Far more well known in Ancient Times, than today, Lipari Island, the largest of the Aeolian Islands, is tucked away in the southern corner of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Having been formed by a series of volcanic eruptions, the island is littered with pumice and obsidian stone, prized by civilizations for centuries, especially obsidian, which given the sharp glass like aspects of this stone was sought for weaponry, knives and other utensils created for anything needed to be cut in everyday life. Today the Aeolian Islands, including Lipari are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and mining is no longer allowed, in order to protect the natural environment on the islands. Stop at Lipari while on a crewed yacht charter and step into yesteryear.
Lipari Island Harbor
Volcanos deep below the surface of Lipari are still actively pushing mineral laden waters to the surface creating hot springs and theramoles each with a different cocktail of minerals. During Roman times, Lipari was an active resort island offering geothermal spa treatments. These treatments are still available on the island today, by bathing in these same hot springs and thermaroles.
Lipari Island Colorful Old Town Streets
The main town on the island of Lipari, is also named Lipari. There are two main harbors in Lipari Town, on either side of the Castello. Marina Lunga is the commercial harbor where all ferries arrive. Marina Corta is the local fishing boat harbor, a cottage industry for the locals. In this marina, picturesque gaily painted little wooden fishing boats bob in the water and are hauled up on the quay which is ringed with cafes and restaurants. Quayside in the cafes and restaurants is a lovely place to sit with a drink and relax, especially at night, when the harbor front comes alive. Lipari does have a very good museum, Museo Archeologico Regionale Eoliano, which is well worth visiting, especially for anyone interested in the history of the islands and the history of the Ancient World. Besides a collection of amphorae excavated from local wrecks, there is a nice exhibit of Greek glass vases and models of Greek theatrical masks which were found in tombs on the island. Explore the little village streets, where Greek tombs can still be seen, and be sure to visit the Castello, once the center of life on Lipari, in which today there is a little museum.
Ancient Fort Walls at Lipari Island Harbor
The other village on the island, Canneto, is more commercial with a long pebble beach. Just beyond Canneto is a nice sandy beach. There are hiking trails around the island where one might find souvenir pieces of pumice and obsidian, and as always, caper bushes dot the landscape, that grow at a prolific rate on all the Aeolian Islands. After visiting Lipari, the most settled island in the archipelago, head off to discover the other Aeolian Islands, close by, yet caught even further back in yesteryear.
Harbor of Lipari Island