Eolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands, also called Lipari Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the province of Messina, north coast of Sicily. They include two active volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano, in addition to various phenomena of secondary volcanism.

The archipelago consists of the following islands:

Panarea with Basiluzzo islets, Dattilo and Lisca Bianca.
Stromboli (with the rock of Strombolicchio)

Tourist destination increasingly popular, the islands attract up to 200,000 visitors annuali.Le Aeolian have been named World Heritage by UNESCO for the volcanic phenomena, but this appointment is likely to be revoked due to the planned construction of a new large port tourism in Lipari.

The situation is still evolving, but the recent funding for the establishment of a National Park of the Aeolian Islands might mean the cancellation of the project porto.Le islands take their name from the god Aeolus, king of the winds. According to Greek mythology, Aeolus took refuge on these islands and gave their name, thanks to his reputation as a tamer of the winds. He lived in Lipari, and could predict the weather by observing the shape of the clouds puffing from an active volcano, probably Stromboli. Thanks to this ability, crucial for the islanders who were mostly fishermen and needed to know the weather events that allegedly took place, Eolo gained great popularity in the archipelago, and according to one theory, it was from these facts that a simple greek Prince, adept at predicting the weather from the clouds, nourished the myth of the god Aeolus able controllarle.La instead of human presence in the archipelago it is since the dawn of time. The prehistoric people in fact were definitely attracted by the presence of large quantities of obsidian, a volcanic mineral with which the Aeolian Islands were the center of flourishing trade routes since the days of ancient Rome. The first settlements were already several centuries before 4000 BC, in the neolithic age. Obsidian, which in those days was a sought-after material due to the fact that the sharpest of which the man of the time available to it, the father of commercial traffic so intense as to give great prosperity to the islands. Lipari was exported in large quantities to Sicily, southern Italy, Liguria, Provence and Dalmatia. In Lipari thus he was born one of the most populous settlements in the Mediterranean, and from 3000 BC the wealth of Lipari spread to six other islands, which began to be populated. Between the sixteenth and fourteenth centuries BC, becoming important because they put on the trade route of metals, particularly tin that came by sea from distant emporia of Britain and was passing through the Straits of Messina to the east. While in Sicily it is affirmed the Castelluccio Culture, Capo Graziano, the island of Filicudi but also in Lipari spreads the so-called Aeolian Culture characterized by commerce more than agriculture, with its circular huts with dry stone walls, almost overhanging the sea and its own ceramics. The islands were colonized by the Greeks around 580 BC, which they called the Aeolian islands because they considered that the abode of the god of the winds, Aeolus, a myth destined to affirm that the "Hellenism" .In the 260 were the scene of the battle between Lipari Rome and Carthage. In Roman times it became trading centers of sulfur, alum and sale.Lo biblical historian Josephus mentions a population perhaps related to the Aeolian islands: "Elisa gave the name to Eliseani and they are now the Aeoliani". Elisa refers to the grandson of Japheth, son of Noè.Nel 1544, when Spain declared war on France, the French king Francis I asked for help to the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. This sent a fleet commanded by Khayr al-Din Barbarossa, who sailed on the Aeolian islands and attacked, killing and deporting its inhabitants. According to his purpose the Aeolian should have been the outpost from which to attack Napoli.Nel over the centuries the archipelago was repopulated again by the Spanish communities, Sicily and the rest of Italy. In the Bourbon period the island of Vulcano was used as a penal colony for the forced extraction of alum and zolfo.Le Aeolian Islands form an archipelago of seven islands real, plus islets and rocky outcrops from the sea. The seven islands are arranged in the shape of Y horizontally, off the north of Sicily, facing the Tyrrhenian coast from Messina. They are therefore visible from much of the Tyrrhenian coast of Sicily when visibility is excellent and there is no fog.


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