Lipari at the centre of Mediterranean history

It is said that the city of Lipari was built before the Trojan War by Liparo.
The first human settlements in the Aeolian Islands date back 5000 years ago, when populations from Sicily were attracted by the large quantities of obsidian .
The peak of trade for Lipari was when the sale of obsidian took on extreme economic importance for the whole Mediterranean Sea: in this period, known as Upper Neolithic, Lipari became one of the most populated settlements in the Mediterranean.
The economic awakening and commercial trade led to contact with the Greeks around 2600 years ago: 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.
Around 2400 years ago, 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 , Lipari allied itself with the Carthaginians and suffered repeated attacks from the Roman fleet. It was defeated by the Romans in 252 BC by Consul Caius Aurelius Cotta. Lipari was then 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, razed the island to the ground, forcing the population into slavery. After the long and dark period caused by the 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. The much desired and sought-after tranquillity came to an end in 1544 when the pirate Barbarossa , allied with the French and 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.

The Aeolian Islands, where volcanoes were first studied

The senses tell The Gran Cratere of the Fossa

Vulcano, the most famous volcano in the world

Lipari Castle, “fused” with lava

The senses tell the port of Vulcano

At the heart of trade in history

Lipari at the centre of Mediterranean history

The Village of Capo Graziano

Filicudi, a submerged paradise

Panarea, the island of Stacks

Lipari, where history intertwines with volcanoes to create archaeology

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

The prehistoric village of Cala Junco

The senses tell The summit craters

The Sciara del Fuoco


The polis of the living and the necropolis of the dead

The pure white of the pumice quarries

Seven islands with different faces

Alicudi, where time has stood still

The hidden part of the Aeolian Islands

Pollara, between poetry and beauty

The senses tell The Stacks of Panarea

The summit craters

The senses tell The prehistoric village of Cala Junco

Filicudi: small island, big history

The Stacks of Panarea

The Gran Cratere of the Fossa

Seven islands, dozens of volcanoes

The fumaroles of the port of Vulcano

The malleability of Vulcano’s mud

Myths and legends about volcanoes

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

The senses tell Alicudi

The senses tell the Lipari Castle

Stromboli, the volcano that breathes

The ancient production of salt

Where do Vulcano’s gases come from?

The salt lake of Lingua

Salina, the green island with twin mountains