38:27.62N 14:57.46E Lipari Island
Sunday, 19th June, 2011.
As we set off for the island of Lipari we could see the wind out ahead of us and therefore we were able to sail the 24.16 miles. The wind at times came from nowhere. It has been suggested that like Bermuda has their own triangle there is an Aeolian triangle in this area as the winds that are not forecast can come from nowhere. Jim was pleased we were sailing as he loves to sail rather than motor!
We sailed past the island of Panarea and on to Lipari. In the Panarea surrounding waters has been discovered a trading ship from around 400 BC. It is being excavated but because of the hydrogen sulphide acid it makes diving very difficult. It is going to take a long time but so far they have made significant finds of black-glazed pottery.
On coming into anchor the church and castle on the cliff, the smart hotels and villa’s in the surrounding cliffs make it a very pleasing place to be. After dinner we set off to discover the little town with beautiful tourist shops, restaurants on the very tidy quay and best of all an ice-cream shop. A very clean up market town with a concert in the grounds of the castle which we heard once we were back in Ariel as the sound vibrated across the water.
Lipari Island dates back to 3000 BC when settlers from the near east prospered trading in the obsidian found around the volcanic islands. Followed by the Copper Age settlers, 13th century BC Bronze Age settlers and by the 8th century BC they were only just scraping a living. In 580 BC the Greeks arrived who organised a small navy to stop the Phoenician pirates who regularly raided the islands. Their fleet grew and they became pirates themselves and were feared in the Strait of Messina. The Liparese government at the time decided houses, ships and goods were all held communally and redistributed every 20 years in a huge festival. All the pickings from piracy were distributed equally when the ships returned. Decline on the island started in the Roman era. By the 20th century many of the islanders had emigrated to Australia and America. During the 1970’s and 80’s Lipari revived through the tourism and it has become a holiday destination for the smart set from Rome and Naples.
On leaving Lipari island the next morning we could see Stromboli puffing, the Vulcano crater smoking and Mount Etna in the distance with what looks like snow on it. We did not visit Vulcano where it is usual to see people covered in brown mud for therapeutic effect wandering down to the water to one of the numerous hot mineral springs bubbling up from the sea bed. Apparently, the smell of the mud takes three days to go away!!!