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 Le Isole Eolie: un paradiso... mediterraneo !





Province Messina - Telephone code 090
Postal code Lipari 98055 - Other islands 98050
Information AAST Lipari, C so Vitt Emanuele, 239 - Tel 090/9811410- Telex980133Eohel


Air: Reggio Calabria - Catania - Palermo

Tram: Milazzo

several services daily from Milazzo - 3 times per week from Napoli

several services daily from Milazzo - daily from Messina and Reggio Calabria
Summer only
Palermo - Cefalu - S Agata Militello - Capo d'Orlando - Maratea - Vibo Valentia - Napoli 

Motorway: A-20 turn off for Milazzo - Isole Eolie


Information bureau, Tel 9811410• First Aid, Tel 9811555/ 98 11 010 • Hospital, Tel 98 11 554 • Harbour Master, Tel 98 11 320 • Customs office Tel 98 11 160 • Police, Tel 98 11 333 • Traffic police, Tel 98 11 330 • Town hall, Tel 98 12 271 • Taxi, Tel 98 11 110

S. Maria Salina 
Information bureau, Tel 98 43 003 • First aid, day clinic, Tel 98 43 064 • Police, Tel 98 43 019 • Customs office, Tel 98 43 016

Local Doctor, Tel 98 44 027 • First aid, Tel 98 44 005

Local Doctor, Tel 98 42 186 • First aid, Tel 98 09 186

Local Doctor, Tel 98 52 220 • Police - Porto Ponente, Tel 98 52 110

Information bureau, Tel 98 60 23 • Local Doctor, Tel 98 60 97 • Police, Tel 98 60 21

Information bureau, Tel 98 11 580 • Local Doctor, Tel 98 44 176 • Police, Tel 9844 110

Information bureau, Tel 98 11 580 • Local Doctor, Tel 98 44 274 

Information bureau, Tel 98 11 580 • Local Doctor, Tel 98 30 40 • Police (summer only), Tel 98 31 81


Scientifically the archipelago is defined as a "volcanic arc" Geology explains the origin of the islands as a result of the "continental drift" or movement of the earth's crust The African continental shelf is in constant movement towards Europe The resulting collision has created a volcanic area with ruptures in the earth's crust with consequent eruptions of magma The "Eolian arc" extends for more than 140 kilometres but the area of geological instability caused by the collision of Africa with Europe is very much larger It includes Sicily, Calabria, Campania together with Greece and the Aegean islands The complex of the seven Eolian islands, covering an area of 1600 square kilometres, originated from a great plain at the bottom of the Tyrrhenian sea Emitions of lava from depths of up to 3600 metres resulted in the formation of our islands together with Ustica and a series of submarine volcanoes named Magnani, Vavilov, Marsili and Palmuro as well as two that are unnamed The present shape of the Eolian islands is the result of volcanic activity over a period of 360,000 years The oldest islands are Panarea Fihcudi, Strombolicchio, while the most recent is Stromboh Vulcanello is the youngest volcano The Museum of Vulcanology at the Castle in Lipari is well worth visiting


4000 - 2500 BC. First evidence of Sicilian migration in Lipari (Castellaro Vec-chio) Manufacture and commerce of obsidian highly developed until the introduction of metals

7600 - 7250 BC. During the Bronze age the Eolians prosper by means of maritime commerce in an area extending from Mycenae to the British isles from where tin was imported Villages flourished in Capo Graziano (Filicudi), Castello (Li-pari), Serro dei Cianfi (Salma), Capo Milazzese (Panarea), Portella (Salma) All these settlements are destroyed by new italic invasions in 1250 BC 7240 - 850 BC. The islands are occupied by the Ausonians led by Liparus Lipa-rus is succeded by Eolus whose house, according to Homer, gave hospitality to Ulysses

6th - 4th Century BC. In 580 BC Greek exiles from Rhodes land at Lipari to begin a period of Greek domination which was known for acts of piracy against Etruscan and Phoenecian shipping Fine work in the production of vases and other ceramics

3rd century BC. - 3rd century AD. The islanders are allies of the Carthaginians against Rome The Romans sack Lipari and their domination leads to a period of decadence and poverty

