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The Aeolian archipelago has some seventeen islands, but only seven of them are inhabited. The island group, also better known as the Lipari islands –Eolian islands, are located north-east of the Sicilian coast and can be reached by ferry from Sicily, Nales, Reggio Calabria.

Lipari is the main island, and generally offers the best accommodations and has a few beaches. If you're feeling energetic, hike to the top of Mount Sant'Angelo.


This isle is the largest of the Aeolian Islands (48 km2). It lies 22 miles from Milazzo, which is its natural link to the mainland. Its volcanic nature is revealed by its dominating colours: the white of the pomice-stones scattered all around the coastline and the black of the obsidian of Castellaccio Vecchio. Thousands of years ago obsidian represented the islands principal export with the continent because it was extremely suitable for the manufacturing of sharp tools and arms. The volcanic phenomenon can also be observed in the island's thermal springs (up to 600), in its solfataras and in its 12 volcanic systems converging towards the 602 metres of Monte Chirica (although this is not the only mountain of Lipari). This elevated and craggy island (once called "Meligunis") has spectacular beaches and breathtaking ragged coasts whose walls rise precipitously from below the sea. Besides the town of Lipari there are four more villages on the island: Canneto, Acquacalda, Quattropiani and Piano Conte

  Lipari’s History  (Roman Lipara, ancient Greek Meligunis) is the biggest of the Aeolian Islands, in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the north coast of Sicily, and also the island's main town. It has approximately 11,000 inhabitants and during the tourist season (May-September) its population reaches up to 200,000.

Lipari is one of a chain of seven islands in a volcanic archipelago that straddles the gap between Vesuvius and Etna. It is supposed (H. Pichler) that the island was created by a succession of four volcanic movements, the most important of which should be the third one, presumably lasting from 20000 BC to 13000 BC. A further important phenomenon should have happened around 9000 BC (C14 exams by Keller). Steaming fumaroles may still be seen.

Its position has made the harbor of Lipari strategic. In neolithic times Lipari was, with Sardinia, one of the few centers of the commerce of obsidian, a hard black volcanic glass prized by neolithic peoples for the sharp cutting edge it could produce. Lipari's history is rich in incidents and is witnessed by the recent retrievals of several necropolis and other archaeological treasures. Man seems to have inhabited the island already in 5000 BC. Its continuous occupation may have been interrupted violently when the late 9th century Ausonian civilisation site was burned and apparently not rebuilt. Many household objects have been retrieved from the charred stratum.

Colonists from Cnidia under Pentathlos arrived at Lipara in 580 BC and settled on the site of the village now known as Castello or la Cittade. The colony successfully fought the Etruscans for control of the Tyrrhenian. Allied with Syracuse at the time of the fateful intervention of Athens in the west in 427 BC, Lipara withstood the assault of Athenians and their allies. Carthaginian forces succeeded in holding the site briefly during their struggles with Dionysios I, tyrant of Syracuse, in 394, but once they were gone the polis entered a three-way alliance which included Dionysios' new colony at Tyndaris. Lipari prospered, but in 304 Agathokles took the town by treachery and is said to have lost pillage from it in a storm at sea. Many objects recovered from wrecks of antiquity are now in the Aeolian archeological Museum inLipari. Lipari became a Carthaginian naval base during the first Punic War, but fell to Roman forces in 252-251, and again to Agrippa in Octavian's campaign against Pompey. Under the Roman Empire, it was a place of retreat, baths (the hydrothermic waters are still used as a spa) and exile.

The 13th century AD citadel built by the Aragonese above the town is constructed on the Greek acropolis.


During Fascism, it was a destination for the confinement of members of the political opposition: among them, Emilio Lussu, Carlo Rosselli, Giuseppe Ghetti. The pale pumice of lipari is processed and exported all over the world.

An unique and very interesting Archeological Museum has  been created to collect a relevant part of the retrievals; its disparate sections relating to the human history of these islands from prehistoric to classical times, also cover vulcanology, marine history, and the paleontology of the western Mediterranean.

Places Of Interest To Discover By Land

  • Quattrocchi
  • Chiesa Vecchia Near The Village Of Quattropani
  • Terme di S. Calogero
  • Cave di Pomice : Pumice Mine
  • Pirrera
  • Monte S. Angelo
  • Spiagge Bianche
  • Monte Rosa
  • Fontanelle
  • IL Semaforo

Lipari Town

The town on this island is the only true town in the whole archipelago

There are two main roads across the town, Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Garibaldi, which are connected by Via Umberto, Via Maurolico and Via XXIV Maggio. To the south of the rock, Via Garibaldi reaches Marina Corta, a traditional gathering-place for local inhabitants.

This is where you can find the restaurants, outdoor cafés and ice cream parlours where you can sit a table in the shade of a large parasol. From here live also all boat trips to the beaches and the other islands.

These places are very busy on summer mornings, when the traditional Sicilian breakfast is served – “granita caffè con panna e brioche” crushed ice flavoured coffe with cream served with fresh brioches. Marina Corta has a host of restaurants and places where friends can meet

In order to preserve its habitual tranquillity, the town centre is closed to traffic in the summer, when you have to take one of the small local buses to get from the northern side to the southern side of the town centre. Thus, Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Garibaldi become peaceful streets where you can go for a nice stroll or sit in an open-air café or restaurant without having to cope with the noise and smell of cars and mopeds.

Best places are along Corso Vittorio Emanuele: Bar La Precchia, Eden Bar , here you can sit outdoors and taste some of the delicious local cakes and ice creams.

Among the many tipical home-made Aeolian products are delicious biscuits covered with sesame seeds that can be dipped in Malvasia wine, a desert wine made in Lipari or Salina. Other interesting grocery products are wines from the Eolias , excellent superior-quality extra virgin olive oil, capers , which grow in abundance on the island and iare exported to the mainland and abroad.


Food & Wine
All sorts of fish delicacies can be found on the local menus. Special attention must be given to the swordfish, a typical fish of these waters, which is caught according to a very ancient and extremely picturesque "rite". Other specialities are : "maccaruni", aubergine rolls, sweet and sour rabbit, smoked ricotta cheese and the aromatic capers (their flowers are called the 'orchids of the Aeolian Islands") There is also a selection of excellent, strong and spiced local wines - Malvasia -
produced and bottled in the Aeolian islands.

Aeolian sweet specialities are the local pastries “Nacatuli” and “Spicchitedda”, ice creams and Cannolo alla siciliana (filled with sweet cream and ricotta cheese).


Hotel Giardino sul Mare *** -
Via Maddalena 65 - 98055 Lipari

Tel: +39 090 9811004  Fax: 0909880150
E-mail: info@giardinosulmare.it

Pizzeria  Slow Food Music & Lounge Bar  da Conti Vulcano

Black Sand Beach - Vulcano - Porto Ponente - 98050

 Tel: +39 090 9852018

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