The Aeolian Islands, also called Lipari Islands, are an archipelago of volcanic origin, located in the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north of the Sicilian coast, a place of wild and rare beauty. The islands are named after the god Aeolus, king of the winds, who according to Greek mythology established his residence by giving them the name, thanks to his reputation as a tamer of the winds.
The first of a long line of distinguished travelers , it was Ulysses who, as Homer narrates in the Odyssey, came to the Aeolian Islands after having survived the Cyclops Polyphemus and here he was hosted by Aeolus and honored with a glass containing the winds contrary to navigation that would bring him back to his homeland.
And so again the archipelago is cited by Virgil in the Aeneid with the famous description of the island of Vulcan, a mythological forge where the eponymous god forged metals.
The Aeolian archipelago is made up of seven islands: Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Alicudi, Filicudi, Panarea and Stromboli. They include two active volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano, as well as various secondary volcanic phenomena. The millenarian history of the archipelago is well documented by the Museo Archeologico Regionale Eoliano, with its headquarters in Lipari and sections separated to Filicudi and Panarea.
An increasingly popular tourist destination, the islands attract up to 200,000 annual visitors. The Aeolian Islands have been named World Heritage Site by UNESCO.