4th - 10th Century AD. At the fall of the Roman empire, the Eolian islands come under the sway of the Barbarian Visigoths, the Vandals and Ostrogoths, followed by the harsh domination of the Byzantine empire In the year 264 a coffin containing the body of St Bartholonen is washed uon the beach of Lipari with the result that Bartholonen is immediately elected Patron Saint of the islands Calogerus the hermit was active in Lipari during the first half of the 4th century -he gave his name to the thermal springs

In 836 the Saracens sack Lipari, massacre the population and enslave the survivors

11th - 15th century. The Normans liberate Sicily from the Arabs and lay the foundations of a period of good government and renewal King Ruggero sends the Benedictine monks to Lipari which gives rise to considerable development in the islands The cathedral dedicated to St Bartholonen is built together with the Benedictine monastery in the castle Lipari becomes a bishopric and agriculture makes progress in Salma as well as the smaller islands In 1208 Frederick II of Swabia accedes to the throne of Sicily The period of prosperity which follows and is consolidated during the course of his reign, ends with the domination of the Angevms and the rebellion of the Sicilians culminating in the revolt of the Sicilian Vespers The Eolians however, remain loyal to Charles of Anjou, and commercial links are established with Naples, the capital of the Angevin kingdom In 1337 Lipari opens its gates to the French fleet without resistance and in return obtains various commercial and fiscal benefits In the middle of the t5th century, Naples and Palermo unite in the Kingdom of the two Sicilies under the crown of Alfonso V of Aragon Eolian privileges are recognized Eolian privateers fight with the Spanish against the French

16th - 20th century. On 30th June 1544 a fleet of 180 Turkish vessels under the command of the great corsair Anadeno Barbarossa occupy Lipari and lay siege to the castle The desperate defense of Lipari is no match for the terrible havoc caused by the muslem cannonade - surrender ensues 9,000 of the 10,000 citizens are captured and enslaved Many were already killed while others were finished off while attempting to escape

The city remains deserted and only after the tragedy do the Spanish authorities turn their attention to Lipari and repopulate the city with Sicilian, Calabnan and Spanish families The City walls and the houses are rebuilt and an Eolian fleet is constructed which is able to successfully defend the Tyrrhenian Sea from the Turks

At the beginning of the year 1693 an earthquake destroyed all towns in eastern Sicily causing 140,000 deaths After the population invoked the protection of St Bartholonen during prayers in the Cathedral there was not a single victim m the islands

The economic conditions of the islands improve greatly during the 17th century with agricultural progress (malvasia, capers, excellent fruit, and fishing) With the Bourbons comes the affliction of criminal and political prisoners This unhappy imposition continues and worsens until the unity of Italy In 1916 the penal colony is closed but the fascist regime tries to reopen it in 1926 - in vain, because the population reacts by pulling down the remains of the ex-peniten-tiary in the castle However, not long after this, the castle is converted to acco-modate anti-fascist politicals under enforced exile Lipanans fraternized with these exiles until the Liberation After the war the same rooms that had housed the opponents of fascism became the Eolian Archaeological Museum Towards the end of the 19th century the islands were repeatedly visited by Duke

Luigi Salvatore of Austria - a friend of the islands and also a man with a profound knowledge of the Archipelago. Between the years 1893-96 he published a work of eight volumes on the Eolian islands.

In August 1888 the crater named the Fossa in Vulcano erupts and causes dea-' ths in the sulphur mines. The eruptions continue for 19 months.


This island is the focal point of all cultural, agricultural and industrial activity It is also the centre for fishing and is noted for its natural beauty Of geological interest are two extinct volcanoes Monte S Angelo (594 m ) at the centre of the island is the highest volcano and its eruptions formed deposits of pumice and obsidian at the Forgia Vecchia and Pomiciazzo Below Monte S Angelo on the coast, is the village of Canneto Monte Pilato (426 m ) forms the north eastern point of the island and its eruptions of pumice and obsidian resulted in the Roc-che Rosse The most important quarries for pumice extraction are located outside Canneto Smaller quarries are above the village of Acquacalda on the northern coast at the foot of Monte Pilato The pumice and obsidian have given rise to very beautiful beaches at Canneto and Acquacalda The twin domes of lava of Monte Rosa divide the bays of Lipari and Canneto Monte Giardma (27 m ) and Monte Guardia (365 m) together formed the whole southern part of the island

