SailSterling Essential Lipari
The island of Lipari and its neighboring islands of Stromboli, Salina, Vulcano, Panarea, Filicudi and Alicudi belong to the archipelago of the Aeolian or Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Lipari is the name of the municipality, the island and the main town. The island of Lipari is of volcanic origin. The formation took place in several phases, whereby both the eruption centers and the erupted material were very different.
While the south of the island was formed together with the neighbouring island of Vulcano and has lava domes such as Monte Guardia, the west and east were created by Strombolian eruptions. In the middle are the stratovolcanoes Monte Chirica also the highest point on the island at 602m and Monte S. Angelo. In the northeast there are the up to 300m thick pumice deposits and two obsidian streams on Monte Pilato (476m).
Obsidian has been mined since the Neolithic period. Finds from this period can be found all over the western Mediterranean. The white pumice deposits were mined on Lipari until 2007. Lipari offers most of the attractions and leisure opportunities among the Aeolian Islands. The jewel in the crown are of course the beautiful beaches, surrounded by nature, which are waiting to be discovered. Wander along coastal paths and admire a landscape that changes from Mediterranean scrub to wilder areas between rocks and volcanic rubble.
You can alternate between water sports and trekking, but in Lipari town you will also find buildings, monuments and a history that is worth discovering. Are you wondering what activities and sights await you on Lipari? Belvedere Quattrocchi, the castle, the cathedral and much more. Not to be forgotten are the typical dishes and cuisine, one of the hidden gems among the treasures of the Aeolian Islands.
If you need an unforgettable view, a panorama that enchants a romantic moment, this is the right place. The Belvedere Quattrocchi viewpoint is just four kilometers from the center of Lipari. You will find yourself on a hill where you can admire all the beauty of the island and take wonderful photos, especially at sunset. It is a vantage point from which you can see the chimneys of Pietra Menalda and Pietra Lunga, the imposing island of Vulcano and its smoking chimneys, the beach of Valle Muria and the bays of the coast. A magical spectacle that puts you in front of an endless embrace of the sea.
An imposing presence that preserves a history that probably dates back to 4000 BC, with a succession of rulers, remains and archaeological finds that can be observed today. Archaeologists have found a succession of layers of more than 10 meters over the years, ranging from the Neolithic through the Bronze and Iron Ages. The Hellenic Tower is particularly fascinating. As soon as you land on the island, you will be amazed by this majestic structure and walls, erected by Charles V in 1500 to protect the city.
The mansion stands on a promontory that slopes down to the sea and rises up to 50 meters high. Inside, different styles and influences alternate: an entrance gallery in neo-Gothic style and a fortification from Roman times. You are immediately greeted by an imposing portal on which the Bourbon coat of arms is enthroned. The castle grounds is also home to several religious structures, including the Church of Santa Caterina and the Church dell’Addolorata, built in 1500 and featuring ornate altars, gilded Baroque stucco and a picture gallery with the crucifixion as its main theme.
Aeolian Archaeological Museum
The museum was founded in 1954 and exhibits the results of excavations carried out in the Aeolian Islands from the 1940s to the present day. It is a “living” museum that is constantly updated and has a constant relationship with the area. The structure that is inside the Lipari Castle is divided into six different areas, ranging from prehistory to paleontology. In the first section you will find traces and finds from the Neolithic period.
Particularly interesting are the items that were used for the offerings and rituals dedicated to the god Aeolus: they were found in a well and date from the 5th century AD. In addition to information boards, there are also videos showing the various excavations and explaining the connection with the area.
The rooms dedicated to the classical age are also fascinating. Here you will learn more about the Milazzo necropolis. The route includes a collection of large vases that kept the ashes of the deceased, as well as trousseau, artifacts from the Byzantine era, jewelry, and Greek coins depicting Hephaestus. The final section is devoted to paleontology and preserves fossils that lived before humans. You will also find a room dedicated to the smaller islands and a volcanological section that will give you information on the geomorphological characteristics of the Aeolian Islands. Visitors can also discover models depicting each island, as well as a scientific video library for more information on the subject.
San Bartolomeo cathedral
It has always been the vibrant centre of Aeolian life over the centuries, so much so that it has earned the nickname “The City”. The cathedral was built by the Normans from 1080 and has undergone several renovations and changes, assimilating different styles, Greek, Norman, with a major intervention in 1861 after the collapse of the vault and tympanum of the facade. Speaking of the facade, you will surely be amazed by its magnificence.
