The Thermal Baths of Saint Calogerus

The thermal springs of the island of Lipari are remembered by writers from Greek and Roman times (Aristotle, Diodorus, Strabo, Athenaeum and Pliny) and were so famous that one of the minor thermal baths of Rome bore the name of Aeolia.
“ In the island of Lipara they say that there is a place with a down draught, in which if they hide a pipkin, anything they put into it boils” (Aristotle, De mirabilibus auscultationibus 34).
It is very likely that the literary quotation refers to the thermal spring of Saint Calogerus (San Calogero) on the western side of the island, whose original pseudo-dome structure is compared to the beehive tombs of Mycenaean Greece, dating back to between the 16th and 14th centuries BC, such as the well-known “Treasury of Atreus”.
Inside the furnace of San Calogero, prehistoric Bronze Age ceramics were found which were widespread in the Aeolian Islands at a time when trade and economic relations between the Aeolian Islands and the Mycenaean world were already well established.
The building was not built on the hot spring that was further upstream, but a few dozen metres away, so water was brought into the furnace through channels. It is the oldest existing spa building and remained so throughout the Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods and until the 19th century through various renovations and reconstructions.
The temperature of the water from the San Calogero thermal baths varies between 34 and 40 °C. These values are attributable to a classic hydrothermal phenomenon, typical of volcanic areas, which effectively shows that even the Lipari magmatic system cannot be considered extinct.
On the contrary, the fact that the last eruption on the island dates back to “only” 800 years ago, combined with this hydro-thermal activity – widespread along the entire north-western coast of the island – shows that there is a dormant but active volcanic system in Lipari.

The senses tell The Pumice Quarries of Lipari

Filicudi: small island, big history

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

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

How pumice is formed

Malvasia delle Lipari DOC

“Vulcanian” eruptions

Tsunamis: a not uncommon phenomenon in Stromboli

At the heart of trade in history

Where do Vulcano’s gases come from?

Salina, the green island with twin mountains

The senses tell The Village of Capo Graziano

The hidden part of the Aeolian Islands

The summit craters

Vulcano, the youngest of the Aeolian works of art

The underwater fumarolic activity of Lisca Bianca

Lipari at the centre of Mediterranean history

Lipari Castle, “fused” with the lava

Filicudi, a submerged paradise

The stacks of Panarea

The Village of Capo Graziano

The 2002-03 eruption

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

The senses tell The summit craters

Lipari, where history intertwines with volcanoes to create archaeology

The pure white of the pumice quarries

Seven islands, dozens of volcanoes

Myths and legends about volcanoes

Panarea and its history

Volcanoes as a natural art form

The prehistoric village of Cala Junco

The Thermal Baths of Saint Calogerus

The senses tell The Sciara del Fuoco

Stromboli, the volcano that breathes

The senses tell The Stacks of Panarea

The malleability of Vulcano’s mud

The salt lake of Lingua

The ancient production of salt

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

Pollara, between poetry and beauty

Alicudi, where time has stood still

The underwater morphological elements of the Aeolian Islands

Panarea, where sea and volcanoes become sculptors

The Sciara del Fuoco

The senses tell The salt lake of Lingua

The Aeolian Islands, where volcanology was born

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

The polis of the living and the necropolis of the dead