Wednesday, Sept. 14 - Lipari
Arose for an early breakfast. The Pantheon weighed anchor and left for the Aeolian Islands about 7:15. We went north through the Straits of Messina and I took a lot of pictures. Passed the Straits about 10 AM and then off to Lipari.
While we graveled, Irene gave a lecture on the Sicilian puppets and we had lunch on board. We got to Lipari about 2:00, so we only had a brief visit there.
The Aeolian Islands are mentioned in Greek Mythology as the home of Aeolus, the West Wind. The islands are volcanic, two still active (Stromboli and Vulcano), and known for their therapeutic mud baths.
Principle exports are Malvasia, a dessert wine, capers (which grow wild everywhere along with prickly pears) and pumice. The Aeolians have been featured in movies, including Il Postino, l'Avventura, Caro Diario, Stromoboli, Vulcano, and Journey To the Center of the Earth. Tourism has become a principal industry.
There are more islands than the few shown in the map. Inparticular, Panarea and Stromboli are to the Northeast of these. Lipari is the largest of the Aeolians with most of the population. It's about 25 miles off the north coast of Sicily. During the 1930's it was known as the "Fascist Devil's Island" because political prisoners were exiled there and they were permitted to roam free once on the island (where would they go?). Modern travel has rendered the island less remote; there is now high-speed hydrofoil and regular ferry service from major cities in Sicily and on the mainland. Here is the harbor.
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Leaving for the Aeolian Islands
Last look at Taormina
Looking toward the Boot
Ferries in the Straits
At the Straits
The Straits of Messina