The context

At the heart of trade in history

Human presence in the archipelago dates back to very ancient times (5500-4000 years ago). Its large quantities of obsidian meant that the Aeolian Islands were the centre of trade in the Mediterranean Sea.
From around 5500 thousand years ago, villages were created on all the islands except Vulcano. Between 3600 and 3400 years ago, the Aeolian Islands increased in importance because they were on the metal trade route. During the First Punic War the islands saw clashes between Rome and Carthage and Lipari was conquered by Rome in 252.
Around 1000 years ago the archipelago was attacked and devastated by the Arab army, which dominated Sicily at that time. 900 years ago Lipari was conquered by the Normans, who built a Benedictine abbey there, and with Roger II, it became a bishop’s seat. In 1544, when Spain declared war on France, the French King Francis I asked the Ottoman Sultan for help. He sent a fleet that attacked the Aeolian Islands, killing and deporting many of its inhabitants.
During the following centuries the archipelago was once again populated by Spanish, Sicilian and Italian communities. At the beginning of 1800 the Aeolian Islands were rediscovered for their DOC raisin wine, malvasia , thanks to trade of which the local economy flourished for around a century. In Bourbon times the island of Vulcano was used as a penal colony for the forced extraction of alum and sulphur .

The prehistoric village of Cala Junco

Vulcano, the most famous volcano in the world

The Stacks of Panarea

The senses tell The Gran Cratere of the Fossa

Pollara, between poetry and beauty

The Gran Cratere of the Fossa

Seven islands, dozens of volcanoes

Salina, the green island with twin mountains

The hidden part of the Aeolian Islands

Wine, oil and capers, masterpieces of nature and launching pad of the Aeolian economy

The Village of Capo Graziano

The polis of the living and the necropolis of the dead

The senses tell The Stacks of Panarea

Filicudi, a submerged paradise

The malleability of Vulcano’s mud

Seven islands with different faces

The pure white of the pumice quarries

The senses tell The summit craters

Lipari Castle, “fused” with lava

Lipari, where history intertwines with volcanoes to create archaeology

The senses tell the port of Vulcano

Myths and legends about volcanoes

Stromboli, the volcano that breathes

The salt lake of Lingua


Lipari at the centre of Mediterranean history

Panarea, the island of Stacks

Filicudi: small island, big history

Alicudi, where time has stood still

The ancient production of salt

The summit craters

Where do Vulcano’s gases come from?

The Cathedral of Lipari and the Norman Cloister of the Benedictine Monastery

The senses tell The prehistoric village of Cala Junco

The Aeolian Islands, where volcanoes were first studied

The senses tell the Lipari Castle

The fumaroles of the port of Vulcano

The senses tell Alicudi

At the heart of trade in history

The Sciara del Fuoco