Off the Beaten Path in Italy: The Aeolian Islands

January 7, 2006 By:Mary Winston Nicklin

Aeolian Islands house

I fell asleep on the cold deck of the ferry from Naples, my bag as a cushion for star-gazing at the endless vault above, the night furious with wind, and awoke at dawn to the sight of the looming volcanic island of Stromboli, its conical peak sputtering with ash and red flaming rock. (There are easier and faster means of transportation to these remote islands- namely, the ferry from much-closer Sicily). What a welcome! The Aeolian Islands had long conjured a mythical image in my head; after all, the ancient Greeks described this small string of islands as the home of the God of Wind. (And Homer described the voyage of Odysseus passing through these islands with the help of a favorable wind.) Craggy cliffs covered in vegetation, dotted with white-washed houses draped in brilliant fuchsia bougainvillea, the islands in this volcanic archipelago have a dramatic setting in the clear blue Tyrrhenian Sea. Each island is different, with a distinct personality. And it's easy for visitors to island-hop, as smaller boats and hydrofoils connect between the islands a few times daily. Lipari is the most developed of them-- though hardly bustling-- with a charming town full of cafes and shops. Among the other sites are the ruins of the ancient Greek settlement, the long stretches of beaches, and white cliffs of pumice. On Stromboli, hike to the volcanic crater to see small eruptions of red lava at twilight. Tour the vineyards on the green island of Salina, or escape with the international jet-set to the gorgeous seclusion of Panarea.


Related Hotels

Radisson Blu Edwardian Leicester Square Hotel is a discrete and quiet London hotel with friendly service and an exquisite location, between the National Gallery and Leicester Square. The 58 rooms at the Radisson Blu Edwardian... more >>

Style:
Classic Luxury
Rating:

Thornbury Castle

Thornbury, United Kingdom

Kings and queens have stayed here. Courtiers have flirted with ladies-in-waiting in the ancient yew-hedged gardens. Serving girls have chattered in the stone-flagged courtyard. Today, Thornbury Castle still resonates with history... more >>

Style:
Classic Luxury
Rating:

White Swan

Bondgate Within Alnwick, United Kingdom

Set in the heart of the historic market town of Alnwick and only a stone's throw from Alnwick Castle and Gardens, The White Swan is a charming 300 year old coaching inn that blends its unique heritage with superb... more >>

Style:
Classic Luxury
Rating:

L'Hotel

Paris, France

L'hotel has counted quite a few legendary celebrity among its guests and has been the scene of many extraordinary events (including the death of Oscar Wilde). Each of the 20 rooms has its own character, its own universe or is... more >>

Style:
Boutique/Design
Rating:

Hotel Lungarno

Florence, Italy

Please note: The Hotel Lungarno will be closed from November 27, 2016 through June 2017 for a complete renovation. At the Hotel Lungarno, the view of the river and over the city is a unique experience. Famous for its... more >>

Style:
Classic Luxury
Rating: