that are Canneto,
Acquacalda, Quattropiani and Pianoconte. It is advisable to tour
the island by car or bike, also available at various hire places.
for a treat
Pasticceria Subba, at 92, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, in Lipari city,
has been making fabulous goodies: cannoli (filled with ricotta cheese),
cassate (brimming with candied fruit), pasta paradiso (melting moments)
special evening meal
restaurant E Pulera, in via Diana, only opens for dinner from June
to October, dining outside, in a charming garden. In July and August,
typical Aeolian dishes are served accompanied by traditional music
and folkloristic shows.
is an island of 21sqm belonging to the Aeolian Archipelago. According
to Greek mythology, here was placed the forge of Hephaestus, the
god of fire, who worked as a blacksmith with the assistance of the
Cyclops. But the island was named after the Roman name of the God,
that is Vulcan, hence the term vulcanology.
very existence of the island results from the fusion of four volcanoes;
the largest and most dominant peak, Vulcano della Fossa, rising
up to 391m of reddish rock. Beside is the smaller Vulcanello, 123m,
which erupted on the north side in 183 BC. Although the last eruption
dates back to 1890, the volcano has never ceased to betray signs
of its activity; even today, such phenomenons as fumaroles, jets
and steam above and below sea level and sulphurous mud, highly prized
for its therapeutic properties, continue to be very much in evidence.
shoreline is much jagged sometimes resembling tentacles plunging
into the sea, its colour ranging from red to ochre-yellow and featuring
a scenery of wild and haunting beauty.
di Levante e Porto di Ponente – Between the two island’s
harbours, stretches the main town Porto di Levante, full of small
shops and furnished with contemporary sculptures made of lava stone.
to the crater – about 2 hours there and back. From the end
of the main road
Porto di Levante, the track to the crater gently climbs up along
a flank of the mountain offering enchanting views over the archipelago.
In the foreground is the Vulcanello peninsula, opposite is Lipari,
to the left stands Salina, with its characteristic two humps; in
the distance lie Filicudi, Panarea, on the right with its isles,
and Stromboli in the far background. About half-way up to the top,
is an area of compacted red earth, cut with deep regular furrows,
of some Martian landscape. The higher the path climbs, the stronger
is sulphur smell, combined with occasional cloud of steam. At the
top is a magnificent scenery with the Cratere della Fossa’s
huge bowl with its southern rim blurred by clouds of boiling sulphurous
vapours released from cracks in the crust with a whistle that seems
to emanate from deep within the earth; the rock is stained yellow
ochre and red by the fumes that condense into the most delicate
crystals while still hot. These are the so-called fumarole.
tour of the crater, taking about 30 minutes, permits an exploration
of the southern part of the island and, from the highest point,
to enjoy one of the most astonishing sights of all the archipelago.
beaches – Two of Vulcano’s beaches are nestled
near the main town. The sabbie nere (black beaches), so-called because
of its black colored sand of volcanic origin, stretches along a
fine bay that is, sadly, too crowded in summer; the beach of the
Fumarole is bathed by warm waters that are heated by bubbles of
sulphurous steam, able to reach a dangerous temperature (beware
of being scalded).
secluded and less frequented Gelso beach is on the opposite side
of the island, reachable by sea, by bus leaving from Porto di Levante
(check time schedule as services are highly restricted) or car,
driving the Provincial road Porto Levante to Vulcano Piano which
forks for Gelso and Capo Grillo).
to the Grotta del Cavallo and Piscina di Venere – Departures
by boat from the black beaches. The boat skirts around Vulcanello,
with its Valley of Monsters, before circumnavigating the most jagged
part of the coast on the way to this glorious grotto named after
the sea horses that once lived there. On the left is Venus’
pool, a shallow pool with clearest water, an idyllic place for an
unforgettable swim (those who wish to stay for a few hours can go
with one of the early boat trips, which run fairly regularly throughout
the day, and return on one of the later ones; check with the fisherman).
– Mud is one of Vulcano’s attractions. Leaving the port
on the right, behind a
of incredible colors ranging trhough every shade of yellow to red,
there is a natural pool containing sulphurous mud renowned for its
advices about mud therapy – Mud treatment is recommended for
people with rheumatic ailments and dermatological conditions (greasy
skin, acne, psoriasis). Not recommended for expectant mothers, people
suffering from tumour-related disease, or with fevers, heart conditions,
osteoporosis, gastro-intestinal upsets, uncompensated diabetes and
short immersions (never over 20 minutes) in the coolest hours, followed
by a hot shower. Do not apply to the eyes. In the event of mud getting
into the eyes, rinse liberally with fresh water. For any ailments
resulting from mud baths, consult a doctor.
