Lipari at the centre of Mediterranean history

It is said that the city of Lipari was built before the Trojan War by Liparo.
Starting from the Neolithic age up to the 3rd millennium BC, the population of the island can be defined as varied and multi-ethnic, since it had been populated by groups from Sicily, Greece, Campania and neighbouring areas.
The first human settlements in the Aeolian Islands date back to the 5th millennium BC, when populations from Sicily were attracted by the large quantities of obsidian .
The peak of trade can be traced back to the Upper Neolithic, when Lipari became one of the most populous settlements in the Mediterranean.
The economic awakening and commercial trade activities certainly favoured contact with new peoples; in fact there were regular relations with Mycenaean Greece. It was from here that the islands got their name “Aeolian Islands”, from the Greek-Mycenaean populations of Aeolian lineage, from the legends about the mythical King Aeolus , keeper of the winds, mentioned in Homer’s magnum opus, the Odyssey.
In conjunction with the fiftieth Olympics, at the end of the 6th century BC, the Aeolian Islands were colonised by Greeks of Doric descent, following a serious defeat at Marsala by the Elymians. These peoples that landed in the Aeolian Islands, in an attempt to defend themselves from the offensives of Phoenician and Etruscan pirates, formed a powerful fleet capable of defeating and plundering their enemies.
In the early 4th century BC, Lipari was occupied by the Carthaginians, who made the island one of their best naval stations, thanks to its excellent ports and strategic position. At the outbreak of the First Punic War in 264 BC, Lipari allied itself with the Carthaginians and suffered repeated attacks from the Roman fleet.
During the civil war, Lipari was conquered between 37 and 36 BC by Octavius against Sextus Pompey, and the partisans of Pompey were exiled to Campania. The island began to flourish again and entered the orbit of Syracuse then Rome, which also developed Lipari as a spa resort.
After the Roman period, Lipari was probably a bishop’s seat and a destination for hermits seeking refuge under Byzantine rule. Alongside the enormous inconvenience caused by the eruptions, Lipari had to face the Arab invasions that, in 839 BC, razed the island to the ground, forcing the population into an existence of slavery.
After the long and dark period of Arab and Byzantine rule, Lipari again experienced a golden period thanks to the Norman rule that repopulated the island and fortified the Castle. Under the banners of Roger I, the Great Count, Lipari was returned to the Christian faith with the foundation, in 1083, of a Benedictine monastery dedicated to St. Bartholomew, which is still in excellent condition today.
In 1091, by decree of Pope Urban II, the islands became a fief of the monastery. The much desired and sought-after tranquillity came to an end in 1544 when the pirate Barbarossa, allied with the French, with a fleet of 150 ships struck a blow by burning houses and the cathedral and forcing the entire population into slavery which, at the time, was around 8000 people.
The great dismay of Charles V, sovereign of Naples, led him to build a more imposing wall, and encouraged repopulation through tax exemptions. Despite the commitment of the sovereign of Naples, the concern of the inhabitants for the numerous raids lasted until the disappearance of Turkish piracy around 1700.

“Vulcanian” eruptions

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

Panarea, where sea and volcanoes become sculptors

The 2002-03 eruption

The senses tell The summit craters

Alicudi, where time has stood still

Lipari, where history intertwines with volcanoes to create archaeology

The hidden part of the Aeolian Islands

Seven islands, dozens of volcanoes

The pure white of the pumice quarries

The polis of the living and the necropolis of the dead

At the heart of trade in history

Volcanoes as a natural art form

The malleability of Vulcano’s mud

Vulcano, the youngest of the Aeolian works of art

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

The senses tell The salt lake of Lingua

The senses tell The Pumice Quarries of Lipari

The underwater morphological elements of the Aeolian Islands

Filicudi, a submerged paradise

The senses tell The Stacks of Panarea

How pumice is formed

Salina, the green island with twin mountains

The Village of Capo Graziano

Where do Vulcano’s gases come from?

The prehistoric village of Cala Junco

The senses tell The Sciara del Fuoco

The Sciara del Fuoco

The Thermal Baths of Saint Calogerus

Myths and legends about volcanoes

Stromboli, the volcano that breathes

The Aeolian Islands, where volcanology was born

Malvasia delle Lipari DOC

The stacks of Panarea

The ancient production of salt

The underwater fumarolic activity of Lisca Bianca

Pollara, between poetry and beauty

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

Filicudi: small island, big history

Lipari Castle, “fused” with the lava

Tsunamis: a not uncommon phenomenon in Stromboli

Lipari at the centre of Mediterranean history

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

The senses tell The Village of Capo Graziano

The salt lake of Lingua

The summit craters

Panarea and its history

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