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Aeolian Islands-Stromboli

Introduction

Emerging from the horizon this conic island known centuries ago as the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean” because of its volcano and strategic position between the mainland and the other islands has drawn European celebrities with its wild nature. Its still  active black volcano does not disappoint. Houses painted in pure white look lovely with their colourful gardens and the black beaches. Unfortunately Stromboli lacks appropriate services. It remains inaccessible in bad weather, drinking water must be saved since it comes from the mainland and light from generators leave most streets dark. There are no proper roads on the island.
The volcano´s continual eruption lead visitors to climb it every day, providing a good income source for the island.
Boats dock at Porto Scari. Uphill are San Bartolo, San Vincenzo and Scari composing Stromboli. To visit the crater you have to go along the waterfront road.

What to See and Do

One of the best activities is sunbathing on the black sand beaches, considered the prettiest of the islands. Other sandy beaches lie to the north. Ficogrande features a stretch of black sand and rocky bathing beach and the Strombolicchio, the vestiges of the original volcano.
The 40,000-year-old Stromboli, the youngest on these islands, ejects lava daily. Its activity is called by experts Strombolian activity. In 2002 it created a mini tsunami destroying the lowest houses, a “rain” of rocks on Ginostra in 2003 and two craters in 2007. Lava flows down the Sciara del Fuoco, therefore Stromboli and Ginostra are not in any danger. The 1930 eruption made a dent in its population decreasing it from 5000 to 4000.
Because of the volcanic activity it has been ordered that climbers cannot ascend without a guide or in groups bigger than 20 members. Magmatrek on Via Vittorio Emanuele organizes ascents to the crater with guides in different languages on reservation. AGAI on Via Pola is the volcano-specific information office which also sets up booked tours.
Ascents start at about 5 pm to get to the top at sunset and enjoy the rewarding sight of sundown combined with red flames. You can even eat up there before coming down. For all the approprate walking gear including proper foot wear and warm clothing Totem Trekking supplies everything. A pair of dust spectacles are a necessity.
An excursion which can be made without a guide is the ascent up to 400 m. From there you can still see the incandescent red Sciara del Fuoco and the explosions taking place twice or three times an hour and announced by a roar of gases. Another way to see the volcano is by visiting the Osservatiorio di Punta Labronzo.
Trips around the island and night boat trips are organized by Società Navigazione Pippo (Via Roma) and Antonio Cacetta (Vico Salina ) to view the Sciara del Fuoco from another point of view.
If you wish to try scuba diving la Sirenetta Diving Center gives courses.

Where to Eat

Ritrovo Ingrid (Piazza San Vincenzo) offers good breakfast, pizza and even has a precious terrace with a view.
La Lampara (Via Vittorio Emanuele) prepares excellent pizza and its seafood. We recomend you enjoy your meal on the terrace with vine-covered pergola..
L’Osservatorio is another great pizza place as well as offering, pasta, fish and seafood.
Punta Lena on Via Marina focuses on fish and grilled vegetables. You arrive at it en route to the volcano. From its terrace you can admire the Strombolicchio.
Ai Gechi (Vico Salina at Porto Scari) is a typical Aeolian house with a terrace where dishes are served. It is recommended for its contemporary inspired dishes .
La Tartana is a bar-cum-disco-cum restaurant offering an à la carte menu and a terrace with seaviews.
La Locanda del Barbablù (Via Vittorio Emanuele) has no fixed menu for it varies according to the chef´s inspiration and according to what is available. Reservations are needed.

For just a drink and snack the bars are mostly located at the port.

How to Get to/around/from

BY FERRY OR HYDROFOIL: from Lipari there are ferries (duration: 4 hours) and hydrofoils (duration:1 ½ hours). Ustica Lines and Siremar are situated at the port. Services are not regular in the wintertime and usually cancelled in bad weather.
BY SCOOTER: Motonautica Mandarano hires scooters



 
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