Valle dei Mostri – On Vulcanello. A trip is especially
recommended at dawn or sunset, when
the evocative shapes of the rocks, caught by the sun’s rays,
are most impressive. The Valley of Monsters is the name given to
a downward slope of black sand, dotted here and there with blocks
of lava that have cooled into weird forms and provocative profiles
suggestive of prehistoric animals, monsters and wild beasts (including
a bear reared up on its hind legs and a crouching lion).
Grillo – some 10 km from Porto Levante. The local
road, leading to Vulcano Piano and beyond to the cape, offers fine
views of Lipari and the great crater and, from the promontory, across
is a volcanic island of a sombre, unnerving beauty, with a coastline
with steep crags emerging from the sea. The almost total lack of
roads, its harsh beauty and, above all, the volcano, which makes
its presence felt with outbursts of fire and brimstone, have both
a strange and awesome power of attraction.
Terra di Dio (Land of God, 1950) right highlighted the difficulties
of living in such a place.
to go and what to take
watch the eruptions is especially impressive at night. It is recommended
to hike up in the late afternoon and returning in the evening (do
not forget to take a torch) or the following morning. Allow three
hours for the climb up and two hours for the descent; it is not
particularly taxing but it should not be undertaken by the faint-hearted,
especially in rare case of bad weather. Local authorised guides
are available on Stromboli for additional advice. For the ascent,
normal hiking equipment is recommeded: sturdy boots with ankle support
are preferable to running shoes or trainers. It is also important
to take a torch, a pair of long trousers, a spare T-shirt and, if
opting to stay overnight, a good sleeping-bag. Take a sleeping-bag,
a wind-cheater or jumper to wear at the top, where the temperature
can drop quite dramatically. The excursion can be undertaken all
year round. Still, the best period is late spring when the weather
is mild and temperatures are not too high; however a night excursions
in the summer months is also highly recommended.
the island there are two villages: on the north-eastern slopes,
green mantle that stretches to the north as far as San Bartolo,
are the small square white houses of San Vincenzo; to the south-west
is Ginostra, consisting of some thirty houses clinging to the rock,
in desperate isolation (there are no roads, just a mule-track along
the side of the hill), but accessible by sea (although not all year
round) by means of the smallest port in the world. The arid, precipitous
northern flank which separates the two villages, is the most impressive,
scarred as it is by the Sciara del Fuoco – down which the
burning lava flows each time the volcano decides to erupt.
San Vincenzo is the tiny islet of Strombolicchio, topped by a lighthouse,
bearing the unusual profile of a horse’s head.
crater – The hike up to the Stromboli crater is a unique and
fascinating experience as it provides the opportunity to enjoy a
breathtaking natural phenomenon. The route itself is beautiful,
with unforgettable views. The crater comprises five vents. Explosions
and other volcanic phenomenons can be watched from a few hundreds
to the volcano – 5 hours trip. From the ferry jetty at San
Vincenzo, once an important stop for mediterranean ships, head for
the centre of the village and follow the tarred road to San Bartolo.
Before long, the typical white houses dwindle to none, a mule-track
begins (follow the signs), at first paved with slabs of lava and
then, after a few bends, degenerating into a well-worn footpath.
After some twenty minutes there is an observatory point called Punta
Labronzo (refreshments available and fine view of the craters).
Beyond that, the route continues through a mule-track stretching
amidst a rich vegetation with at the end a breathtaking view of
the Sciara del Fuoco, the great black slope down which clunks of
lava make their way from the crater to the sea. Then starts a steep
track cut deeply into the side of the mountain, excavated by water
erosion, leading to a reddish lava section where care should be
taken in the awkward scramble upwards. To the left of this section
extends a fine view over the village and Strombolicchio, nearly
700m below. The path climbs up a broad, steep and sandy ridge to
the summit. Level with craters, safely tucked away behind low semicircular
walls, are the first viewing points from where the eruptions may
be observed at leisure. At this altitude, the craters appear between
intermittent clouds of vapour. A final stretch leads to the highest
– as well as closest to the crater vents – point. The
view, especially if with a favorable light wind, is spectacular.