The town of Lipari arises around the curious circular ramparts of rock It is located at the centre of a gulf with the Monte Rosa at the extreme northern point It was known as the acropolis by the Greeks and from medieval times has been called the castle

Within the Castle is the Archaeological Museum Most interesting are the displays concerning the prehistoric "Obsidian civilization" and the Greek colonization of the small islands There is also a fascinating sequence of the various "neolithic cultures" with exhibits from all seven of the islands, an extraordinary collection of Greek vases (6th - 3rd century BC), some of which were manufactured locally (painter of Lipari, painter of Cefalu, painter of the Sphendone Bianca, painter of the three Nikai, painter of the Dove, painter of the Falcon) Last but not least is the collection of statuettes and theatrical masks from the Greek period, and reconstructions of necropoli from prehistoric to Roman times The Museum of Vulcanology provides a very complete explanation of the geology of the seven Eolian islands

Excursions by car: Lipari - Belvedere Quattrocchi with an extraordinary view of the Faraglioni of Lipari and the island of Vulcano - Pianoconte - Terme di S. Calogero in a very fine wild setting - Quattropani backed by some attractive cultivated hills - Acquacalda which can be reached by the midcoast road and allows an enchanting view of Salma - Porticello - Cave di Pomice - Canneto - Lipari


In terms of natural vegetation this island has much to offer, and is the first island to have protected its environment with a nature reserve, the Riserva Naturale dei Monti Fossa delle Felci e dei Porri These are the names of the twin volcanoes that inspired the Greeks to name the island Didyme (twins) The Monte Fossa delle Felci (968 m ) is the highest peak of all the small Sicilian islands and the second highest of all the Italian islands Another crater which is still visible and lies just above sea level contains the village of Pollara The sea has covered one side of the crater, and one can swim quite peacefully in a place that was once spewing forth fire and brimstone1

Salma has three autonomous municipal authorities S Marina on the eastern coast, Malfa to the north and Leni to the south west From Leni down towards the sea is the village of Rinella An interesting feature of the island is the Salt Lake at Lingua where at one time salt was produced, hence the name Salma Remember to taste the famous Malvasia (DOC) wine and the Salma capers -known throughout the mediterranean

Excursions by car: S.Marina - Lingua S.Marina - Capo Faro - Malfa - Pollara. Malfa - Leni - Rinella.


Famous since ancient times for its bad temper, scientific opinion still considers the volcano to be active, even though the last eruptions occurred between 1888-1890 The island originated during the course of several millennia from the result of eruptions of a number of craters Monte Saraceno (481 m ), Monte Ana (500 m ), Monte Lucia (188 m ), Monte Lentua (150 m ) and lastly, the Gran Cra-tere della Fossa (391 m ) and Vulcanello (123 m ) Vulcanello is the most recent crater It arose out of the sea m the year 21 AD The isthmus which now links it to the island was formed in the 16th century Eruptive activity at the Cratere del-la Fossa has been defined as "vulcanian" - a term accepted by international science as indicating a characteristic level of eruptions of acid lava At present a big increase in emitions of smoke both on the Cratere della Fossa and m the sea

around the flat land of the porto is in course after a century of inactivity The entire area is under the surveillance of the Institute of Vulcanology of Catania and the Ministry of Civil Protection Great numbers of tourists visit the island in the summer and find accomodation in the Piana dell'lstmo between Porto di Lev ante and Porto di Ponente By far the most pleasant area for a holiday however is Piano, a wide open elevated plain with lots of greenery to the south of the crater

Excursion on foot to the Gran Cratere delta Fossa (about one hour) - a most interesting trip, but be careful not to inhale the volcanic gases from thefumaroles

Excursion by bus to Piano (7 5 Km) this is a pleasant trip, and a walk in the fields at Capo Grillo is worthwhile for the superb view of the archipelago Descent on foot from Piano to Gelso (excellent bathing) Fumaroles and mud baths at Porto di Levante Lots of fun and good for health if not too crowded Porto di Ponente Beach of black sand, pleasant when not too crowded


