The context

At the heart of trade in history

Human presence in the archipelago dates back to very ancient times (5500-4000 BC). Its vast quantities of volcanic glass ( obsidian ) meant that the Aeolian Islands were at the centre of flourishing trade routes.
OssidianaStarting from the 4th millennium BC, settlements appeared on all the islands except Vulcano.
Between the 16th and 14th centuries BC, the Aeolian Islands became more important as they were located on the metal trade route. Even in the Greek period the Archipelago represented a key point of trade between Etruscans, Carthaginians and Greeks.
During the First Punic War the islands saw clashes between Rome and Carthage and Lipari was conquered by Rome in 252 BC.
In Roman times the Aeolian Islands became centres of commerce of sulphur, alum and salt, wine, sardelles and garum .
In the 9th century AD, the archipelago was attacked and devastated by the Muslim army, which dominated Sicily at that time. In the 11th century Lipari was conquered by the Normans, who built a Benedictine abbey, 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 to attack 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 discovered for their DOC raisin wine, malvasia, trade of which allowed the local economy to flourish 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 underwater morphological elements of the Aeolian Islands

Stories of the sea and shipwrecks. The wrecks of the Aeolian Islands

Alicudi, where time has stood still

Tsunamis: a not uncommon phenomenon in Stromboli

At the heart of trade in history

Filicudi, a submerged paradise

The underwater fumarolic activity of Lisca Bianca

The senses tell The salt lake of Lingua

Seven islands, dozens of volcanoes

Malvasia delle Lipari DOC

Between brush strokes of sulphur and clouds of steam: the fumaroles of the port of Vulcano

The ancient production of salt

“Vulcanian” eruptions

Pollara, between poetry and beauty

The malleability of Vulcano’s mud

Lipari Castle, “fused” with the lava

Where do Vulcano’s gases come from?

“Strombolian” activity in the place where its definition was born

The Sciara del Fuoco

The polis of the living and the necropolis of the dead

Vulcano, the youngest of the Aeolian works of art

Panarea and its history

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

The summit craters

Lipari, where history intertwines with volcanoes to create archaeology

Panarea, where sea and volcanoes become sculptors

Salina, the green island with twin mountains

The senses tell The Village of Capo Graziano

The pure white of the pumice quarries

The Gran Cratere of the Fossa: when the volcano becomes a sculptor

The hidden part of the Aeolian Islands

The senses tell The Sciara del Fuoco

The Village of Capo Graziano

The Aeolian Islands, where volcanology was born

Stromboli, the volcano that breathes

Lipari at the centre of Mediterranean history

The salt lake of Lingua

The 2002-03 eruption

Volcanoes as a natural art form

The senses tell The summit craters

The senses tell The Stacks of Panarea

Filicudi: small island, big history

The Thermal Baths of Saint Calogerus

The prehistoric village of Cala Junco

The senses tell The Pumice Quarries of Lipari

Myths and legends about volcanoes

The stacks of Panarea

How pumice is formed