Island of Stromboli
CommunicationsShipping links with Milazzo, Naples and Lipari; hydrofoils to Milazzo.Location and importanceStromboli, the Isola di Fuoco (Island of Fire) in the extreme northeast of the Aeolian Islands is famous for the fact that it has the only still active volcano on the archipelago - the mountain known as the "Torch of the Sea" which, since time immemorial, has acted as a giant lighthouse to guide sailors at night. The peak of the mountain is the Serra Vancura (924m/3,032ft), while the eruptions actually occur at a height of about 700m/2,300ft. The latest large eruptions were in 1930 and 1971. Every fifteen minutes glowing masses of lava shoot up into the sky and then either fall back into the crater or flow down the Sciara del Fuoco on the northwest slopes and into the sea. As there are no houses here there is no risk to the population.VegetationIn stark contrast to the black wall of the Sciara del Fuoco the eastern side of the island is covered in lush vegetation; on the higher ground there is macchia, and lower down palm trees, groves of citrus fruits, other fruit-trees and Malvasier grapes.
Stromboli Village, Italy
The place named Stromboli in the northeast of the island is made up of two villages. These are San Bartolo, where decaying houses bear witness to the fact that many of the people have drifted away, and San Vincenzo with its church of the same name. Between them lies the Ficogrande landing-stage. On the opposite side of the island, on the southwest coast, lies the little town of Ginostra with the Lazzaro and Petruso landing-stages; the best way to get to it is by boat. As on the other Aeolian Islands, the predominant form of building on Stromboli consists of single-storyed houses with roof terraces and pergolas.
Volcano of Stromboli
Like the crater on Vulcano, Stromboli (926m/3,056ft), is one of the few European volcanoes that are still active; its red glow can be seen from a long way off. The ascent (3 hours), recommended to be undertaken from the north side, is a fascinating experience. The crater, to the north of the highest peak, emits at frequent intervals huge bubbles of lava which explode with a thunderous noise, throwing up showers of stones which fall back into the crater or roll harmlessly down the Sciara de Fuoco, a slope descending on the northwest side at an angle of 35° to the sea and continuing for some distance below the surface. Only every few years are there more violent eruptions which cause damage to the cultivated parts of the island. When the vapour is not too thick it is possible to go down to the brink of the crater and look in.The road leads via San Bartolo to the former observatory on the Punta Labronzo and then over the fields covered in detritus to the hilltop where the visitor will find himself opposite the crater and about 250m/820ft from it and can then seek out a suitably sheltered spot from which to watch the display.
Ginostra and Sciara del Fuoco, Italy
It is possible to travel by boat along the wild and rugged south coast to the little town of Ginostra, and then sail on to Sciara del Fuoco if desired. The natural spectacle of glowing stones flowing into the sea is most impressive during the hours of darkness.
Island of Stromboli Pictures
Map of Messina Attractions