Posts Tagged ‘Strombili’

Milazzo is a little town on the north coast of Sicily with a very busy port, a Spanish castle and a pretty Spanish district.

Castle - Milazzo Sicily

We stayed a night at a B & B called il Vicolo. This is a tidy house with a common lounge/kitchen and clean, stylishly decorated rooms. Not many restaurants were open during our one night stay (it was an off-season Monday) but just as we were about to give up looking, we spotted La Casalinga, off the main drag in a side lane. The spaghetti and crab that I ate was one of the finest I have ever had.

Spaghetti al Granchio - at La Casalinga, Milazzo

The next morning we headed off to the Aeolian Islands on a ferry. We decided to stay on the biggest of the islands, Lipari. It was beautiful and not at all crowded. Some of the restaurants were closed for a break. I can’t imagine what the high season crowds would do to this little place.

En route, we passed the slightly sulfuric smelling Island of Vulcano. You could see the steam of the volcanic activity.

Vulcano, Aeolian Islands

Dramatic cliffs of Lipari with Vulcano in the distance

We did a one and a half hour drive around the island with a local driver and could see Mount Etna on the mainland plus the islands of Vulcano, Panarea and Stromboli in the distance. Thanks to the local volcanic activity Pumice and obsidian can be found in good quantities. Pumice mining is a big activity on the island and we passed a big pumice mine on our drive. There were many shops selling pumice for cosmetic use, chunks of obsidian and obsidian jewelery.

Lipari is very relaxed and charming off-season and we were often the only ones strolling the back lanes and hills, though there was a constant stream of activity at the two ports that flank the hill upon which sits the Spanish fortification of the 1500s (built on top of an older Greek acropolis).

The fortress and Marina Corto - from boat on arrival to Lipari

Quiet back lanes of Lipari

Marina Lunga - Lipari

Male bonding, Lipari style - fishermen repairing their nets

The real treat though was the night we left Lipari on a 12 hour overnight ferry ride to Napoli. We pulled into the tiny port of Stromboli about 10.30. Andrew went up on deck to watch the arrival and came running back to the cabin to tell me that you could see the active volcano of Stromboli lighting up the sky.  Out the port-hole we had a perfect view of the orange glow every few minutes. It went pitch black and just the clear starry sky was visible for a few minutes until the next display of orange light. It was pretty special. Some of the best memories you just can’t capture on camera.

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