Mediterranean Cruise — The Aeolian Islands

Iten Lipari

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“The Aeolian Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus. The locals residing on the islands are known as Aeolians.” We toured Lipari, the largest on Friday, October, 11. It was quite pretty. Most of the other islands floated in and out of milky skies, and the island Vulcano smoked continuously. From the water, Lipari seems to be abandoned. Walking up a narrow street took us to the main drag which we walked down to find our bus. With tourist season over, we were nearly the only people out and about and the subject for some curiosity from locals who hadn’t seen the ship arrive. One shopkeeper sent a boy down to the harbor to see and report.

The church and museum atop the citadel

The church and museum atop the acropolis

Once again a citadel defined the town, and a major church and museum now sit within the acropolis walls. The museum of archeology is considered the best in the world in its topic space. Once again switch backs took us up, up above the pumice mines and quarries that killed so many workers with silicosis. The run-off from the terminated mining activities provides the white bottoms that create the turquoise waters surrounding the island.

Much of the island is wild and green with volcanic highlights — massive in situ extrusions of obsidian and many meter thick layers of pumice (pumice is just obsidian foamed with volcanic gases). We stopped to look at and purchase some of the obsidian raw and some made into jewelry. The nearest island, Salina, came out of the mist while we were there.

From there, we went to Marisa’s for local pizza, pastries and wine. The food was aromatic and delicious. The place was cool, airy, and spotless. Marisa was a pistol. The glasses were tiny, but the pours were continuous. Satiated, we glided down into the town we started from for some free time. It still was pretty sleepy, but the places that offered snacks and drinks were beginning to see a few chairs fill.

When we left the anchorage, the Captain sailed us between Lipari and smoking Vulcano since folks had been unable to go there to climb the volcano. Rain followed us up to Stromboli which sort of fizzled in the distance.

Please enjoy the photos. Photos without captions don’t really need them. Click on first one to scroll.

2 responses to “Mediterranean Cruise — The Aeolian Islands

  1. moondance38

    I’m enjoying traveling with you! When are you heading south?

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