Startling explosions shoot matter high into the air, tingeing the
night’s blackness with red.
boat trip – This is the best way to enjoy an overall picture
of the island and experience all of its different aspects.
its distinctive two-humped profile (hence its ancient name Didyme,
is a solitary and quiet island, perfect for who wants to spend a
relaxing holiday at one with nature. Originally comprised of six
volcanoes of which four have disappeared over time, it derives its
present name from the saltworks, now abandoned, at Lingua, a tiny
village on the southern coast. Capers and grapes, the latter used
to produce the worldwide famous Malvasia delle Lipari are the island’s
most important and typical products.
has two landing stages: Santa Maria Salina and the little Rinella
di Leni (where is also a campsite which is crowded during during
the second and third weeks of August).
inland – By car or moped (ask the local inhabitants for information
on hiring points). A bus service is also available; time table are
displayed at Santa Maria Salina harbor.
panoramic road offering many views of the jagged coastline links
the harbor with the island’s other hamlets. From the main
town Santa Maria Salina, the road heads northwards, past Capo Faro,
on its way to Malfa. Then, it continues along the coastline above
Punta del Perciato, with its natural arch but visible from the sea
or from Pollara beach, a little further on,
the most beautiful beach on the island. Nearby is the (private)
of Troisi’s Il Postino (The Postman) were filmed. It was here
that the meetings between poet Neruda (Philip Noiret) and the postman
(Massimo Troisi) took place.
di Pollara – The beautiful Pollara beach is accessible by
two different paths: one leads to a small anchorage enclosed by
its own miniature shoreline of rocks; the other opens out in a wide
beach overshadowed by a striking white semicircular cliff-wall,
a remnant of the crater.
returning to Malfa, the road forks inland to Valdichiesa, where
is the Santuario della Madonna del Terzito, a destination of pilgrims,
and Rinella di Leni.
delle Felci – This is the taller of the two mounts in Salina,
with a beautiful fern wood (hence its name), recently designated
as a protected area. It is reachable through a 2 hours foot-path
going from the Santuario della Madonna del Terzito to Valdichiesa.
Another route starts from Santa Maria Salina.
world-known Malvasia delle Lipari is a strong, sweet, golden wine
made from grapes
have been left to wither on the vine before being picked. Its smooth,
aromatic flavour makes it an excellent dessert wine. There are various
types of Malvasia available. The Doc endorsed variety, produced
only on the islands, must bear the words Malvasia delle Lipari in
full on the label.
smallest of the Aeolian Islands rises to its highest point with
Punta del Corvo (420m), its western flank plunging steeply down
into the sea. The eastern side has gentler slopes ending in a tall
black lava coastline skirted by small pebbled beaches. To the south-east,
near Punta Milazzese, the remnants of a prehistoric village dominate
the fine bay of Cala Junco. All around the island emerge isles and
rocks including the dreaded Formiche’s (Ants), just below
the water surface, which have been the cause of many shipwrecks
slopes and a rocky, mostly basalt, coastline, are the main features
of this small island consisting of a group of craters, the tallest
of which is the Fossa delle Felci (773m). The island counts three
hamlets with a total population of 250 inhabitants.
its landing stage at Filicudi Porto, it is simple to reach the prehistoric
village situated on the promontory of Capo Graziano, about forty
minutes there and back, with the remains of some 25 ancient and
roughly oval huts. The settlement dates from the Bronze Age, here
transferred from another site on the shore, so that it could be
better defended against possible attacks (for relics discovered
at the site see the Museo Archeologico di Lipari section). The site
provides a fine view of the bay, the Fossa delle Felci and Alicudi,
in the distance on the left. If approaching by sea, a stop to visit
the huge cave of Grotta del Bue Marino is a must. A tallest volcanic
rock known as the Canna, due to its shape, rises offshore.
most isolated of the Aeolian Islands, it consists of a round cone
covered with heather (hence its ancient name Ericusa). Inhabited
by some 140 people, it has remained unchanged since the dawn of
time. It has a single village that groups together a handful of
pastel-colored houses scattered at the foot of the mountain; the
village rises up to the Filo dell’Arpa, offering a fine panoramic
view (the foot-path snakes its way from Chiesa di San Bartolo up
through the cultivated terraces. About 1 hour 45 minutes to the
top and back, at a brisk pace).