Italy - Sicilian Islands


Isole Eolie

North of the island of Sicily, there is an archipelago of islands called the Isole Eolie. Greek myth says they are the home of Hephaistos, the god of the smithy. They offer some amazing natural sights due to their volcanic nature and are among the most beautiful in Italy. Along with southern Italy and Sicily, many ancient Greek artifacts of archaeological value can be found here. The islands can be reached by a ferry from the town of Milazzo on the north coast of Sicily.


A view of the castello of Lipari, taken while riding the ferry to Stromboli. Inside the fortress there is a wonderful museum full of artifacts recovered from the seas surrounding these islands and a youth hostel, where I stayed. There is also a famous beach where instead of sand, the shore is covered with small pieces of pumice!


This is a view of one of Stromboli's beaches, taken while going down the hill. Stromboli is the world's most active volcano, erupting on average every 15 minutes. Most of the eruptions spew only hot ashes and some small burning rocks. The best way to see it is to climb to the edge of the crater in the late afternoon and camp overnight. The three-hour climb is grueling, but well worth the effort! The display of hot coals and ashes flying from the crater at night is amazing. You won't want to sleep. Unfortunately, even in mid-August when I was there, it was incredibly cold and windy at the top.

The island actually quite small, dominated by the cone-shaped volcano, but the beaches are beautiful, black volcanic sand which gets VERY hot! This is one of the most beautiful places in Italy, but since it's fairly inaccessable, it does not get many visitors.


This is the mud bath at Vulcano, another volcanic island in the chain. Vulcano has one beach of black sand and also boasts this famous mud bath where you can have a beauty treatment for free! Just beyond the mud is a small beach where hot water bubbles to the surface just off the shore. It is a natural jacuzzi! It's also an excellent place to wash the dried mud off!

Other pages to visit:

Italy: Travelogue Venice Siena Florence Amalfi Coast Isle of Capri Sicilian Islands
Other countries: Europe Turkey Nepal India Japan Thailand

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All text and photographs Copyright 1991, 1996 Naomi S. Smith

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