August '03: Aeolian Islands, Sicily

The Aeolian Islands, seven islands about 35 miles north of Sicily, take their name from Aeolus, the god of the winds. Bill's parents met us in Stromboli to sail through these islands which mariners have been coming too for over 6000 years. Mid August, 2003, the ancient mariner would have had to either row very hard, or stay put for a while, because the wind was not getting us from island to island. Given the sun and the heat, the islands were a great place to be. We spent much time in the 85 degree (F) water and did short hops between the islands. Along the way, we visited Lipari's archeological museum, hiked up a volcano and met up again with John and Suzie on Athos who convinced Bill to buy a spearfishing gun.

MPEG Videos: (right click to download, left click to play)
   - Stromboli - you're so pretty... (7.2 meg)

The island of Stromboli, the northernmost of the Aeolian Islands.

Ferries that run between the islands and the mainland. This one's carrying Bill's parents from Naples!

Bill's parents getting off the ferry at Stromboli.

Fishing boats on the black lava beach of Stromboli.

We believe the sign reads: Ingrid Bergman slept here with Roberto Rossellini when making the film "Stromboli" which premiered in 1949.

Ciao Bella!

Village on Stromboli.

The active volcano of Stromboli, dubbed "the lighthouse of the Mediterranean" - probably the oldest lighthouse in the world.

Dock at San Pietro village on Isola Panarea, next island in the chain of seven. Known by the Italians as the "party" island, with huge party boats cruising around the nearby rock outcroppings. For us the island made a great lunch stop.

Anchorage on the northwest corner of Salinas where we met up with John and Suzie on Athos. John and Suzie, originally from Wisconsin, moved aboard their catamaran in the spring in France.

Anchorage off Salinas.

Mom and Dad on the dock at Salinas.

Dock at Salinas.

Haze beached on Lipari, the largest and most populated of the archipelago.

Cathedral in Lipari.

These islands seem isolated, but were settled in about 3000 BC by settlers who traded obsidian found near the volcanoes. Obsidian was used to make tools and weapons before people figured out how to work with metals.

Bill's dad has a real head for photography.

Cathedrals near the Aeolian Museum on Lipari. The island was colonized by the Greeks around 580 BC who organized a small fleet to combat the pirates who regularly raided the islands. The Liparese fleet grew in skill and eventually they became feared pirates themselves! Interestingly, the island's system of government at the time was an early form of communism - all land, goods, ships were held communally and redistributed every twenty years in a huge festival - so the pirates' booty was distributed equally among the islanders when the ships returned.

Here come the parents (Lipari).

Grotto off Isola Vulcano.

Looking north from the Gran Cratere on Vulcano. Lipari is seen in the distance.

Top of the crater, about a 45 minute hike up from the town.

Sulfur gases around the crater.

Crater with Isola Lipari in the background.

We hiked up in the evening to avoid the sweltering mid-day heat.

Steaming bright yellow sulfur on the crater.

Anchorage on the southwest corner of Lipari where we had a bbq lunch and swim stop.

Anchorage at Filicudi Island, our last stop in the Aeolians. We didn't make it to land but had great grilled fish on the boat. Second bbq of the day!

Palermo, Sicily - bye Mom and Dad!