All the colors of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
In the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north-east coast of Sicily, are the Aeolian Islands. Lipari, Salina, Vulcano, Stromboli, Panarea, Alicudi and Filicudi are the offspring of submarine volcanoes that emerged some 700,000 years ago. They are sister islands, yes, but they are all surprisingly different, in colour and landscape.
A tour of the Aeolian Islands is a journey through primordial places: starting from the fascinating caves in the depths of the sea and going up, ever upwards, to the peaks of the volcanoes.
Lipari, the black and white island
Lipari shines with the black of obsidian meeting the white of pumice stone. It is the largest island in the archipelago and is criss-crossed by a maze of narrow streets that climb the mountains and offer unforgettable views of the sea. The coastline is embroidered like lace with quarries, coves, beaches and cliffs.
Salina, the green pearl
Salina is not simply green, it is the greenest of the Aeolian Islands. The tops of the extinct craters are cloaked in woods and the whole area is covered in vines, olive trees, capers, fruit trees and vegetable gardens. The real gem of the island is the beach of Pollara, a natural amphitheatre surrounded by high cliffs plunging sheer into the sea. The sunset from here is a breathtaking sight.
Vulcano, the black island
There are four volcanoes on the island, giving the coastline a pitch-black sandy landscape. Precisely because of these four fearsome hosts, Vulcano remained uninhabited for many centuries. A guided hike to the summit of the volcano is enough to leave you in awe of the rugged, wild, almost primeval landscape. Not to be missed for anything in the world are the mud baths that flow from underground and make the skin as smooth as silk.
All the lustres of Panarea
It is the smallest and most fashionable of the islands of the archipelago and, for some, also the most beautiful. The piazzetta and streets are teeming with cafés and elegant boutiques, and the quay is dotted with luxury yachts. Panarea's true lustres, however, are the traces of a thousand-year history. In the vicinity of Punta Milazzese you can admire the impressive stone huts of a prehistoric village.
Stromboli, the incandescent island
Stromboli is a black cone by day and glowing red by night. The island is dominated by a volcano that is still active, and at night, from the sea, you can admire the impressive "sciara del fuoco": the lava lapilli come out of the crater, descend to the sea and leave all spectators speechless.
Filicudi and Alicudi, two green jewels
Filicudi and Alicudi are the islands furthest from the coast and the most unspoilt. Filicudi is covered in lush Mediterranean vegetation and boasts a charming prehistoric village dating back to the Bronze Age. Alicudi is a small circular island covered in heather. Discovering it is like going back in time: half of it is uninhabited and the only means of transport are donkeys that climb up the dirt paths.
This is just a small foretaste of the colours and beauty that the Aeolian Islands offer travellers. Discovering them one by one will be an unforgettable experience.