This is the only European volcano permanently erupting, and it is one of only five in the whole world Its behaviour is so typical and constant that the term "strombohan activity" is used to indicate all similar volcanic activity The island reaches an altitude of 924 m and gives the impression of a perfect pyramid with a blackish bronze colouring The island rises from a sea depth of 2000 m The excursion to the crater usually a night activity, this can be one of life's most exciting moments It is necessary to have a guide and some minimum equipment a torch, suitable footwear, windcheater and some lemons to quench thirst To organize the trip get in touch with the local tourist office at Ficogrande Boat parties are sent out from all the islands in the archipelago for tourists to see the eruptions after sunset from the sea A walk from Stromboh (the village) to Punta Labronzo is an experience for the marvellous sunsets and the view of the eruptions from below Pieces of incandescent lava and sporadic lava flows descending the black slide Sciara del Fuoco to the sea are a very impressive sight

The village of Stromboli spreads along the north east coast from the beach of Scar/ to Piscita On the opposite side of the island is Ginostra, a village with a popolation of about thirty people Boats arrive at the little harbour Porticciolo di Pertuso, the smallest harbour in the world which can accomodate only one boat at a time The houses of Stromboli and Ginostra are the purest expression of typical Eohan architecture


The island is made up of one big volcanic cone, the Monte Fossa delle Felci (774 m.) together with other smaller craters.

Capo Graziano is an interesting promontory to the south east of the port. On the slopes of Capo Graziano are the remains of huts from a prehistoric village which gave its name to one of the neolithic Eolian cultures. The houses of Filicu-di cling to the slopes of Valle Chiesa above the Port. There is a second settlement on the southern slope of the mountain called Pecorini. The island of Alicudi is reached from Filicudi via a series of rocks known as the Montenassari resembling a dragon's back and the Canna like an obelisk on top of which is a vague "profile" of the Virgin Mary These rocks are volcanic remains that have been eroded by the sea.


Isolated and impervious, the pyramid of Alicudi is sparsely inhabited by people who live a very difficult life. At the beginning of the century there were more than a thousand inhabitants. The harsh conditions and the disinterest shown by the authorities resulted in the decrease of population. There is no port here and only row boats can disembark on the island. There are no roads because of the natural obstacle of the mountain, there are only paths with steps. Even electricity was lacking until recently. The whole island is marked by terraces that were worked out of the slopes by the labour of generations of islanders to make as much use as possible of even the tiniest corner of land. At the present time however, all agriculture has been abandoned apart from the occasional kitchen garden. At the highest point in the village, the point nearest heaven, there is the little cemetery with the graves marked by iron memorials of the nineteenth century bearing the names of men and women who were much stronger than us.


This is the smallest of the Eolian islands. An archipelago of very beautiful rocks surrounds it; the biggest rock is called Basiluzzo and is most unusual for the variety and grandeur of its lava cliffs; Lisca Bianca, Lisca A/era, Bottaro, Dattilo the Panarelli and the rosary of the Formiche. So a boat trip to this "Panarea archipelago" should not be missed.

The prehistoric village at Capo Milazzese is also worth a visit. The village rises in a very suggestive position on the promontory of the same name. Below the village is the splendid Cala Junco where while swimming one can admire the amazing lava rocks. On the opposite side of the island to the north is the Ca/ca-ra, a volcanic crater by the sea with constant fumarole activity and some remains of evidence of a very ancient cult of infernal gods. There is a discontinuous string of houses along the whole north eastern coast. Up to ten years ago these were subdivided into village units: Ditella, S. Pietro, Drauto. Nowadays Panarea is the domain of tourists mostly from Milan and Turin who continue to build little houses imitating the original styles. The real Eolian spirit of Panarea no longer exists, even though the beauty of the sea and the rocks remain.




 PalermoWeb NEWS - Reg.Trib. Pa. n.26-17/09/07 - 1999-2015©Copyright PalermoWeb - Direttore: Rosalinda Camarda