The Aeolian Islands, also known as the Lipari Islands are an archipelago belonging Italy Aeolian arc, Sicily.
The archipelago is of volcanic origin, is situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the north coast of Sicily. Include two active volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano, in addition to various phenomena of secondary volcanism.
Administratively included in the province of Messina, the archipelago is a tourist destination increasingly popular islands, in fact, attract up to 200,000 visitors annually.
In 2000 the Aeolian Islands have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, both as a biosphere reserve and as a cultural heritage.
The Aeolian Islands form an archipelago consisting of seven islands themselves, to which are added islets and reefs from the sea. The seven islands are arranged in a Y-shaped horizontal position, with the shaft pointing towards the west, are located off the northern Sicily, facing the Tyrrhenian coast of Messina.
Are therefore visible from much of the Tyrrhenian coast of Sicily, when the visibility is good and there is no haze. The seven islands are:
Alicudi strong>, at the western end of the archipelago (5.2 km ² – about 100 permanent residents). Ancient greek name: Ericùssa (Ἐρικοῦσσα, perhaps with reference to the plant of the heather, in ancient greek Erike or eréikē, ἐρίκη or ἐρείκη).
Filicudi strong> (9.7 km ² – about 250 inhabitants). Name in ancient greek: Phoinicṑdēs (Φοινικώδης or “palm”) or Phoinicùssa (Φοινικοῦσσα), both names deriving from fόinix, φοῖνιξ which means palm, but also purple.
Lipari strong> (37.6 km ² – about 10,700 inhabitants). Name in ancient greek: Lipara (ie Λιπάρα fat, fruitful) or Meligunis (Μελιγουνίς, a name that seems to refer to honey in ancient greek méli, μέλι).
Panarea strong> (3.4 km ² – about 240 inhabitants), with the islands of Basiluzzo, Dattilo and Lisca Bianca. Names in ancient greek: Euonymos (Eὐώνυμος that “a good name, a good reputation”), and the islets: Basilùs (Βασιλούς ie royal) and Dàktylos (Δάκτυλος which means finger).
Salina strong> (26.8 km ² – about 2,300 inhabitants), with the Rock Faraglione. Name in ancient greek: Didyme (ie Διδύμη twin).
Stromboli strong>, with the islet of Strombolicchio at the north-east of the archipelago (12.6 km ² – about 400 inhabitants). Name in ancient greek: Stronghỳlē (ie Στρογγύλη roundabout).
Volcano strong>, at the southern end of the archipelago (21 km ² – about 300 inhabitants). Name in ancient greek: Hierà (Ἱερά that is sacred)
The islands are named after the god Aeolus (Aiolos, Αἴολος in ancient greek), king of the winds.
According to Greek mythology, Aeolus took refuge on these islands, and gave their name, thanks to his reputation as a trainer of the winds. He lived in Lipari and could predict the weather by observing the shape of the clouds snorts from an active volcano, it probably Stromboli. Thanks to this ability, crucial for the islanders, who were mostly fishermen and needed to know the likely evolution of meteorological events, Aeolus gained great popularity in the archipelago, according to one theory, from what was a simple greek prince, skilled in predicting the weather from the clouds, fueled the myth of the god Aeolus, designed to take control of the winds.
The name of the Lipari islands is however, according to the myth, the king Liparo, mythical colonizing the island, a contemporary of Aeolus. According to Pliny, the Greeks these islands were called Efestiadi (Hephaistiàdēs, ie Ἡφαιστιάδης vulcanoidi) and, consequently, by the Romans, together with Aeoliae and Lipari, Volcaniae.
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