In addition to the main portal, decorated with Corinthian-style capitals and Ionic columns, there are two smaller entrances. The bronze portal illuminating the central entrance represents four central moments in the life of Saint Bartholomew in the Aeolian Islands. Inside the building, to attract the visitor’s attention, there are certainly some frescoes with very refined biblical episodes, which have a scenographic effect.
The flower decorations are also particularly interesting. In the aisles, there are paintings, altarpieces and several wooden busts. It is the baroque style that dominates thanks to white and gold details, inlays in the frescoes, which are enhanced by the play of light and soft spaces. One of the most famous paintings is “The Transit of the Virgin”, attributed to Polidoro da Caravaggio and dating back to 1500.
The geophysical observatory is located on Mount Guardia. From the small square you have a unique view of the island of Vulcano and can admire the cliff that falls directly into the sea, as well as the views in the distance of Filicudi and Alicudi. It is a structure that has proven to be essential for observing the Great Crater of Vulcano and for the constant surveillance of Stromboli.
Madonna della Catena Church
It is another of the most important churches on Lipari, dating back to the 16th century. The small church is characterised by a Doric style, although renovations and other influences have occurred over the years. It was only recognised as a sanctuary in 1969. The only nave ends with a picturesque altar on which a painting of the Madonna and Child from 1700 (oil on canvas) can be admired. The place offers, thanks also to the landscape, a corner of peace, relaxation and, above all, silence, which is ideal for a moment of reflection and prayer.
Nearby is a statue of the Madonna della Catena, made entirely of wood, which attracts many believers. Under the sanctuary is a crypt that has served as a cemetery throughout history. One of the most popular Christian return days on the island is May 1st. An opportunity to meet and share food, dance and games. A tradition of belief and folklore that is very widespread and felt on the island.
The Norman cloister is part of the Benedictine monastery, the first to be built in Sicily in the 12th century. It was destroyed during the Turkish invasion of 1544. It was originally built with the church under the Benedictine dictate, with the cloister facing south and the church facing north. The cloister lost its central role over the years and was first converted into a cemetery and then covered with a large wall after an earthquake.
This monument, a symbol of Lipari, was only rediscovered in the late 1970s and, thanks to significant restoration work, was brought to its former glory. Today you can see some capitals depicting mythological animals and pigeons, large parts of the floor and fragments of frescoes. The existing columns are particularly sophisticated because they are “grooved” and above all because they come from some Roman houses. In the middle was a lush garden, which was surrounded by a colonnade with a gallery. The north side, however, was destroyed.
San Giuseppe Church
The first thing you will notice is its location by the sea. The St. Joseph Church was built over a crypt, which according to legend, contained the relics of St. Bartholomew. It is near the small port of Marina Corta, in an easily accessible location, and you can visit it until late at night.
It’s not very big, but picturesque, and inside there are some surprises, starting with sculptures and frescoes by artists from 1600. Inside there is also a representation of the Lourdes Grotto, which is home to the Virgin Mary and Bernadette. A place that offers a fascinating sight, whose blue sea and blue sky form a kind of continuous line.
Kaolin is a clay-like, white-colored mineral that is commonly used in ceramic art, especially porcelain. In this district you can admire what is left of this kaolin mine. Located on the northwest coast of the island of Lipari, it is a place full of charm from which you can enjoy a unique panorama.
If you cross a path you will find yourself in the middle of a rather peculiar vegetation, including orchids and aeolian cornflower. However, it will be the shades of color that will surprise you, thanks to the volcanic rock that is still active in the fumaroles. You go from yellow to pink to red and orange.
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Stringent cleaning procedures are already in-place across all boats globally for the well-being of our crew and guests. These will be further enhanced to meet government guidelines in the UK and Italy which are in place in July 2021 in relation to the COVID pandemic. These will include temperature checks prior to boarding; hand-sanitising stations in public areas; additional deep cleans of public areas including decks; social distancing if required. With each catamaran’s capacity at a maximum of 10 people including skipper and chef, if required in August, guests would remain in catamaran bubbles during visits to vineyards and other on-shore activities.