Sailing Around Sicily – The Beautiful Aeolian Islands
This archipelago is also called the Lipari Islands. The islands are peaks of volcanoes and two are active. There are 7 islands: Stromboli, Panaria, Filicudi, Alicudi, Salina, Lipari and Vulcano. These islands have been inhabited since early times and been a been the home of pirates.
Home of the God of the Winds
The Islands take their name from Aeoleus the god of he winds. It was Aeoleus who gave Odysseus the contrary wins tied up in a bag but as they neared Ithaca his sailors opened the bag, believing there was a treasure inside, and he was blown away from his homeland. It is also believed the Ustica is the home of the god Aeoleus, thus the constant high winds in the area. They have their Aeolian triangle, we have our Bermuda triangle… an uncommon amount of local weather is encountered here.
And the Oldest Lighthouse in the World
On the Isle of Stromboli is the oldest lighthouse in the world. Known as the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean” it guided Odysseus and it still guides us today. The Isle of Panarea has and underwater excavation of a trading ship from around 400 BC. The difficulty with the excavation is the hydrogen sulphide gas from the volcanic nature of the island. Divers find the water burning, on their “delicate parts”.
And the Mediterranean First Pirates
The Isle of Lipari is mountainous but the eastern slopes cultivate their local wines. In the town of Lipari the numerous excavations have uncovered a host of former civilizations. Ruins spanning a dozen ages of man from prehistoric thought the Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Norman and Spanish can be found here. We can see this all in the wonderful Aeolian Museum. These islands, because of their strategic trading location, were settled in 3000 BC. Because of the windy conditions the Liparese the sailor a force to be reckoned with and their boats feared in the area. The early form of government was like an early form of communism that appeared to work. All land, houses, ships and goods were held communally and redistributed every 20 years in a huge festival. All picking from the pirate ships were distributed equally when the ships returned from their raids. Today we will find the islands considerable more hospitable!