LIPARI, THE ISLAND OF COLORS AND QUEEN OF THE AEOLIANS
Lipari is the largest island of the Aeolian Islands also alive in winter as the geographical and administrative centre of six of the seven islands of the archipelago (Lipari, Vulcano, Stromboli, Panarea, Filicudi and Alicudi).
In fact, I live here and I gotta say this island surprises me every day, but really all the Aeolian Islands are like one of those beautiful movies that you have to watch over and over again and that every time you do you notice a new detail that you hadn't seen before.
Here's where to start.
Must see in Lipari
Lipari is the most varied of the islands of the Aeolian archipelago, the only one that boasts a historic centre with a main street and a maze of narrow streets such as those of "Supra a Terra", adorned with murals and lava stone sculptures by CIPRA artists and from the street art of Demetrio Di Grado. The island is also home to the picturesque fishing port of Marina Corta, wherein the Church of the Souls in Purgatory is possible to visit "The crib of the sea" all year round, an installation that recreates the small village and real local characters.
Lipari also has a lot of history and culture.
In Greek mythology, Lipari was the home of the God of the winds Aeolus, from which the archipelago takes its name. The island has been continuously inhabited since the 6th millennium BC. thanks to the presence of obsidian, a volcanic glass used for the construction of cutting weapons before the Iron Age.
The sixteenth-century walls of the Castle of Lipari house the cathedral of the patron saint San Bartolomeo and a graceful Norman cloister recently discovered (1978), while the prestigious Bernabò Brea Archaeological Museum, one of the most important in the Mediterranean, displays, among the many remains found in wrecks sunk in these seas. Here we also find the largest collection of Greek theatre masks linked to the cult of Dionysus.
The volcanic origin of these islands characterises Lipari in a particular way: every mountain on the island was a volcano and their activity is still manifested in the Caolino fumaroles and in the thermal waters of San Calogero. Unfortunately, the establishment is closed today, but the Roman-era swimming pool remains visible, as it is external.
The coasts of the north-east area of Lipari appear blinding white due to the presence of pumice and dotted with black obsidian, while in the western area, between Pianoconte and Quattropani, the beach is a thousand colours thanks to the presence of kaolin. Lipari is the island of colours, the colours of its land and its sea, which takes on the reflections of all possible shades of blue thanks to these materials.
Lipari has two souls: the "marine" one, with the Blue Flag beaches of Canneto and Acquacalda and the bays of Pietra Liscia, Valle Muria, Praia Ferrante (reachable on foot) and Praia Vinci (accessible only from the sea), and the "mountain" ” that you do not expect, represented by the villages of Pianoconte and Quattropani and can be explored thanks to the numerous trekking paths with breathtaking views of the sea.
These can be chosen on the basis of difficulty and walking time: the path of the "Cappero" (or Punta Crapazza), for example, is among the simplest but offers a panorama that takes your breath away thanks to its proximity to Vulcano and the view of the Faraglioni, while the longer "Palmeto" path, which from San Calogero runs along a good part of the west coast up to the Caolino quarry, offers spectacular views at sunset.
This is what you need to know in general, but allow me to give you some Aeoliancharme tips.
Sunsets and sunrises in Lipari are a must because the view is different at every corner with the sister islands in the backdrop.
Do not miss the sunrise (and only the locals know it) at Monte Gallina, with the bays of Marina Lunga and Marina Corta interrupted by the Castle and the islands of Panarea and Stromboli in the background, or at the Pumice Quarries, unforgettable for the contrast of the white of the mountain and the blue of the sea.
For sunsets, the list is long: the most popular is at the Observatory, at Chiesa Vecchia or at the Quattrocchi lookout, so called because it is so romantic that you cannot go there alone. On the other hand, on the sea, sunsets in Acquacalda or in Valle Muria are recommended, the latter reachable only on foot.
Not to be missed in Lipari
Capers are the main ingredient of Aeolian cuisine, also present in the Aeolian variant of the traditional Sicilian caponata. Locals usually use them desalted: the small ones are the favourites for fillings with aubergines and squid, the medium ones for all tomato-based sauces and the ever-present olives.
Nothing of the caper plant is thrown away: the tops are made in oil, while the cucunci, which are the fruit of the caper, are made in oil or put in salt; the flower, also called "Orchid of the Aeolian Islands", is used for decorations. The caper pesto to season the past is also excellent
See you soon.
Your local aeolian @sarahtomasello
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