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Forming one of the 8 islands that make up the Aeolian archipelago, the island of Alicudi is the westernmost Aeolian islands, which is a volcanic chain of islands to the north of Sicily. There are around 120 inhabitants on the island which is around 40 km to the west of Lipari, with a land mass of around 5 sq. km. Most of the island's inhabitants live off fishing, with some involved in the small amount of agriculture that takes place on the island. Visitors should note that there are not many facilities on the island which has one restaurant serving whatever fish has been caught or what supplies the ferry brings.
The island is accessible by conventional ferry or hydrofoil from Palermo, Messina, Reggio Calabria and Napoli. The primary port of departure for the Aeolian Islands, and hence also for Alicudi, is the town of Milazzo in Sicily. Ferry services generally operate all year round but are weather dependent. Alicudi is the farthest Aeolian Island from Milazzo and therefore the crossing takes around 3 hours by hydrofoil, with stops at the islands of Vulcano, Lipari, Salina and Filicudi.
The Italian town of Milazzo lies on the north east coast of Sicily, to the west of the city of Messina, and is known for its historic village and lovely beaches. There is a fortified citadel and medieval quarters located in the Old Town where many religious buildings can also be found. A popular attraction in the Old Town is the Shrine of St. Francesco di Paola which dates back to the 18th century and was constructed on the site of a former church that dated back to the 15th century. The Shrine's facade has a curvilinear staircase with windows and galleries above the doorway. Inside the Shrine is the Chapel of Jesus and Mary where there is an altar that is decorated with carved and gilded wood and at the centre of which is the 'Madonna and Child' painted by Domenico Gagini (1420-1492).
The newer parts of Milazzo are in the lower town and is largely of 18th century construction. The lower town's centre is the Piazza Caio Duillo, which has to its west the Palazzo Marchese Proto and the facade of the Chiesa del Carmine to the east.