Lipari, the heart of the Aeolian Archipelago

Mara Noveni | Live the World

May 29, 2024

Our destination today is located in the land of Sicily, Italy, it is the largest island of the Aeolian Archipelago. Lipari, the heart of the Aeolian Archipelago, is a desirable destination both for its landscape's charm and artistic and cultural beauty. In fact, the whole history of the Aeolian Islands has its beating heart on the island of Lipari. Visiting Lipari, spending the summer holidays there or taking a quick trip for a weekend is bliss for the spirit and the eyes.

The castle

You should choose to visit Lipari for its millenary history: the witness of all its beauty is its majestic castle, a citadel that will leave you amazed by its grandeur. The castle stands, in fact, on a promontory overlooking the sea and rises to 50 meters in height, with its beautiful city walls dating back to the 16th century.

© iStock / AMzPhoto

In the castle complex, you find the National Aeolian Archaeological Museum, consisting of more than 40 rooms with priceless archaeological remains.

The White Beach

Lipari has a completely white beach, considered one of the best on the whole island but also one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily. This beach is located in an area with pumice and obsidian quarries. In fact, the coast in this area is completely covered by an expanse of white pumice, while the dune that overlooks it is composed of very fine pumice. The beach can be reached on foot by crossing a path into the beautiful white mountain.

You can admire this magnificent place from the water. I point out the possibility of taking a boat tour to discover Lipari with stops on the island of Salina. The tour lasts 7 hours and will show you beautiful and sometimes inaccessible places, with two stops on the island of Salina to discover the city of Santa Marina and the village of Lingua, and with stops for swimming in a dream sea.

© Get your Guide / unknown author

The historical centre

The historic centre of Lipari offers many little surprises. First of all are the exciting views overlooking the clear waters, one of the most instagrammable places in Sicily. But even walking through the narrow alleys causes a strong emotion, it seems to be out of time, and I advise you to keep your eyes open to see the small sacred buildings and squares where you can breathe timeless and ageless air.

St. Bartholomew's Cathedral

Also called "the city" because it has always been considered the beating heart of Lipari, the cathedral dates back to 1080 and was built by the Normans, with subsequent renovations and modifications that make it a mix of different styles belonging to different eras, from Greek to Norman to Baroque.

The facade is majestic, and the staircase gives it momentum as if it wanted to stretch towards the sky. Next to the main bronze door, there are two minor portals. Inside frescoes depict biblical episodes where the Baroque style dominates, with white and golden details. You should pay attention to the canvas depicting "The transit of the Virgin", attributed to the famous painter Polidoro da Caravaggio and dating back to 1500.

Next to the Cathedral are the remains of the monastery of the Santissimo Salvatore, with a beautiful cloister whose columns are partly a reuse of Roman finds and partly of medieval workmanship.

© iStock / 4zoom4

Belvedere Quattrocchi

For lovers of photography and postcard views, the Belvedere Quattrocchi is not far from the historic centre, one of the most beautiful viewpoints on the island. From here, you can enjoy the spectacle of Lipari in the foreground and the other islands of the archipelago in the background. From this point, there is also a beautiful view of the stacks of Pietra Lunga and Pietra Menalda. At sunset, everything lights up in pink and red, and the show becomes unforgettable. Here you will also find a small refreshment point.

© Mara Noveni

Marina Corta

Marina Corta is the smallest port on this extraordinary island, a tour of Lipari can only start from the characteristic square. Small boats moor here, and fishermen also moor their boats or stop to repair their nets, and in the evening, the whole area transforms into an ideal place for entertainment and nightlife. From Marina Corta, going up towards via Garibaldi, you arrive at the Civita, the fortified citadel that dominates the town.

© iStock / alex_tok

Valle Muria Beach

Many small caves characterize this dark, narrow beach dug into the tuff. Opposite, there is a crystal clear body of water, and at this point, one has the precise perception of being on a volcanic island.

The archaeological park

The Contrada Diana archaeological park extends to the island of Lipari. It is a vast inhabited centre dating back to the upper Neolithic and the first Metal Age, on which the Greek and Roman necropolis were subsequently superimposed.

The stacks

As I have already mentioned, Lipari has two beautiful stacks that seem to be its guardians, two rock giants emerging from the sea towards the channel that separates Lipari from Vulcano. The highest stack, with its 80 meters, is the Faraglione Pietra Lunga, and the other, with its 20 meters, is the Faraglione Pietra Menalda.

© iStock / mkos83

A boat tour

Lipari is beautiful from the mainland, but even more beautiful by taking a boat tour around the island and, why not, also around the other islands of the archipelago. Of course, not all boat experiences are the same, and I want to tell you about a Panarea and Stromboli Boat Excursion. The excursion lasts 7 hours and includes the afternoon and evening, during the stops, there is plenty of time to take a dipexplore the two smaller islands, or for an aperitif or a quick dinner. During the return, at night, you will have the good fortune to witness the wonderful spectacle of the Stromboli volcano and to see the Sciara del Fuoco.

© Get your Guide / unknown author

And to end in joy…

And, to end the day still in the name of emotions, landscape, sunset and taste, I suggest a Winery Tour and Sunset Wine Tasting, which includes a visit to a cellar with an explanation of the winemaking methods, a walk in the vineyard and wine and local specialities tasting in panoramic points at sunset… and Lipari, the heart of the Aeolian Archipelago, will remain forever in your memories! So, Lipari and the Aeolian Islands await you for an exhilarating experience…

© Get your Guide / unknown author

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