Lipari – Aeolian Islands

Lipari is an island just off the north coast of Sicily. It is part of the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago that straddles the gap between Vesuvius and Etna. It is the largest of the Aeolian Islands with a population of just over 10,000 people. Other islands are Salina, Filicudi, Vulcano (from which the name Volcano was derived), Stromboli, Panarea and Alicudi. Stromboli has one of only three active volcanoes in Italy and last erupted in 2009.
The main town of Lipari is…..Lipari
Lipari is a rustic seaside town, heavily reliant on tourism.
This area is one of the main archaeological sites in Lipari, positioned on a rocky outcrop overlooking the town.
Lipari has two main harbours. This one on the north side of the town in front of Piazza Sant’Onofrio houses more of the pleasure craft in Lipari. The southern harbour takes all of the large ferries.
One of the main churches in Lipari, the Basilica of St. Bartholomew built inside the fortifications. St Bartholomew’s remains were kept here between 600-800 AD. The fortifications which were built on a rocky outcrop in 1556 under the direction of Charles V of Spain now includes the wonderful Aeolian museum of Lipari. This museum houses many fine pieces from the various occupations of Lipari. This fortified area high above the main town was a safe haven for the populace of the town in the event of raids by foreign enemy.
The small boat harbour and Piazza Sant’Onofrio
with the locals just relaxing and enjoying a few rays of sun as it rained every day in Lipari while we were there.
One local relaxing by the water
Another two locals on their front door step.
The island of Lipari is about 40 square kilometres is was created by a succession of volcanic eruptions around 10,000 BC. As a result of its volcanic origins, the island is covered with pumice and obsidian.
Pumice cliffs on north east of Island.
Porticello on the north east coast.
Coastal view looking toward the island of Vulcano

It is believed Lipari was inhabited from around 5,000 years BC. It was colonised by the Greeks in 580BC who successfully fought the Etruscans for control. The Romans took over around 250 BC and remained that way until the 9th century when the Arabs took control. The Normans conquered the Arabs in the 11th century and repopulated Lipari. Then followed various battles and occupations by the Spanish,  Austrians, French amongst others before it returned to Italian rule.

The Terme di San Calogero on the west coast of Lipari Island dates back over 3,500 years. The water that flows is known for its therapeutic properties and is high in carbon dioxide, sodium chloride and magnesium and comes out of the rock at 40 degrees centigrade!  Amazing!


Inside “the sauna” at
Terme di San Calogero. This sauna is a domed circular stone structure and still remains hot even though access to the outside is open.
Hot mineral water flowing into “the sauna” at 40 degrees plus
The water flowing into these baths at around 40 degrees provided wonderful therapeutic baths.
View looking toward the town of Lipari from the fortress
The old monastery adjoining the Basilica of Saint Bartholomew
Beautiful azzure sea
Porticello on the north coast
Lipari town dominated by the fortress. During fascism Lipari Island was a destination for the confinement of members of the political opposition.
Lipari in the foreground and the island of Vulcano behind

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