There are eight Aeolian Islands surrounding Sicily but only seven are inhabited. Some of the islands are Panaria, Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli. They are characterized by caverns, cliffs and panoramic vistas. Since the 18th century, volcanologists have studied these volcanic landforms. In Panaria take a ride on the golf cart from the port and visit a Bronze Age Village.
Each island in the archipelago is interesting. The movie “Il Postino” was filmed in Salina and the island of Stromboli has an active volcano that continually erupts. You can get to the islands by boarding a ferry or hydrofoil watercraft from the mainland in Messina or Milazzo.
In Stromboli visit the center of town high above the beach. Admire the lovely ceramic statues in the church of Saint Vicento Dicatum. Stromboli is called the lighthouse of the Mediterranean because of its regular eruptions. In Stromboli, have a glass of wine at the café dedicated to Ingrid Bergman. Ingrid had a torrid affair with Roberto Rossellini in Stromboli while filming the movie “Stromboli.” Sit outside the cafe and gaze at the rock formation in the middle of the water called “Strombolicchio.” It rises 183 feet above the sea with a steep path that leads to the lighthouse. You can climb the volcano with a registered tour guide. You will board your boat and when the sun goes down you can watch the volcano erupt from the boat; it is a magnificent site! The eruption only lasts a few seconds and emits lava fragments and ashes.
Lipari is the largest island north of Sicily and the most inhabited. It has a pretty port, thermal baths and black rocky beaches in Acquacalda on the northern shore. Lipari was colonized by the Greeks in 575 B.C. and is about two hours from Milazzo by ferry. It is known for its pumice quarries and is the home of an interesting Archeological Museum. There is a delightful Buon Ricordo Restaurant in Lipari called Ristorante Filippin dal 1910 in Piazza Municipo. The trechetti pasta incorporates the flavors of the island. Try to attend the Saint Bartholomew Festival in August. The event includes a fireworks display. Lipari’s vineyards produce mostly Salina red wine. Try a glass of Malvasia di Lipari wine with local desserts like Nacatuli or Spicchiteddalocal at a café near the Canneto or Spiaggia Bianca beaches.
After your mudbath in Lipari, you may want to reserve a room. The Villa Diana in Lipari is filled with art and antiques (www.villadiana.com). The views from the pumice beaches in Lipari are quite dramatic. Flippin on Piazza Mazzani has excellent Aeolian pasta in red anchovy sauce. Villa Meligunis on via Marte 7, Tritone on via Mendolita and Aktea on via Falcone e Borsellino offer charming outdoor seating. A’Pinnata on Baia Pignataro offers a great view of the water, vineyards and the volcano. To learn more about Sicily read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides and